About the missing $30,000: why I had to write it

Why I Had to Write About $30,000 Missing from Iowa City Pride

I wrote one of the hardest stories I’ve ever had to write, earlier this week. It was a piece about $30,000 in donations to a revered LGBTQ+ Pride organization that is “unaccounted for.” I wrote it as a freelance writer for another publication, but an angry social media poster dragged The Real Mainstream into the public controversy by dredging up a three-year-old blog I wrote after my own tumultuous departure from Iowa City Pride. The angry poster insinuated I had “bias” and was attacking the Pride group for my own…

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Southern Illinois LGBTQ center calendar counters toxic masculinity, ageism, other stigmas

examples of models featured in Rainbow Cafe's "Farms & Faces 2022" calendar

CARBONDALE — At first glance, “Farms & Faces of Southern Illinois” seems just another calendar fundraising tool for another nonprofit. Look more closely, and this compilation of rustic pics is actually a grand statement against toxic masculinity and the rigid, conservative beliefs that research shows are more prominent among people living in rural areas. The Rainbow Cafe LGBTQ Community Center is behind the calendar, which features 12 farmers in dresses, make-up, flowers, Pride rainbow colors, or other things typically stereotyped as non-masculine. Most are straight-identifying men who have “assigned female…

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