Common Ground to participate in Pride Parade


Victoria Street

Michelle Nance, the president of Common Ground, Columbia’s LGBTQ student organization, decorates a T-shirt for the June 29 Gay Pride Parade in Chicago in preparation for Common Ground’s participation in the event.

By Victoria Street

While most of Columbia’s student organizations are inactive during the summer semester, Common Ground, the college’s LGBTQ-interest organization, is still planning events.

Common Ground will participate in the 45th Annual Chicago Pride Parade on June 29. Members of Common Ground will be passing out promotional gear and informational flyers about  the organization.

Jessica Paul, a fiction writing major, member of Common Ground and the president of Queer Type, an LGBTQ writer’s organization on campus, said that people who have never been to pride can expect a lot of “queer culture, drag queens and nakedness.”

Paul said that Pride will be more important than in previous years because of the increasing frequency of the legalization of gay marriage.

“I think it’s going to be more love and more pride because all that we’ve been fighting for has become reality,” Paul said.

Each year Common Ground selects a theme for its participation in Pride. This year, the organization selected Pokémon as its theme and prepared for Pride with a t-shirt making workshop, using puff paint to decorate attire.

Paul said the members of Common Ground want to increase their visibility on campus as well as draw more attention to the organization in the city.

“[Common Ground] just wants people to know that we’re here and we’re queer,” Paul said.

Raina McKinely, president of the Black Film Society and a Common Ground member, will participate in Pride Parade for the first time this year. She said she’s looking forward to seeing LGBTQ people celebrate queer culture together.

“You can always go to Boystown and see queer people, but Pride is the one time they are all together,” McKinely said.

The parade will begin in the Boystown neighborhood of Lakeview at noon at the intersection of North Broadway and Montrose Avenue. The parade will then head south, farther into the Boystown neighborhood. The parade is expected to end at 4 p.m.