Why Berwyn? Because we thrive on our diversity and inclusion. The City of Berwyn proudly sports Berwyn Pride, welcoming the LGBTQ community to our progressive city with open arms.
Berwyn proudly supports Pride Parade & Northalsted Market Days
The City of Berwyn sent a team of community representatives to participate in the annual Pride Parade. City ambassadors also gear up for their annual booth at Northalsted Market Days, which the City of Berwyn has sponsored and participated in for the past ten years.
In June 2016, Alderman Marge Paul and the LGBTQ community in Berwyn coordinated a city-wide vigil for those slain in the Orlando mass shooting. Hundreds of residents gathered at Serenity Park to reflect and heal as we mourned the senseless act of ignorance and violence that took 49 lives at Pulse nightclub and shook our nation.
Berwyn ranks #3 in suburbs for same-sex couples
For the past decade, Berwyn’s demographics have been changing. In 2011, the Williams Institute of UCLA released a study that shows Berwyn among the top 5 cities in the state of Illinois with same-sex couples per 1,000 households. What’s more, Berwyn was ranked #3 for total number of same-sex couples in Cook County outside of the City of Chicago, just behind Oak Park and Evanston. Between the 2000 and 2010 Census, Berwyn had a 41% increase in households reporting same-sex couples.
Berwyn ranks #3 in suburbs for same-sex marriage
When the 2014 federal ruling called for immediate enactment of Illinois’ Marriage Equality law, Berwyn was among the suburbs that issued a significant number of same-sex marriage licenses. According to an article by Windy City Times, licenses were issued in 55 suburbs. Consistent with census demographics, Berwyn again ranked #3 for the most same-sex marriage licenses issued, just behind bedfellows Evanston and Oak Park. In early 2015, Cook County Clerk David Orr‘s office confirmed that Berwyn maintained its #3 rank among suburbs in issuing same-sex marriage licenses.
South Berwyn School District 100 wins Ally of the Year Award
Even Berwyn’s school districts realize the absolute need for inclusion in schools. Teachers in Berwyn’s District 100 received training where they learned about the importance of acceptance and creating safe-spaces for the school’s LGBTQ students. District 100 also became the first elementary school in Illinois to have a comprehensive policy on how to include its LGBTQ students and support gender-transitions by offering options like gender-neutral bathrooms. Illinois Safe School Alliance gave District 100 the Ally of the Year award in 2015 “for spearheading an LGBTQ taskforce to implement a comprehensive policy to ensure that students in gender transition will be supported, in addition to providing training to teachers, staff and administrators, and increasing the inclusive nature of their curriculum.”
Berwyn takes action to protect sexual orientation and gender identity
It’s no surprise that the LGBTQ community has grown as the City has taken public efforts to codify its value for inclusion. In June 2008, the City of Berwyn added “sexual orientation” to its newly adopted Human Rights Ordinance. Four years later, in June 2012, the City of Berwyn passed a resolution supporting equal access to housing regardless of “sexual orientation or gender identity.”
As Berwyn grows in the 21st century, its traditionally hard-working, middle-class, mostly blue collar families, who were admittedly conservative in their outlook, are being joined by young, professional families and a growing population of LGBTQ residents.
June 2017 declared Pride Month by City of Berwyn
On June 13, 2017, the City of Berwyn proclaimed June 2017 to be Pride Month. In the proclamation, the city honored BUNGALO, a local organization working to improve the quality of life and empower gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender residents of Berwyn.
The full proclamation can be read here.