Evanston Pride celebrates inclusivity


Macyn Hoeveler

Following the postponement of Evanston’s Pride celebration due to inclement weather, the event was rescheduled for July 17. The rescheduled event consisted of a community picnic and a candle lighting remembrance ceremony at Ingraham Park. 

The community picnic was an opportunity for LGBTQ+ Evanstonians, families, and allies to come together. The picnic also featured booths from local businesses and organizations, such as Aim and Ailie Hair Boutique on Central Street, the Evanston Public Library, and Hope For The Day, a non-profit organization based in Chicago that focuses on suicide prevention. 

“We’ve never really had a Pride festival before, so to see that there was a parade despite the rain was really great,” Evanston Public Library Branch Assistant Kelly Fleming said. “I really like seeing the families here because I think it’s really good to have kids realize that all of this is normal and [that] it’s just how people are.” 

Following the community picnic was a candle lighting remembrance ceremony; this ceremony honored the lives that have been lost to anti-LGBTQ+ violence and the pain that has been endured by the LGBTQ+ community for decades. 

The event drew from many circles of Evanston’s vast LGBTQ+ community, as well as from some members of Evanston’s City Council. Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss, who attended the community picnic, did so because he feels that the LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of Evanston. 

“[Pride] means two things. It means we’re taking a day to state that we are a better, stronger, more vibrant community because of the role that our LGBTQ neighbors play in our social fabric,” Mayor Daniel Biss said. “We hold this celebration to say that we are a safe and welcoming community that would like to be a beacon for any LGBTQ person wherever they are.”

While Evanston’s Pride celebration was not hosted during Pride Month as it was initially intended, the meaning behind the event illustrates some of Evanston’s values, as well as the vibrant LGBTQ+ community in Evanston. 

“Evanston might be one of the most progressive towns out there,” senior Kai Li-Caldwell said. “I’m really glad that Evanston is so open.”