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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Pride in Iowa expands to 70-plus events; artists are honored (Community Briefs-Iowa, June 4)

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IOWA — With communities like Monticello and Humboldt joining the Pride momentum, and events of all kinds proliferating to more than 70 now, Pride Month in Iowa continues to expand. Big events coming up in the next three days include a Comedy Night and Scavenger Hunt by Capital City Pride in Des Moines; Pride at Bass Street Landing in the Quad Cities, with drag performances, live music and education workshops Friday and Saturday; and a burst of events in Sioux City. Go to the Pride in Iowa link to see…

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Pride Season in Illinois: the definitive list of events

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ILLINOIS — Pride season festivals are returning in diverse form throughout Illinois this summer, with at least 51 online or in-person events hosted by an Illinois entity and another nine highlight online events from across the nation. Among the big developments this year: The Project of the Quad Cities has stepped forth to lead six Pride or LGBTQ-related events throughout June in Davenport and Moline. New fests are popping up in communities like Galena and Mt. Carmel, several Chicago-area events are back this year as the pandemic winds down, and…

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Pride Season in Iowa: the definitive list of events

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IOWA — Des Moines and Dubuque are leading the way this year for Pride celebrations in Iowa, helping to fill out a Pride Season calendar of at least 70 online or in-person events hosted by an Iowa entity. Capital City Pride in Des Moines is hosting “30 Days of Pride” covering everything from the arts, to exercise and health, to dance and disco, to thoughtful discussions. Key City Pride in Dubuque has a week of events starting June 19 and is also collaborating with nearby communities in Illinois and Wisconsin.…

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George Floyd memorials today as police ethics face growing local, national questions

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IOWA AND ILLINOIS — As the nation and several groups throughout Iowa and Illinois honor the one-year anniversary of George Floyd’s videotaped murder at the hands of four Minneapolis police officers, police ethics are under the spotlight anew both locally and nationally. And while Officer Derek Chauvin will serve life in prison for the murder of Floyd, more devastating videos of other Black men mistreated at the hands of police are joining with local police-related controversies to increase tension — all under the shadow of a federal partisan stand-off over…

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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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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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Front-lines teacher raised in Iowa remembers few childhood chances to meet, know People of Color

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At a time when straight white men are leading so many fights against diversity, some straight white men are fighting the good fight. They include Kent Mick, a Grinnell High School history teacher who grew up in Humboldt, Ia., and has taught public schools in Iowa for most of his life. Mick knows from personal experience that being a native Iowan can mean little to no experience interacting with People of Color, even today. He recalls “barely being exposed to People of Color” as a child and teen, and said…

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