"The meaning of this community to the larger LGBTQ diaspora cannot be understated," said Mayor Lori Lightfoot.
Lightfoot and other LGBTQ elected officials gathered at a Monday morning event sponsored by the Legacy Project, which promotes the contributions of the LGBTQ community to world history and culture. The organization's most notable project is the Legacy Walk, where rainbow pylons with a total of 40 biographical markers line a half mile stretch of North Halsted.
"Anyone who takes the Legacy Walk will have their breath taken away by the rich history of the LGBTQ community here in Chicago," the mayor said.
The event served to uplift the community, but also to give some time to share personal stories, reflect on how the neighborhood brought them together, and why the project exists..
"I attempted suicide when I was 18 years old, so I totally get it, and that's why this project exists," said Victor Salvo of the Legacy Project.
"I was looking for a place to belong," said Precious Brady-Davis, LGBTQ activist. "And I know that's true for so many young people today."
It was also a call to action and a challenge for LGBTQ activists to stay the course.
"We cannot sit back and relax," said State Rep. Greg Harris (D-IL 13th). "We've got to be vigilant, because our enemies are out there."
The Legacy Project plans to rotate the bronze plaques to make room for more tributes to icons in the LGBTQ community.