06/20/2012 11:26 am ET Updated Jun 20, 2012

Chicago Pride Parade, Circa 1985: Over 25 Years Ago, Community Hit The Streets (PHOTOS)

The year was 1985, the month was June. Reagan was president. Tears For Fears had the nation's number-one song. "Back to the Future" was about to make a big splash at the box office. And Gaga wasn't even born yet.

And that year, just like this one, Chicago's LGBT community -- which they probably weren't calling themselves then -- were preparing to hit the streets for their annual Pride Parade.

Then-mayor Harold Washington was on hand, as was former mayor (1979-1983) Jane Byrne and the local chapters of PFLAG. The shorts were short, the 'staches were bountiful and the corporate logos were scant. Some 35,000 revelers were on hand -- a drop in the bucket compared to the 750,000 estimated to have taken part in the 2011 parade.

The mood was likely celebratory, with a caveat: As the Windy City Times (which was founded that same year) notes, deaths from AIDS were continuing to rise. By the end of that September, 315 AIDS cases had been reported statewide in Illinois. By 2005, 20 years later, that number would rise to 32,319.

Of those diagnosed with the disease in Illinois, about 16,500 have died.

Want to partake in pride in Chicago? Check out our previous guide to Pride Month citywide.

Scroll down to check out photos, courtesy of Alan Light, from Chicago's 1985 Gay Pride Parade:



Gay Pride In Chicago, 1985