Chicago’s iconic LGBTQ+ centered nightclub Berlin closed this weekend after “one of our own” was found unresponsive at the club after close and was later pronounced dead.

Local media from Windy City Times to the Chicago Tribune are reporting that a person was found unresponsive before 5 a.m. on Saturday morning. According to a Chicago Tribune report, paramedics were called shortly after closing time:

Paramedics took [the victim] to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead at 4:42 a.m., according to police and the Cook County medical examiner’s office.


The victim has not been identified by the Cook County medical examiner’s office pending notification of the next of kin. 5 Mag heard from a person who identified themselves as a friend of the victim, who we are also not identifying. The source urged us and others in the media not to jump to conclusions about the reason for death pending the official toxicology reports.

“Everyone is really messed up about what happened to them,” the friend said, adding that the victim identified as non-binary. “They were not known for party drugs… It’s really hurtful to read speculation about that from people who don’t even know their name.”

Block Club Chicago also spoke to one of the victim’s friends, who described them as a “voracious reader” who enjoyed making games, websites and videos while pursing a career in software and helping welcome people of color into the field.

“I’m proud of them and I think I always will be,” the friend told Block Club Chicago. “I’m so sad that they won’t get to continue, and that we won’t get to share our joy anymore.”

Berlin released a statement announcing a “night of closure” on Saturday out of respect for this life lost. “Please keep an eye on our page for mutual aid support in the coming days,” the statement reads. “We love you so much.”

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