Pride Parade makeover

19 ways to make the Boystown event even better.

Organizers of Chicago’s Pride Parade have finally come to the conclusion attendees did years ago: The route, including that hairpin turn at Halsted and Broadway, causes float and pedestrian traffic jams equivalent to L.A.’s carmageddon. On Sunday 24, a new, straighter route will prevent float bottlenecks, while six official crosswalks will make it easier—and safer—to rendezvous with friends. These changes got us thinking: How else could one of our favorite events be even more glorious? From the daydreamy to the somewhat-reality-based, our ideas could make for a more perfect Pride.

1. Make Hot Cops a reality outside of Arrested Development. We’ve seen the police in serious NATO gear, but this occasion is more festive. We’re thinking an updated version of the cop from the Village People meets Rhythm Nation: a hot pink, tight uniform (short shorts are fine), aviators, cap and whistle. Bonus points for any cop who breaks into a dance while warding off drunk people and protesters.—Kevin Aeh

2. Move the parade to Saturday. It sounds sacrilegious, but it works in D.C., Baltimore and San Diego. Because Pride Fest rocks Boystown until 10pm on Saturday, the switch could reduce debauchery by giving paradegoers something more constructive to do post-Pride than barhopping. And who hasn’t taken a vacation day the Monday after Pride because they were too hungover to go to work? This way, Sunday would become recovery day and Monday becomes far more productive.—Jason A. Heidemann

3. Shhh…don’t tell the straights about our Shadow Pride. How awesome that all our parents, friends, friends of friends and friends of friends of friends who love any excuse to day-drink show up to support our Parade! (Pssst, queers: Let’s have a Shadow Pride for LGBT folks only. Card-carrying queers only. And you will be carded.)—Novid Parsi

4. Alleviate racial tension with a unified float. While the Boystown bars attract mostly white, middle-class gays, each with a hundred bucks to drop for a night of boozing, the neighborhood’s Center on Halsted and Broadway Youth Center draw kids of color from the South and West Sides who need a safe place to be queer. It’s no secret the former population hasn’t always welcomed the latter with open arms. A way to broker peace: Put the two groups on one float and call it Not-White-Boys-Only-Town.—Novid Parsi


5. Stuff all the politicians in a clown car. The number of glad-handing politicos, many of whom we’ve never heard of or whose gay-rights ideology is murky, seems to multiply every year. We say cram ’em all in a clown car that stops periodically, allowing them to race out, shake some hands and jump back in. And how about they ditch the gray slacks and button-downs and show a little more skin? Who doesn’t want to see Pat Quinn in a Speedo?—Laura Baginski

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