Move more police funds to social services, decriminalize cannabis: top choices to lessen police brutality in new “Break the Binary” poll (TRM Blog)

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Our new “Break the Binary” poll is designed to improve public discourse by countering binary thinking along with its scary step-sibling, triangulation. Read about results of our first pilot poll; participate in the new one.

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New “Long Live Community!” showcases events, performers, audiences and organizers

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What’s a great way to honor and inspire community? Showing other communities in action! Long Live Community! is The Real Mainstream‘s new section devoted to pics and videos of intersectional, LGBTQ-affirming and progressive community events across Iowa and Illinois. Our first photo packages are from Davenport, Iowa City and Sioux City in Iowa, and Belleville, Buffalo Grove and Moline in Illinois. Take a peek at the event of your pick: In this new feature, you can submit pics and video of events you attended. You can submit pics and video…

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Juneteenth highlights from Hanover Park to Carbondale // Bisexual Pride offerings // Expanded health care in Central Illinois (Community Briefs-Illinois, June 17)

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ILLINOIS — Juneteenth events are the top priority throughout Illinois this weekend, especially now that the federal goverment and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker have declared June 19 official paid holiday, and the federal government also fast-tracked its -tracking a federal holiday designation, too, for the formal abolition of slavery. Carbondale, the Quad Cities and Springfield are among the communities with large Juneteenth recognitions this year, starting Friday and continuing through Sunday. In addition, the Black and Proud IV online comedy extravaganza Sunday showcases Black, queer performers from across the country…

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Juneteenth, Iowa City’s mini-Pride, more Pride in the Quad Cities, and Dubuque gets rolling (Community Briefs-Iowa, June 15)

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(updated 11:30 pm June 16) IOWA — Juneteenth-themed events — some of which are intersectional and overlap with LGBTQ Pride celebrations — are happening from Sioux City to Mason City to Iowa City this year. Communities holding larger-than-ever Juneteenth events to celebrate the formal abolition of slavery in 1865 include Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Dubuque and Iowa City. Meanwhile, this week is Iowa City’s mini-Pride (the main festival was rescheduled to October), with a week of activities centered around Studio 13. The mini-Pride starts tonight with a bar crawl that…

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Existential condemnation of LGBTQ people continues five years after Pulse (TRM Blog)

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“Even life, it’s like funeral practice,” wrote the beloved nonbinary poet Andrea Gibson in their piece, “Orlando.” “Half of us already dead to our families before we die, half of us on our knees trying to crawl into the family photo.” These brutal words are the most pivotal part of Gibson’s amazing tribute to Pulse Nightclub victims.  Yet, they seem to be the least-quoted, I find in the five years since Pulse. When it comes to Pulse, we’re all aware of the location (Orlando, Fl.), number of victims (49 killed,…

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A game that’s serious about LGBTQ+ community, relationships: Mass Effect (Review)

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I often tell people I was born with an Atari 2600 controller in my hand. One of my earliest memories was my parents showing off the Atari at my grandparents’ house to my aunts and uncles. Games of Berzerk, Missile Command, and Space Invaders lasted long into the night. My sister was nearly born at home, because dad just needed to get one more game of Space Invaders in. Gaming, while I was growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, was a very male space. Hardly any games featured women…

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A weekend bursting with Pride in 11 Illinois cities (Community Briefs-Illinois, June 4)

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ILLINOIS — Pride Month takes off in earnest throughout Illinois this weekend, with at least 12 events taking place in 11 communities over the next three days. The Quad Cities, where Pride at Bass Street Landing takes place today and Saturday, are especially colorful this Pride Month, thanks to a growing collaboration of two cities there with the area’s LGBTQ community center, Clock Inc. After three years working with Rock Island for annual Pride Month flags downtown, Clock Inc began working with Moline this year, too. “We cannot express enough…

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