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Pride celebration to honor Evanston’s LBGTQIA+ community

But a parade has been called off for a second year because of the pandemic.

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 evanstonprideparade@gmail.com.

Jeff Hirsh

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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