By Frank Burgos
Originally published June 29, 1991
What a difference two decades and change make.
When gays and lesbians planning a parade 22 years ago invited then-Mayor Richard J. Daley, all they got in reply was stony silence.
“We received no response,” said Richard W. Pfeiffer, coordinator of the 1991 Gay & Lesbian Pride Week parade. “Not even a `yes’ or a `no.’ ”
Tomorrow, when the parade winds through the Lakeview and Lincoln Park neighborhoods, Mayor Richard M. Daley, will be somewhere at the head of the line.
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Along with him will be dozens of politicians, including Illinois Attorney General Roland W. Burris, Illinois Treasurer Patrick Quinn, State Comptroller Dawn Clark Netsch, and Cook County State’s Attorney Jack O’Malley.
The parade, which in recent years has become a magnet for politicians looking for votes, is also expected to draw 100,000 people including, for the first time, a sizable number of gay groups from small Midwestern towns.
“We’re finding small-town America gay and lesbian people beginning to organize,” said Pfeiffer. “We’re getting a lot of entries from small-town America,” including Peoria and Du Page and McHenry counties.
About 175 organizations, ranging from Gay Republicans to Queer Nation, will march in the parade, which began here after gays in New York City fought back during a 1969 police raid of a gay bar there, igniting the Gay Liberation movement.
The parade will start at 2 p.m. at Halsted and Roscoe, head north on Halsted to Broadway, proceed south on Broadway and finish at Diversey and Lakeview. A rally will follow at 3:30 p.m. north of North Pond in Lincoln Park near Diversey and Sheridan.