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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


Chances Dances

Accept no substitutes. This mega-inclusive party kicked off a renaissance in indie queer nightlife and is still thriving a decade later.

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Saturday December 17 2016 - Saturday June 17 2017

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 December 15 2016 - Thursday June 15 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 January 13 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 December 21 2016 - 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 25 2016

Off Chances

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

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Danny's Tavern , Bucktown Tuesday December 13 2016 - Tuesday June 13 2017

Live Animals

Local dragpreneurs Trannika Rex and Lucy Stoole join forces for this monthly drag show that also features live music.

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Beauty Bar , River West/West Town Wednesday December 21 2016 - Wednesday June 21 2017

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 December 19 2016 - Monday June 19 2017