Thousands are expected to attend this year’s Pride at Montrose event on Sunday, June 26 from 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. on Cricket Hill near Montrose Harbor.
This year, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Brother’s Health Collective, Affinity Community Services, and Black Treatment Advocates Network, in partnership with AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC)’s PrEP4Love and Project Elevate, will ensure the continuation of this legendary festival held annually on Chicago Pride Parade Day.
“We’re here to continue this important celebration for our community,” said Cynthia Tucker, vice president of prevention and community partnerships at AFC. Tucker and AFC have led this year’s event operations.
The day will feature curated DJ sets and performances from Ruff N Stuff, Otis Mack, Trina TruLuv, Gemini Jones, Slo ‘Mo Party, Chances Dances, GUCCIROXX, Kaycee Ortiz and Derrick Carter.
"Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus is proud to be part of Pride at Montrose, the historic Black same-gender loving festival, as a supporter and community advisor,” said Erik Glenn, executive director, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus.
“Every event this pride season is an opportunity for us to celebrate the strength in our lives and hold space for Black, same gender-loving people to be unapologetically who we are," Glenn added.
An offshoot of the Black Pride celebration held annually since the 1990s, Pride at Montrose celebrates Black LGBTQ history through entertainment and powers the community’s future through a robust health village. Meningitis vaccinations provided by the Chicago Department of Public Health, HIV/STI testing from the Ruth M. Rothstein CORE Center, and information on the Red Ribbon Cash Instant lottery ticket will be available. AFC’s PrEP4Love and Project Elevate campaigns will be on hand to negate the impact of HIV and AIDS among Chicago’s Black, same-gender loving community with new technology and strategies.
In the wake of the horrific massacre in Orlando against an LGBTQ club on the morning of June 12, security efforts will be ramped up for this year's event. “We have met with Alderman James Cappleman’s office (46th Ward) to continue the partnership established last year, and we have hired McCaster Security Services to provide more than 20 officers at the gates and within the fence on-premise," said Tucker. "The Chicago Police Department is also providing added officers around the perimeter. We want to ensure a safe and celebratory environment.”
For more information, visit pride.prep4love.com.
HIV/AIDS in the African-American Community and in Chicago
Although African-Americans make up only 12% of the population, they account for an estimated 44% of all new HIV infections among adults and adolescents ages 13 years or older. According to the CDC's last census in 2010, 36% of an estimated 29,800 new HIV infections were among African-American gay, bisexual and same-gender loving men, and African-American women accounted for 6,100 (29%) of the estimated new HIV infections among all adults and adolescents, with most new HIV infections among heterosexual African-American women (87% or 5,300).