Move forward again

Pride 2017 takes a stand against regressive politics

Revelers at 2016’s Chico Pride Variety Show at the Chico Women’s Club.

Revelers at 2016’s Chico Pride Variety Show at the Chico Women’s Club.

Photo by Natasha Root (<a href=""></a>)

Chico Pride 2017
For info on all of this year’s Pride events, see CN&R’s This Week calendar (this page), Nightlife calendar (page 34) and visit

In many ways, it feels as if the United States is going in reverse when it comes to human rights—banning transgender people from the military, Nazi salutes in the streets, etc. So, for Pride 2017, Chico’s Stonewall Alliance has grabbed the wheel and shifted gears. With the theme of this year’s series of events—“Let’s Get Back to the Future”—Chico Pride has taken stock of the current political climate in America and made a commitment to “respond accordingly to the needs of our community in moving forward.”

According to Stonewall center coordinator Alyssa Larson, this is the biggest Pride yet, and the scope of this year’s programming shows how energized advocacy groups have become in the face of regressions in human rights. Here are a few highlights from the Pride 2017 calendar. Join the party and the fight.

Queer Justice Is Racial Justice

Tonight, Aug. 17, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

According to Larson, Stonewall is making efforts to be even more inclusive and reach out to more people of color and any other marginalized people “who don’t have the opportunity to have their stories told.” In addition to those efforts being reflected in a more diverse schedule of performers at this year’s events, Pride 2017 kicks off with a guided discussion focused on people of color in the LGBT community. It will be an open forum, punctuated by presentations by spoken-word performers, with the stated aim “to learn, brainstorm, and identify clear ways that LGBTQ-plus community members and allies can effectively promote racial justice.” All are welcome to join in. Refreshments will be served.

Chico Peace & Justice Center, 526 Broadway.

Pride Variety Show

Friday, Aug. 18, 8 p.m., $10-$15

One the hallmarks of Chico Pride, it’s a showcase of performing artists of all media—including singers, dancers and spoken-word artists—and is highlighted by a cavalcade of drag performers. In addition to featuring Chico’s homegrown drag acts, the program includes kings and queens from other parts of the country, with this year’s spotlight on a couple of kings—Florida’s Spikey Van Dykey and former Nor Cal (now Las Vegas) performer Noel August as Tucker Noir—who will be co-hosting as well as performing. “Spikey is known around the world as the pioneer of modern drag-kinging,” said August (who is also directing the show) via Facebook message. “He has been performing for 15 years … He’s been on Transfashionable, in the Huffington Post and has an upcoming Elle spread.”

The variety show’s theme this year is sci-fi, and attendees are encouraged to dress accordingly—“alien couture,” as it were.

Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St.

Chico Pride Festival

Saturday, Aug. 19, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

The centerpiece Pride event is a multifaceted community celebration in the center of Chico, with speakers, live music, water-fountain dancers, vendors and information booths. New for this year: mini floats—decorated wheelbarrows and wagons parading around the plaza.

Chico City Plaza

Fierce & Fun Queer Sounds

Saturday, Aug. 19, 2-6 p.m., $5-$10

If anyone is having a hard time getting worked up over social injustice in America, a little pissed-off queercore might just do the trick. This afternoon warm-up show for the evening’s dance doubles as a beer garden for the simultaneous festivities at City Plaza, and will feature S.F. queer punks Homobile as well as local acts Deadname (queercore), Scout (ambient electro-rap indie-pop), The Hecks and more.

Chico Women’s Club, 592 E. Third St.