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Fortune Feimster & Jax Smith Named Grand Marshals for 2024 Chicago Pride Parade 

The celebrity comedienne and her wife will join Community Grand Marshals, Art Johnston & Jose ‘Pepe’ Pena and Myles & Precious Brady-Davis 

PRIDEChicago, the all-volunteer organization behind the iconic Chicago Pride Parade for over 50 years, announces the selection of comedienne, Fortune Feimster and her wife Jax Smith as Grand Marshals for the 2024 Chicago Pride Parade on Sunday, June 30th starting at 11 a.m. 

Fortune Feimster, a beloved stand-up comedian, writer, and actor, along with her wife Jax, will lead the procession, bringing their infectious energy and inspiring love story to the heart of Chicago’s LGBTQ+ community. With her trademark humor and relatable storytelling, Fortune Feimster has captivated audiences worldwide. Her two one-hour Netflix specials, “Sweet & Salty” and “Good Fortune,” have garnered critical acclaim and accolades, including nominations at the Critics’ Choice Awards. Feimster’s comedic prowess transcends barriers of age, background, and sexual orientation, fostering unity through laughter. In addition to standup, Feimster co-stars alongside Arnold Schwarzenegger in the hit action-comedy series FUBAR on Netflix. She also co-hosts the very popular podcast Handsome with Tig Notaro and Mae Martin.  

“We are honored to be named the Grand Marshals for Chicago Pride,” said Feimster. “Chicago holds a special place in our hearts—it’s home to a great comedy scene and home to the best audiences. It’s also where Jax and I first met nine years ago, during Pride. As we celebrate our community and our anniversary, it feels like a beautiful full-circle moment.” 

The couple’s love story began at Chicago Pride in 2015, just days after the Supreme Court’s historic ruling for nationwide marriage equality. Since then, they have shared a journey of love and commitment, culminating in their marriage in October 2020. 

PRIDEChicago also announces the selection of two additional loving couples to serve as Community Grand Marshals: 

Chicago activist and bar owner Art Johnston and his partner in life and business, Jose “Pepe” Pena. The couple, who have been together for 50 years, helped create community – opening the iconic gay bar Sidetrack in 1982 – and fueled a civil rights movement that is still active today. Johnston was an important organizer in passage of Chicago and Cook County human rights legislation and was a co-founder of the Illinois Federation for Human Rights, now known as Equality Illinois. The duo, nationally recognized LGBTQ+ civil rights leaders, are also the subject of an award-winning feature documentary, ART AND PEP. 

Longtime LGBTQ+ activists, community organizers and high-profile transgender couple Myles and Precious Brady-Davis. Myles Brady-Davis is communications director of Equality Illinois and Precious Brady-Davis recently became the first Black transgender person appointed to public office in Cook County as well as the first trans person to serve on a water reclamation board in U.S. history. Precious wrote the best-selling book, I Have Always Been Me. The couple married in 2016 and are now raising two beautiful children. 

For over 50 years the Chicago Pride Parade has been a source of inspiration, collective strength, and a moniker of our past and present. The birth of our movement started with black and brown trans folks at the center, and we intend to honor that legacy and stand on their shoulders at this moment.”  


Precious Brady-Davis

The 53rd annual Chicago Pride Parade starts at 11 a.m., Sunday, June 30th 2024 and will travel through Chicago’s landmark LGBTQ+ neighborhood of Lakeview. Themed “Pride is Power,” the parade promises to be a celebration of love, unity, and resilience, reflecting the incredible culture and spirit of the LGBTQ+ community. For more information, visit PRIDEChicago.org

The parade serves as the crowning event of Pride Month in Chicago, capping off a series of celebrations that unite our diverse community. Among these is the highly anticipated 23rd annual Chicago Pride Fest, taking place on June 22nd and 23rd, 2024. The two-day street festival is organized by the Northalsted Business Alliance chamber of commerce. For further details, visit Northalsted.com

Press materials, including images, are available for download here.  

About PRIDEChicago 

PRIDEChicago is a vibrant and dynamic volunteer-powered organization founded by Richard Pfeiffer in 1974. We are proud to have produced the annual Chicago Pride Parade for 50 years. We believe that diversity, equity and inclusion are paramount. 

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