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The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

The Student News Site of University of Chicago Laboratory High School

U-High Midway

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PRIDEChicago parade listening to public, striving for inclusivity

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Midway Staff
Reporter Haley Maharry argues that while PRIDEChicago shouldn’t have excluded some schools representing LGBTQ+ students, the organization is taking the right steps to correct their mistakes

Loud music, bright colors, and happy people fill the streets of Chicago every June for Chicago’s Pride Parade. The parade is always a huge celebration that packs the streets with people that covers the city with rainbows and streamers.

This year’s Pride Parade, set for June 30, has faced some serious challenges. Due to new city legislation, the parade will be shorter this year, cutting down the number of parade participating groups by 35%. All of the schools that had marched in 2023 were cut from the parade. This caused outrage among the school community and general public, because while these schools representing their LGBTQ+ students were denied entry, groups like the White Sox, Rush University Medical Center and Dream Town Real Estate were accepted. Due to the intense backlash about the situation, PRIDEChicago, the organization that runs the parade, announced the six schools would be allowed to march in a single joint entry.

This act shows how the Chicago Pride Parade organization is listening to the public, and is actively correcting for mistakes and trying to make themselves better. 

An argument could be made that the organization is just trying to gloss over and cover up its mistake because of the public outrage. The Pride Parade organization saw that people were accusing them of only being interested in money, because some of the remaining organizations in the parade were paying a lot of money to be there, so they waived the entry fee for the combined school group.

While I don’t agree with some of their decisions for who to keep and who to cut, they listened to the public. PRIDEChicago wasn’t going to be affected much by the backlash received for denying the schools.The event is big enough and celebrated enough that even if people got mad it wouldn’t change the attendance or enthusiasm. 

PRIDEChicago didn’t have to remedy the situation. It could’ve played the “Chicago regulation” card, but instead they came up with a creative solution that satisfied both the public and Chicago law.

While waiving the fee for the school group’s entry was the right choice, this doesn’t get rid of the concern that PRIDEChicago was factoring in money when choosing the entries. However, waiving the fee is a step in the right direction, and is a promise for next year’s parade to be more fair. 

For future years, PRIDEChicago should avoid situations like this and actually prioritize LGBTQ+ organizations and people when choosing who should be accepted to march in the parade. While I don’t doubt Dream Town Real Estate’s dedication to the community, I think that having schools participate is far more important, especially for LGBTQ+ youth who will see kids like them marching in the parade.

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About the Contributor
Haley Maharry
Haley Maharry, Reporter
Haley Maharry is a member of the Class of 2024, and serves as a reporter. Her favorite piece she has done is an audio story called “Fencing team members find new opportunity in fencing P.E. elective.” Outside of journalism, Haley listens to horror podcasts and acts in U-High's theater.

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