Category: May 2023

Pride Season 2023 kicks off in Iowa, Illinois with seven festivals, 15 related events, two film series

It can be overwhelming, with almost 100 Pride season events happening this year throughout Illinois and Iowa alone.

We can help. This is the first of our weekly Pride season updates through June, summarizing the big Pride Fests coming up, the smaller Pride events also happening soon, and info on how to register for even more Pride stuff.

We’re starting with this weekend’s Pride Month kick-off, starting with Pride Fests in Dubuque, Ottumwa and Sioux City in Iowa; Elgin, Niles and Rockford in Illinois; and the Quad Cities in both states.

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Mount Vernon strives for unity with first-ever official LGBTQ Pride event Saturday

MOUNT VERNON, IL — Alexia Stallons and her colleagues have been working to strengthen a sense of LGBTQ+ pride in Mount Vernon for two years. Saturday, they’ll invite the community to join them in a family-friendly picnic and celebration.

It’s the first official Pride gathering for this southern Illinois town of about 15,000. You’ll find about 50 vendors, games galore, music and more.

The event is coordinated by OUT Mt Vernon, which Stallons says is focused on creating more “outreach, understanding and togetherness.”

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Free NOH8 photos for first 200 people at June 1 event in Davenport

DAVENPORT, IA — Iowa’s only chance to join a NOH8 photo shoot this year also offers a chance to do it for free.

That’s what One Human Family QCA is offering June 1 in Davenport. The first 200 people to show up for the photo shoot will receive their digital print free, a gesture that usually costs $25 to $40.

Since 2010, almost 67,000 people have participated in the NOH8 campaign, which started to stand up for marriage equality and now stands up against policies and laws worldwide that are built on one group oppressing another.

Read about the June 1 photo shoot, plus two more chances to join the NOH8 campaign in Illinois.

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Quad Cities Pride Month features 23 events in Davenport, Moline, Rock Island and keeps growing

QUAD CITIES — All throughout the Quad Cities, it’s a Pride season like never before, with 20 events currently scheduled and more coming almost daily.

Quad Citians can go to two annual festivals, four different meal events, and night of games, sports, movement, education, art and more.

You’ll find all the info you need here to participate — including dates, links, deadlines, links to sign up or register, and some fun background even. Check it out!

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Iowa drag legend Ruby James Knight looks back on her path-paving 30-year career

WATERLOO — Ruby James Knight, an Iowa drag legend for 30 years, is “resting comfortably and in his final hours,” announced Kings and Queens Club owner John Hayes earlier today after rumors spread that the 72-year-old icon had passed.

Knight (Jim Raymond in real life) took time about two months ago, before his illness took another severe turn, to talk with The Real Mainstream about his career, and how he credits Ruby James Knight, her style and generosity, and her fellow queens, with transforming his life.

Enjoy as Ruby James Knight, whose name became nearly synonymous with Kings and Queens, takes a look back. You’ll also find a photo album featuring some of Knight’s favorite looks over the years.

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