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Trans Joy and Chicago’s Transgender Community

Friday, March 31, 2023, 6–9:00 p.m.

Over the past several years, the United States has witnessed an unprecedented increase in proposed laws that would limit the rights of members of the transgender and nonbinary communities, with the Human Rights Campaign calling 2021 the “most anti-transgender state legislative season in history.” Many bills have specifically targeted transgender youth, aimed at preventing them from engaging in sports and accessing gender-affirming health care. Illinois, however, has often been at the forefront of LGBTQIA+ rights, stemming all the way back to 1924 with the founding of the Society for Human Rights, the nation’s first known gay organization.  


Thanks to the support of dedicated community members, allies, and organizations, Illinois now has several laws aimed at protecting and supporting the LGBTQIA+ community, especially youth. Organizations such as the Brave Space Alliance, Center on Halsted, Howard Brown Health, Equality Illinois, and many more, have laid the foundation for LGBTQIA+ youth—especially young transgender and nonbinary folks—to grow up with greater levels of support than ever before.


And while there are still many concerns, the members of OUT at CHM feel it is important to highlight these success stories, moments of joy, and to remember how we were able to get to this point. 


$20; $15 members

Upcoming Events

PANELISTS

Chicago History Museum visitors are no longer required to show proof of vaccination. While masks are recommended and appreciated, they are no longer required. Learn more about the Museum’s safety policies and procedures.

This International Transgender Day of Visibility, please join us at the Museum to learn about these stories through a panel discussion with:

  • Avi Bowie (he/him/his), clinical social work/therapist, MA, LCSW
  • Bonsai Bermúdez (they/them/theirs), cofounder and executive artistic director of Youth Empowerment Performance Project

Following a conversation with a parent and their transgender child moderated by Gearah Goldstein, inclusion and diversity consultant and LGBTQ subject matter expert, the evening concludes with a reception. 

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.


This popular and provocative series delves into the storied history of Chicago’s LGBTQ communities. 

See Past Events

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 chronicle how the dynamic forces that made Chicago the great American city also fostered the development of its diverse LGBT communities.

Thank You to Our Sponsors

Major support for Out at CHM comes from the Exelon Corporation with additional support from Robert Kohl and Clark Pellett, Kenneth O’Keefe and Jason Stephens, and the Richard L. Ohlhausen Education Fund.

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