The arrival of June can only mean one thing.
OK, Father's Day is, of course, around the corner and most schools will be letting out for summer, but for many Chicagoans the month of June is synonymous with LGBT pride -- and with good reason. Events throughout the month and throughout the city lead up to the main event: The ever-raucous parade through the heart of the city's Lakeview neighborhood.
For those panic-stricken at the mere thought of rubbing shoulders with hundreds of thousands of Chicagoans and visitors on a hot, late June day, HuffPost Chicago has compiled our annual guide to a number of Pride alternatives that offer slightly different ways to feel the pride this month. From brunches to comedy shows, to DJ nights and -- of course -- drag shows, we've got you covered.
In addition to our guide, the Chicago Pride Parade's community calendar offers details on dozens of other events happening around town in June.
Know of other LGBT and LGBT-friendly events that Chicago should feel proud of this month? Let us know in the comments below.
JC Brooks Does Division
The soul stylings of out musician and HuffPost Chicago favorite <strong>JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound</strong> will take center stage Friday at the <a href="http://do-divisionstreetfest.com/" target="_hplink">Do-Division Street Festival</a>'s Leavitt Stage. If you're musical stylings swing more Karen O than Sharon Jones, however, you're also covered: <strong>Le Butcherettes</strong> play the same stage June 2 at 9 p.m. Though not specifically queer, the Mexican band took Chicago by storm at last year's Lollapalooza -- and they're fronted by a talented performer who goes by Teri Gender Bender. Both shows are highly recommended. <br> Friday, June 1, 8:30 p.m. <br> Division Street between Damen and Leavitt, Chicago <br> Price: $5 suggested donation <br> Photo: Addison on the Red (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/addisononthered/5524653671/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
'Drag Race' Faves Hit Boystown
<strong>Willam</strong>, the controversial contestant from the latest season of LOGO's <strong>"RuPaul's Drag Race"</strong> arrives in Chicago for her "Chow Down" show with queens Detox and Vicky Vox. If <strong>Latrice Royale</strong> was more your style, you're also in luck: The "chunky yet funky" star hits Hydrate -- with local queen <strong>DiDa Ritz</strong> (also of "Drag Race") hosting -- on June 9. <br> Saturday June 2, doors at 8 p.m., shows at 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. <br> Hydrate, 3458 N. Halsted, Chicago <br> Price: $15 general admission, $25 VIP meet and greet
'Don't Act Like A Girl'
Local writer and performer <strong>Wes Perry</strong>'s one-man show returns for a special Pride Month run at <a href="http://theannoyance.com/" target="_hplink">the Annoyance in Uptown</a>. "Don't Act Like A Girl" is described as "a raucous cabaret featuring a live three-person band, queer teen angst, and plenty of confetti." <br> Opens Sunday, June 3, at 8 p.m. Runs weekly each Sunday through June 24. <br> The Annoyance, 4830 N. Broadway, Chicago <br> Price: $10
A Burlesque Brunch
<a href="http://www.thequ.co" target="_hplink">The Qu blog</a> hosts this <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/205762879542809/" target="_hplink">Pride Month kicking-off burlesque brunch benefit</a> to raise funds for Lambda Legal, the group behind the recently-filed Illinois marriage equality lawsuits. The event will feature performances from local performers Cruel Valentine, Kyle Greer, Tito Bonito, Holly Deck and Po' Chop -- and will be hosted by Xandra Fairlawn. The L Stop is co-sponsoring the event. Ticket price includes food, booze and entertainment. <br> Sunday, June 3, 12 p.m.-3 p.m. <br> Sidetrack Chicago, 3349 N. Halsted, Chicago <br> Price: $25 in advance, $30 at the door
Gay Faves Bring More Than Just Laughs
<a href="http://www.justforlaughschicago.com/" target="_hplink">TBS's Just For Laughs Chicago</a> returns this summer with yet another packed lineup of extremely talented performers, including gave favorite <strong>Sarah Silverman</strong> and her "Pro Choice" posse (including Marc Maron, Chris Hardwick, Reggie Watts and Natasha Leggero). Other high-profile acts performing during the festival include the gay-adjacent Janeane Garofalo, Nick Offerman, Aziz Ansari, Mike Birbiglia, Amy Schumer and many more. <br> June 12-17 <br> Dates and venues vary. <br> Prices vary. <br> (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
A Bjork Tribute
It's no secret that Iceland's resident weirdo <strong>Bjork</strong> has a huge gay fan base, and Chicago is lucky to play host to a quarterly bar night that pays tribute to the avant garde musician. <a href="http://www.berlinchicago.com/Berlin_Nightclub_Friday.html#Cosmix_6_15_12" target="_hplink">The latest showcase</a>, which consists entirely of Bjork's music and videos, celebrates the release of Bjork's "Biophilia" remix series, courtesy of DJ Greg Haus. <br> Friday, June 15, 9 p.m.-1 a.m. <br> Berlin Nightclub, 954 W. Belmont, Chicago <br> Price: Free <br> (AP Photo/Starpix, Dave Allocca)
All Under One Roof
Music venue Lincoln Hall plays host to <a href="https://www.facebook.com/events/153565024774362/" target="_hplink"><strong>One Queer Roof</strong></a>, a party that is expected to be one of Pride Month's biggest Chicago blow-outs. The event, which is 18-plus, will attract a broad swath of the community -- all under one roof, as its title suggests. The event will feature DJs from FKA, Queerer Park, Chances Dances and Stardust/CULT fame and photos by A/S/L Media. Trandroid will emcee. <br> Saturday, June 16, 11 p.m. <br> Lincoln Hall, 2424 N. Lincoln, Chicago <br> Price: $8 in advance, $10 at the door <br> Photo: Polina Sergeeva (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/polinasergeeva/3729327678/sizes/z/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
Bargains At Brown Elephant
Chicago's <a href="http://www.howardbrown.org/be" target="_hplink"><strong>Brown Elephant</strong></a> resale shops once again are launching their special two-week Pride Sale, which offers up savings ranging from 25-50 percent off at its three area stores. And your splurging impacts more than just your wallet: Proceeds from all Brown Elephant sales benefit the <strong>Howard Brown Health Center</strong>, the Midwest's largest LGBT-centric health center. <br> June 17-June 30 <br> Brown Elephant, 3651 N. Halsted and 5404 N. Clark, Chicago; 217 Harrison, Oak Park <br> Price: Free <br> Photo: Zol87 (<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/zol87/2435903797/sizes/l/in/photostream/" target="_hplink">Flickr</a>)
It's the Pride edition of <a href="https://www.facebook.com/pages/Slo-Mo/168021113283275" target="_hplink">Chicago's very own <strong>Slo Mo'</strong></a>, a monthly party featuring "slow jams for homos (and their fans) in the city's Logan Square neighborhood. FKA's DJ Reagonomix will guest DJs this month and Kristen Kaza hosts. <br> Thursday, June 21 <br> The Whistler, 2421 N. Milwaukee, Chicago <br> Price: Free
<a href="http://chicagodykemarch.wordpress.com/" target="_hplink">Chicago's <strong>Dyke March</strong></a> -- a "grassroots mobilization and celebration of dyke, queer, bisexual, and transgender resilience" -- heads to the city's Uptown neighborhood this year. Every two years, organizers choose a different host neighborhood for their march in an effort to spread their message outside of Boystown. Previous marches have been held in the city's South Shore, Pilsen and Andersonville areas. <br> Saturday, June 23, steps off at 3 p.m. <br> Steps off from Margate Park, Marine Drive & Ainslie, Chicago <br> Price: Free
30 Queer Plays, 60 Straight Minutes
<a href="http://www.neofuturists.org/" target="_hplink"><strong>The Neo-Futurists</strong></a> kick off their annual Pride edition of their acclaimed, fast-paced signature show "Too Much Light Makes The Baby Go Blind." Proceeds benefit UCAN's LGBTQ Host Home Program. The Pride weekend has become so popular they added a third show this year, so no excuses for missing out on this Andersonville favorite. <br> June 21-23, 8 p.m. nightly <br> The Neo-Futurarium, 5153 N. Ashland, Chicago <br> Price: $20
The Main Event
Of course, it all boils down to <a href="http://www.chicagopridecalendar.org/parade.shtml" target="_hplink">the big, Boystown parade</a> that just won't stop getting bigger and brassier each year. This year's grand marshal is <strong>Evan Wolfson</strong>, founder and president of Freedom To Marry, an LGBT advocacy group focused on marriage equality work. Last year, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/27/chicago-pride-parade-floa_n_885090.html#s298782" target="_hplink">the parade attracted some 750,000 to the heart of the city's Boystown neighborhood</a> -- leading organizers to adjust their route. <br> Sunday, June 24, noon <br> Parade steps off at Montrose and Broadway, Chicago <br> Price: Free