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Chicago’s best gay parties in Boystown and beyond

The best gay party won’t necessarily be found at a gay bar. These queer-friendly nights are among the city’s best LGBT nightlife

Photograph: Oopey Mason
Slo 'Mo

Sure, the Boystown strip's nearly always bustling, and Andersonville has its share of LGBT attractions. But those hotspots hardly reflect the full diversity of Chicago's gay party scene. Many of the city's best LGBT good times can be found not just at Chicago's best gay bars but at queer-leaning weekly or monthly parties at bars far removed from Halsted Street. We've listed some of our favorite regularly recurring nights here (including, yes, one or two in Boystown).

RECOMMENDED: Complete guide to Gay Pride Chicago

Best LGBT nights in Chicago


Slo ’Mo

At this polysexual Logan Square dance-off, party purveyor Kristen Kaza and DJ Tess drop the needle on love-drenched classics by Al Green, Marvin Gaye, Prince and the queen of lovers’ rock, Sade.

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The Whistler , Logan Square Thursday May 18 2017 - Thursday June 15 2017


This all-inclusive LGBTQ night at Double Door's Door No. 3 features live music, drag performances and DJ sets. It's one of the most promising new alt-queer party outposts in town.

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Beauty Bar , River West/West Town Wednesday April 26 2017 - Wednesday June 28 2017

Off Chances

If you like your gays in skinny jeans, queer heaven awaits at this offshoot of Chances Dances (the original is currently on hiatus), with the same inclusive spirit as its sib but a more conversational vibe.

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Danny's Tavern , Bucktown Tuesday May 9 2017 - Tuesday June 13 2017


We don't know if they're painting smiles on people's faces at the door or if they're mixing something into the booze, but everyone seems to be in a good mood at this energetic and inclusive queer party that's been going strong since 2008. It's worth getting there early, or else risk getting stuck in a line running down the block.

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Big Chicks , Uptown Friday May 12 2017 - Friday June 9 2017


Burliness is optional at this night for bearded boys, funky folk and all other queers and allies. Burly's resident DJs spin punk, disco and new wave galore.

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The Burlington , Logan Square Wednesday May 17 2017 - Wednesday June 21 2017


The greatest house institution in town, Queen! is the electronic musical equivalent of “the Bean.” If you are in Chicago and you consider yourself a dance-music fan, you owe it to yourself to witness Derrick Carter, Michael Serafini and Garrett David spin grooves deeper than our stupid pizza.

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Smart Bar , Wrigleyville Until Sunday December 24 2017

Showtunes at Sidetrack

It may not be a dance party, but it's a hell of a sing-along. Sidetrack's thrice-weekly sessions of videos from Broadway and Hollywood musicals—Sundays from 4 to 9pm, Mondays from 8pm to close and Fridays from 5 to 9pm—are among the longest running attractions in Boystown. At Musical Mondays, you can often find cast members from visiting touring musicals and local productions present to perform previews of their shows.

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Sidetrack , Boystown Until Friday June 29 2018

Deep Dish

This bimonthly body-positive Berlin bash features deep house and free pizza. What more can you ask for in a dance party?

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Berlin , Lake View Monday May 1 2017 - Monday June 19 2017

Woof Wednesday

Unleash your inhibitions and harness your gear fetish as Halsted's most mainstream bar slaps on some leather every first Wednesday of the month.

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Sidetrack , Boystown Wednesday May 3 2017 - Wednesday June 6 2018