It may seem hard to believe that a politically progressive community such as Evanston has never had a Gay Pride parade, but it’s true.

A parade scheduled for last year had to be called off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and there will not be a parade this year for the same reason.

However, the group Evanston Pride is coordinating a Pride Celebration day on June 26, with a series of events, and a theme “Proud to Be.”

In a release from the organization, board member Sandie Elliott says, “This will be the first time anyone has tried to organize Evanston’s LBGTQIA+ community for the purpose of just meeting one another.”

There is a “Proud to Be” logo for specially designed yard signs or tee-shirts, such as “Proud to Be Trans,” or “Proud to Be Listening and Learning,” nearly 20 different identifiers in all.

All of the logos incorporate a pink triangle, which dates to the height of the AIDS epidemic when the group ACT-UP used the phrase “silence=death” on a similar background.

Mia Abbott, an Evanston Pride board member, designed the Pride logos. “It’s important that my generation understand the history of the LBGTQIA+ movement,” Abbot says. “A lot of young LBGTQIA+ people are not aware of this symbol’s significance.”

Among the events planned so far for June 26 are a car-only parade celebrating gay youth, a community picnic and a candle lighting and remembrance ceremony. Other events are in the planning stage.

Questions about schedules, participation, and ordering signs can be sent to

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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