The following statement was sent from Pride Chicago on the cancellation of this year's Chicago Pride Parade:
We did not want to be sending this letter. Earlier this year, we decided that the parade might have to be moved to a later date. We picked October 3 for several reasons:
1. Our primary reason was, with the advent of three effective vaccines, we felt that the late date would allow for most people to be vaccinated and, thus, make it much safer to have a parade. Sadly, we were very naive in that belief or, a more accurate word, "hope." Everyone knows the reasons we were wrong in our estimate as to how safe things would be in the fall. Leave it at that.
2. We also thought that having the parade on Oct. 3 would be a great introduction to LGBTQI+ History Month. The parade has been a part of that history for 50+ years. We decided that, rather than have an outside Grand Marshal, we would have three organizations as our special guests: (1) The Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame; (2) The Gerber Hart Library and Archives; (3) The Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center. More about these three organizations later in this letter.
3. We also wanted to recognize an organization that has been an entry in the Pride Parade every year since 1985 The Chicago Gender Society. We also wanted to honor someone who was not able to attend the parade in 2019 but richly deserves the title Legacy Grand Marshal Gary Chichester. Last, but certainly not least, we wanted to honor the memory of Richard Pfeiffer. The parade would not be what it has become without his brilliant leadership for over 40 years. We will recognize and honor these three next year.
To use the words of a song from the '60s: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"; we really wanted and hoped that there could be a parade in 2021. We don't feel, though, that we can do it safely for everyone in the parade and the people watching. We must cancel the parade for the second year.
There is a saying "Third Times A Charm." We have already scheduled the 2022 Chicago Pride Parade for Sunday, June 26, 2022. We're going to believe that saying. We're going to believe that in June, 2022 we are living in a far safer world than now. We intend to have the best, most joyous, fabulous, memorable Pride Parade ever. Count on it!
On a personal note: I've said many times that one of my motivations for being a part of PrideChicago was as a way of "paying it forward." I came out after watching a Pride Parade. So did my husband Richard Pfeiffer. So did many of you. I always imagine that one person (or more) that comes to the parade sees what can be in their life. They can have a happy, productive life and be LGBTQI+. We missed that person(s) in 2020 and now 2021. We won't miss them again in 2022 or after.