City-sponsored tour focuses on LGBT history

Wed. April 25, 2012 10:49 AM by Gary Barlow

Chicago, IL - With three tour dates on tap this summer, the Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is giving tourists and Chicago residents alike an opportunity to learn more about the history of the LGBT movement in Chicago.

The guided tours, Out and Proud: LGBT Chicago, are being offered on three Saturdays -- May 26, June 16 and Aug. 4.

"It's going to be quite an extensive tour," said Patricia Sullivan, of COTC. "It'll be fun but it's also going to be serious."

Windy City Times Publisher Tracy Baim serves as the guide, Sullivan said, adding that the tour, by motorcoach and on foot, spans the city.

"We do a lot of driving and stopping at places that are significant," she said. "I think it'll be really good."

Included are extensive visits to longtime LGBT anchor neighborhoods Boystown and Andersonville, Sullivan said, but the tour also takes participants to the world-famous Leather Archives and Museum in Rogers Park. While some details are still being finalized, it may also include the University of Chicago area in Hyde Park, where Chicago Gay Liberation, which helped organize Chicago's first Pride Parade in 1970, was based.

"I really hope some younger people take the tour so they'll know how important this early history was," Sullivan said.

In Boystown, the tour stops at the Center on Halsted, the landmark LGBT community center that opened in 2007.

"There's going to be some free time in Boystown," Sullivan said.
The tours begin at the Chicago Cultural Center, 77 E. Randolph St. in the Loop, starting at 10 a.m. and ending at 2:30 p.m. The cost is $35 for adults and $30 for seniors, students and children. For more information and to reserve a seat visit the COTC website or call 312-742-1190.