A Q & A with the People Who Make DTOP A Welcoming  LGBTQIA2S+ Community


Event & Marketing Manager
Downtown Oak Park Business Alliance


Q – What drew you to working in DTOP?

“I knew I wanted to be involved in the DTOP community because it is diverse, socially conscious, and has a very welcoming vibe,” she explained.

Q – What does Pride Month mean to you?

According to Jayne, “Pride Month is an opportunity to celebrate the fact that our community has fought and overcome many challenges. It is a chance for us to come together, be authentically ourselves, and appreciate the beautiful spectrum of individuals that make up our world.”

Q- Is there a DTOP event geared toward the LGBTQIA2-S+ community for Pride Month?

 “Pride Night! I was so thrilled that the community embraced DTOP’s first Pride Night last year, making it the best-attended TNO ever! It makes all the hard work behind the scenes worth it when I get to see everyone celebrating together.”


Be sure to mark your calendars!

During Pride Month, Thursday Night Out will host PRIDE NITE on June 20 from 5 to 8 PM. For all the details, visit ThursdayNightOut.com.

Dr. Stephen Whitfield

Lake Street Family Physicians

Q – Why did you decide to practice medicine in DTOP?

“I chose to join the Lake Street team for several reasons, but probably the most important one is that everyone working here is so kind and dedicated to caring for the people in our community. It’s a privilege to work with such an amazing team.”

Q – Why do you choose to specialize in medical care for the LGBTQIA2-S+ community?

“My passion for providing care to queer and trans folks emerges from my desire to be a small part of moving our healthcare system toward equity. As many people know, the healthcare system as a whole often fails to provide high-quality and respectful care to people from marginalized communities,” explained Dr. Whitfield. “I want all my patients to know that when they talk to me, they will be seen and respected. Learning to provide gender-affirming care just felt like a natural part of that process.”

Want to book an appointment?

Dedicated to addressing healthcare disparities and promoting inclusivity, Dr. Whitfield provides comprehensive care for patients of all ages. Fluent in Spanish, he strives to ensure that every patient receives culturally competent treatment.

For more information or to book an appointment, please visit Lake Street Family Physicians.

Victoria Vasconcellos


Q – Why did you select DTOP for your business?

 “I chose Oak Park because it had a vibrant shopping area with a population I felt would benefit from the tobacco harm reduction services we offer.”  

Q – Why did you open Cignot?

 “ When I started my company 15 years ago, it was because I was a 33-year smoker who had tried to quit for at least 10 of those years. Vaping was the only thing that worked. Every smoker should know they have this option to assist them in their quit-smoking journey,” she explained.

Q – What does Pride Month mean to you?

Pride month is a celebration of how far we have come from the ‘Silence = Death’ days.”

Q – What are your favorite places to explore in DTOP?

“Most recently, I had a laughter-filled evening at the Comedy Plex, and I seem always to be craving my new-found guilty pleasure, the turkey/gouda croissant from Sugar Fixé Pâtisserie.”

If you have questions about Cignot or want to stop by for a puzzle and a good conversation, call (708) 434-5761 or visit Cignot at 101 N Marion St.