Our Story

    The Chicago History Museum is a platform for community voices that preserve the past and mold the future. To us, Chicago is more than just a city – it is a living historical entity, as dynamic as ever, always inviting exploration.

 One of the main directives of the OUT at CHM committee is to tell the stories of people who live a range of sexual identities and gender expressions within the larger urban context of Chicago and to discuss how and why the physical body matters to LGBT history; the evolution of the queer family; the interaction of people in social spaces with political consequences; and the queer body politic, a movement full of promise and struggle.

Now in its fifteenth year, this popular and provocative series delves into the storied history of Chicago’s LGBTQ communities. This season, the programs explore the connections between activism of the past and today and how calls to action propel cultural disruption.

Upcoming Programming

How it's Written

March 27 | 6:30PM program, reception to follow

Who tells our histories and how? This panel discussion will explore
the nonlinear story of LGBTQ people in Chicago and beyond
from eras during which little was written down about that history
(beyond police records and lurid headlines).

Out of This World

April 24 | 6:30PM program, reception to follow

Join the Museum, local authors, and scholars to explore the vibrant
history of LGBTQ themes in Speculative Fiction (science fiction,
comics, and fantasy). Journey with us and go beyond the binary
and hetero-normative!

Quiet as as Riot

June 12 | 6:30PM program, reception to follow

Save the date! Discover the storied history of Chicago’s LGBTQ communities with the Museum’s popular and proactive series.

See past


Fifteen years of stories of promises,

struggles, triumphs and explorations.

Learn more about our previous programs, panelists, exhibitions and join the conversation yourself on our Facebook page.

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Interested in LGBT History in Chicago?

Learn more about

LGBT History at the Crossroads

In a collection of essays, the history of Chicago's lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities is explored by leading historians and scholars.  Spanning the 1850s to the present, essays chronical how the dynamic forces that made Chicago the great American city also fostered the development of its diverse LGBT communities

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