This weekend’s Springfield PrideFest kicks off 28+ LGBTQ events in May, June

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The annual summer tradition of LGBTQ Pride celebrations is gradually reawakening in Illinois and Iowa, with at least 28 virtual or socially-distanced LGBTQ Pride events coming up through May and June (see the Calendar). Springfield PrideFest in Illinois starts the season Saturday, converting its 10-year-old festival into an online affair for the second year in a row. A live drag show, interviews, musical performances, and prizes for kids, teens and adults are part of the day-long virtual event presented in collaboration with the University of Illinois-Springfield and the Phoenix Center,…

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Trans kids (and everyone): don’t listen to Caitlyn Jenner, misinformed fallen hero

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That collective groan you heard recently? It was the transgender community nationwide learning Caitlyn Jenner launched her bid for Governor of California. That whistling kettle-like sound you also heard? It was our collective anger boiling over when she said this weekend, “It’s a question of fairness, that why I propose that biological boys that are trans competing in girls’ sports in school…it just isn’t fair, and we have to protect girls’ sports in our schools.” When a reporter asked Jenner if her views de-legitimized trans girls’ identities, she ran away.…

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LGBTQ+ care now, transition care soon: TPQC expands support for health care equity

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QUAD CITIES — When Tyler Mitchell went to a general health care practitioner a few years ago, just as the groundbreaking HIV preventative treatment of PrEP was introduced, he was shocked at what he was not told. “I didn’t necessarily know a lot about PrEP at the time, so I didn’t attempt to engage about it,” said Mitchell, marketing and communications director for The Project of the Quad Cities. “But my provider was aware of the fact that I was a gay male and could be at an increased risk…

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Top 3 themes through March: intersectional women’s history, spoken word, and support

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Three timely themes define the newly-updated TRM Events Calendar: Women’s History with an intersectional eye, spoken word, and events focused on providing support — which are fast becoming more relevant as we gradually emerge from the COVID pandemic’s extreme isolation. WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH • Short films by four young female playwrights are the treat tonight at “Urban Exposure: Young Women in Film, courtesy of Figge Museum’s Urban Exposure Independent Film Project and Azubuike Arts. You can see “Coming Out Straight,” a short film by Paris Davis that depicts a world…

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Iowa City Pride’s 50th anniversary rescheduled to October

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IOWA CITY — Iowa City Pride will hold its belated 50th anniversary event in October 2021 instead of June, the group announced Wednesday. “Pride will look a little different in 2021, maybe more like a lame Middle school dance, with social distancing rather than the packed, sweaty, 15,000-person festival we celebrated in 2019,” the group announced in a media advisory posted on its Facebook page. “But you can be sure that we will be very colorful and full of Pride.” IC Pride decided to cancel last year’s festival, held in…

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Burst of events provides intersectional end to Black History Month

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St. Louis is filled with nationally significant Black History: it’s where Dred Scott and his wife Harriet began their fight against slavery in 1847, where Josephine Baker kicked off her amazing blues career, and where tennis great Arthur Ashe grew up. It’s also within miles of where, in 2014, the late Michael Brown unwillingly kicked off the current Black Lives Matter movement against police brutality, when an officer shot him in Ferguson, to the east of St. Louis. This city near the border of Illinois is pioneering the mapping of…

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Groups ramp up, seek help, to fight Iowa’s anti-LGBTQ bills

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DES MOINES — If you’d like to join the fight against a rash of anti-LGBTQ bills proposed by Republican state legislators this year, two of Iowa’s leading civil rights groups are providing three chances to get involved within the next week. “Moral Mondays Iowa: The State That Loves to Hate” will feature State Rep. Liz Bennett, D-Cedar Rapids, and leaders of Iowa Safe Schools and One Iowa Action. They’ll educate Iowans Monday on the 14 anti-LGBTQ bills introduced this year in the Iowa State Legislature. Then, on Wednesday, the One…

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Progressive businesses across Iowa buck #COVIDKim, recommit to facial coverings

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IOWA — Progressive and LGBTQ-identified establishments across Iowa are making their distaste for “#COVIDKim” known by firmly reminding customers: masks and facial coverings, and other common-sense efforts to fight the still-raging coronavirus pandemic, will be followed with or without the governor’s leadership. Entities from Orange City to Des Moines to Iowa City to Davenport are using social media to defy Gov. Kim Reynolds’ decision late last week to end Iowa’s formal coronavirus prevention efforts as of Sunday. More than a dozen entities — many of them LGBTQ-identified bars — are…

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Key City Pride in Dubuque moves forward with diverse tone starting Feb. 6

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DUBUQUE — Key City Pride is moving forth with at least five months of events through June, starting with a Black History Month drag showcase Feb. 6. Featuring drag performers from Iowa, Wisconsin and Illinois, the Feb. 6 showcase will be offered both in-person, and through Facebook. For those partaking of limited capacity tickets, temperatures will be checked at the door and masks are required, says event organizer Río S. Suãvé. “COVID will tell us,” Suãvé said, emphasizing that all planned Key City Pride events are held contingent on what…

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“Kindness Queers,” “queerantine kits” brighten LGBTQIA youths’ lives during pandemic

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CHAMPAIGN, ILL. — When Anna Peters and her business partner at the Art Coop began to think about how the pandemic might affect LGBTQIA children, they became worried. And then, inspired. Peters and co-owner Hilary Pope, along with Pope’s art teacher partner, realized they were already equipped to help with the arts resources all around them in the Coop, founded in 1971. The result, quickly, was 250 “queerantine kits” filled with art supplies out the door to “Kindness Queers,” who are LGBTQIA youngsters who may not have access to arts…

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