The Chicago Pride parade originally started in commemoration of the rebellion of LGBTQ+ patrons of the Stonewall Inn in New York City’s Greenwich Village and the beginning of the civil rights movement for this community. Over the past 45 years this event has drawn an increasingly large number of people. It has turned into a celebration of the victories of this community and the rights for which they have fought and the commitment of the community to the continued fight against oppression.
As shown in the graphic above, in 2011, after the legalization of civil unions in Illinois between same-sex couples the estimated number of attendees of the Chicago Pride Parade increased by more than 66 percent from 450,000 people to 750,000 people. Since then, support of the LGBTQ+ community at this particular event has continued to grow as demonstrated by the increase of attendance to 1,000,000 people by 2013.
Given this enormous push of support it will be interesting see if attendance continues to increase given the growing charge in the political climate surrounding LGBTQ+ rights and the Trump-Pence Administration. While the issue of transgender bathroom usage in schools and the applicability of EEOC laws covering sexual orientation are noticeably causing some unrest within community, there is also the fear that there will be little to no progress in their civil rights movement and potentially an increase in the negative stigma towards the community. Regardless of what the administration has done thus far to impact the community, positive or negative, there is still a significant amount of fear of what President Trump and Vice President Pence could do regarding the rights this community had secured thus far under past administrations. Ultimately, these elements have the potential to draw out even more community support in this year’s pride parade.