Celebrating Pride Month – June 2024

Pride Month 2024 (2)

Celebrating Pride Month – June 2024

Jun 1, 2024

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Pride Month, observed annually in June, celebrates and commemorates the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people. Chicago was one of the first cities to recognize Pride, holding its first Pride Parade on June 27, 1970 – just one year after the Stonewall uprising. The 2024 theme for Chicago Pride is “Pride is Power.” In the tradition of historic Stonewall figures like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, this month’s spotlight focuses on opportunities to donate money, items, or volunteer time to LGBTQ+ causes – especially those that empower LGBTQ+ youth.

Donation & Volunteer Opportunities


Why is matters: For many transgender and gender non-conforming individuals, a new wardrobe is a bigstep in socially transitioning. However, it can be an expensive hurdle to gender affirming expression, especially for teenagers and young adults.

Queer Clothing Swap Collaboration

Chicago-based charities like Out of the Closet take new and gently used clothing to specifically help the LGBTQIA+ community embrace and facilitate their gender conforming identities. Out of the Closet also accepts donations year-round at their donation drop boxes or by scheduled pickup with coordinator Annie Hex; click here for more details.

The Dignity Suite at Brave Space Alliance

The Dignity Suite is a gender affirming community closet run by the Brave Space Alliance, a Black-led, trans-led LGBTQ+ center on the south side of Chicago. The Dignity Suite is open to people of all gender identities and expressions and offers makeup services and wigs as well as clothing items. Contact Services Supervisor T. Smith at tee@bravespacealliance.org to inquire about donations.

Partner in Pride Wellness Center

This Bolingbrook based wellness center for LGBTQIA+ provides counseling, letters of readiness for transformative treatments and procedure, workshops and clothing to support the health and wellbeing for persons in Chicago land area, Will, Kendall and DuPage County. Clothing donations are done by appointment and can be scheduled here.


Why it matters: 2023 saw record numbers of attempted book bans in libraries across the country – often explicitly targeting LGBTQ+ stories. According to the American Library Association, 7 of the year’s 10 most frequently challenged titles were objected to because of LGBTQ+ themes and content.

Gerber/Hart Library & Archives

The Gerber/Hart Library & Archives collects, preserves, and provides access to LGBTQ+ history and culture in Chicago and the Midwest. It includes both a historic primary source archive and a public lending library that offers books, ebooks, audiovisual media, and public programming. Check out their Bookshop.org wish list to help grow their collection (proceeds benefit local independent bookstores).

Unite Against Book Bans

The Illinois Library Association has joined a coalition of library organizations devoted to preserving intellectual freedom at the local level. This group develops Regional Response Teams to provide immediate support to libraries and schools faced with book challenges. If you’re interested in joining one of these teams in your area, check out their volunteer application.

Rainbow Café LGBTQ Center

Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center in Carbondale prioritizes a holistic model of community care to support LGBTQIA+ people of all ages, backgrounds, and identities. The Café allows you to check out books completely free. Any book that you would like to donate can be done so by reaching out to the librarians at library@rainbowcafe.org.

Community Services

Why it matters: LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than their straight/cisgender peers. They are also at increased risk of related health concerns, including malnutrition, infection, substance abuse, chronic illness, and mental health disorders. Providing housing, healthcare, and mental/emotional support to LGBTQ+ young people is life-saving work.

Center of Halsted

Center on Halsted offers a wide variety of services to the LGBTQ+ community in Chicago, including food services, community programming, therapy and mental health services, anti-violence advocacy, HIV prevention and treatment, a community garden, and more. They serve community members of all ages and take volunteers for all kinds of programs. To find out more about volunteer opportunities, click here.

Howard Brown Health

Howard Brown Health has a long history healthcare and advocacy in the LGBTQ+ community, especially in terms of combating HIV/AIDS and gender-affirming care. Their Broadway Youth Center offers housing assistance, integrated healthcare and social services. Learn more about donating or volunteering with Howard Brown Health at their website.

Big Brothers Big Sisters

Big Brothers Big Sisters is a company that provides high quality 1:1 mentoring services to almost 2,000 children and their families in Metro Chicago across four counties: Cook, DuPage and Lake Counties in Illinois and Indiana. The organization takes additional steps to appropriately match littles with mentors who can properly support littles in the LGBTQIA+ community by educating mentors on how to support someone in coming out, knowing terms and dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation questions. Learn more about donating and volunteering at https://bbbschgo.org/volunteer/.


American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom. (2024). Censorship by the Numbers. https://www.ala.org/bbooks/censorship-numbers, Brave Space Alliance. (2024). The Dignity Suite. https://bravespacealliance.org/resources/gender-affirming-resources/the-dignity-suite/, Center on Halsted. (n.d.). Volunteer at Center on Halsted! https://www.centeronhalsted.org/volunteer.html, Gerber/Hart LGBTQ+ Library and Archives. (2024). Material Donations. https://gerberhart.org/material-donations/, Howard Brown Health. (n.d.). Get Involved: Volunteer. https://howardbrown.org/get-involved/volunteer/, Illinois Library Association. (2024). Unite Against Book Bans in Illinois. https://www.ila.org/advocacy/unite-against-book-bans-in-illinois, National Network for Youth. (2023). LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness Policy Brief. https://nn4youth.org/wp-content/uploads/23-LGBTQ-Policy-Brief.pdf, Out of the Closet. (n.d.). Donation Boxes. https://www.outoftheclosetcharity.org/donation-boxes, Out of the Closet Charity. (n.d.). Queer Clothing Swap Collaboration [Facebook page]. Facebook. Retrieved June 4, 2024 from https://www.facebook.com/events/s/queer-clothing-swap-collaborat/3584830648500232, Pride in the Park Chicago. (2023, April 29). The Evolution of Pride in Chicago. https://prideparkchi.com/news/the-evolution-of-pride-in-chicago/, LGBT Closet. (n.d.). Partners in Pride. Retrieved June 18, 2024, from https://mypartnersinpride.com/community/lgbt-closet/, Home. (n.d.). Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Center. https://www.rainbowcafe.org/, Volunteer. (n.d.). Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Chicago. https://bbbschgo.org/volunteer/