Thousands participate in Boystown's Drag March for Change

Tue. June 16, 2020 11:04 AM by News Staff

drag march for change, june 14, 2020

photo credit // steven koch

Joe Lewis: 'The movement is growing in an amazing way and we all have to work to keep the momentum going...'

Thousands filled the streets in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood on Sunday to bring awareness to the causes and demands that Black Trans Lives Matter and Black Lives Matter.

The Drag March for Change stepped off around 5 p.m. from Belmont and Halsted ending at Grace and Halsted where several speakers including Shea Couleé, The Vixen and Dida Ritz, all of whom have appeared on “RuPaul's Drag Race,” spoke on issues surrounding the Black community.

Joe Lewis, whose drag alter-ego in and around Chicago is Jo MaMa, organized the June 14 march after participating in a peaceful protest and march through Boystown and Uptown on June 1.

That march was, he said, “everything and then some.” It was an official activation point for the start of Lewis' place in the movement. He added, “queer representation always matters and however I can make that happen is important to me.”

On Sunday, marchers demanded classification of violence against transgender people as a federal hate crime and that the Chicago City Council pass the Civilian Police Accountability Council.

“The movement is growing in an amazing way and we all have to work to keep the momentum going so that we actually spur lasting, impactful change,” Lewis told

The march included a fundraiser for the Black Lives Matter moment and supporting organizations such as The Brave Space Alliance and the Chicago Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression.

View more photos from Drag March for Change (by Clinton Bigelow)