What does the #amazingforall state have on offer for those looking to explore Illinois’ QTIPOC community and Black History?


Illinois has a reputation for being one of the most LGBTQI-friendly states in the US and, recently, it’s been making queer, Black history as well.

Here, we took a closer look at what the state has on offer for visitors during (British) Black History Month 2019.

Lori Lightfoot

Did you know that Lori Lightfoot is Chicago’s first Black, openly lesbian mayor of the city? On 2 April 2019, she not only became mayor of the largest city to be run by an LGBTQI person, but also the largest city to be headed by a woman. After winning, she kissed her wife Amy Eshleman on stage during the election night party. (I’m not crying, you’re crying…)

The couple has a daughter and lives on Chicago’s North Side. 

Lori Lightfoot and her wife Amy Eshleman. Credit here.

The Chi

Speaking of lez/bi legends from Illinois, Lena Waithe’s drama series The Chi is set in the South Side of Chicago where the writer grew up herself. Although the show is not autobiographical, it conveys an authentic portrayal of black life in Chicago.

Prep for your visit with The Chi’s Rules Of The South Side.

Chicago Black Social Culture Map

On 19 October 2019, the Chicago Black Social Culture Map (CBSCM) hosts an event exploring queer nightlife and black, LGBTQ history. In their own words, the CBSCM exists to preserve Chicago’s black social cultural lineage – past, present, and future – through an experience that is both fun and informative.

Register for Northside Queer Nightlife & Youth Culture event here.

DuSable Museum Of African American History

Unlucky enough to catch one of Chicago’s 125 rainy days? Plan a visit to The DuSable Museum of African American History! The museum’s aim is to, “Promote understanding and inspire appreciation of the achievements, contributions, and experiences of African Americans through exhibits, programs, and activities that illustrate African and African American history, culture and art.”

Currently, the museum is exhibiting the art of artist and cultural leader Dr Margaret T. Burroughs from 1960-1980. Grab your tickets here.


When the weather has brightened up again, you should definitely go for a stroll through Bronzeville, Chicago’s equivalent of New York’s Harlem.

Historically known as “Black Metropolis”, the neighbourhood is a centre of African American life and culture. Iconic jazz musicians such as Nat King Cole and Louis Armstrong have lived and worked here. (Count us in…)

Want more on LGBTQI Illinois? Visit enjoyillinois.co.uk/amazingforall

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