Iowa City, Quad Cities, Capital City, Cedar Rapids amp up Pride plans

Cedar Rapids, Des Moines, Iowa City and the Quad Cities have all expanded their Pride Month offerings, with more virtual fun, chances to join in from your home or yard, and special guests. Capital City Pride in Des Moines decided just a few weeks ago to cancel this year’s event, which had initially been delayed from June to July. Quickly, the group has come up with a new slate of events that includes parades and special guests the Iowa Phoenix women’s football team. Iowa City, Cedar Rapids and the Quad…

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“The Negro Artist,” award-winning poet, opens up at 8 pm virtual reading tonight

While many of his fellow young Black men joined protests after the killing of George Floyd, Caleb “The Negro Artist” Rainey had different reactions: he felt paralyzed, catatonic, isolated, foolish and arrogant. Paralyzed and catatonic, because he felt stuck in 2011, when Eric Garner’s death by police choking was captured on video and first propelled Rainey to devote himself to improving Black lives. Isolated, because Floyd’s death made him feel as though society didn’t value his life or those of other Black men. And foolish and arrogant, because Rainey had…

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Choose from dozens of virtual, socially-distanced Pride events this year

In a year when more than 400 Pride parades and events have been forced by the coronavirus crisis to reschedule or cancel, a smorgasbord of digital and socially-distanced Pride events are still happening, both locally and nationally. A few entities, such as the Metro East Pride group in Belleville, Ill., are also still planning on holding physical Pride events sometime this year. Here’s a rundown of how you can celebrate Pride, an LGBTQ tradition built around the Stonewall uprisings in 1969 in response to police brutality: • Wed., June 3:…

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Leather weekend, more pride events cancelled because of COVID-19

Des Moines’ Iowa Leather Weekend in October is the latest LGBTQ-identified event to call off this year’s festivities in light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis and growing questions about why and how the virus is so contagious. Three other Pride events have also rescheduled: — CR PrideFest, originally scheduled for July 11 in Cedar Rapids — Capital City Pride, originally postponed from June 12 to July 11, and now cancelled altogether this year, and — Pride South Side, a Chicago festival for queer people of color, held for the first…

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Honor 50th annual Earth Day online this year

Today is the 50th celebration of Earth Day, and as I researched through the cancelled events, I felt a sadness that this historic day could not be celebrated in the way it deserves. But even though we are sheltering in place and can’t get together for Earth Day, this is a great chance to reflect on how we as individuals can reduce harm on the planet.  What are you doing from inside your own home to push for change this Earth Day? What will you to do to ensure clean…

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Iowa City, New York join list of Pride cancellations

Iowa City Pride has made the painful decision to cancel its 50th anniversary Pride celebration, originally scheduled for June 19 and 20. “We know this comes with many disappointments, cancelled plans and one less thing to look forward to,” said Anthony Sivanthaphanith, Iowa City Pride president, in a press release. “It breaks my heart and the board’s heart as well.” However, Sivanthaphanith said, “ultimately, the safety of all our communities is the most important…. The board looks forward to planning more events soon and some creative ways, virtually, to celebrate.”…

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Six more LGBTQ Pride celebrations cancel 2020 events

Six more Pride celebrations throughout Illinois and Iowa have cancelled this year’s events because of the coronavirus crisis. The cancellations include Pride in the Park Chicago which was anticipated to attract 15,000 people to Grant Park June 27 and 28. The event would have been in its second year. In addition to Pride in the Park, other cancellations include: • Key City Pride in Dubuque, Iowa, which was to take place June 20 to 27. • Quad Cities Pride Festivals, originally scheduled for May 29 and 30, is cancelled. The…

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Waldo’s Forever Fest, Pride events among the Illinois and Iowa events adjusting to coronavirus crisis

Saturday’s Waldo’s Forever Fest in Chicago is one of the biggest events to adjust this month to the coronavirus crisis by going online or rescheduling. Waldo’s Forever Fest will actually be doing both, converting its planned street festival this Saturday to an online event featuring musical performers, drag performers, cooking, glass-blowing and neon bending. Use hashtag #420inplace. “We believe cannabis brings people together, and that’s exactly what we’ll do,” organizers Dispensary33 said to Block Club Chicago. The actual street festival has been rescheduled for Sept. 26 and will take place…

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Sash Bash offers kink education in Iowa City March 6-8

IOWA CITY — From electro-sex, to biting, to wax dripping, to pet play, the 5th Annual Sash Bash is pushing the envelop for kink in Iowa City. Coming March 6-8 and coordinated by 2016 Mr. Iowa Leather Rob Anderson, who lives in Cedar Rapids but works in Iowa City, Sash Bash takes place at the Studio 13/Yacht Club complex. The mostly male event already has about 100 registrants. “We’re drawing people from Kansas City, Lincoln, Omaha, the Twin Cities, all over the region,” says Anderson, who runs Papa Bear Productions.…

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PrideCon, coming Feb. 29, offers fun and learning to Iowa LGBTQ youth

IOWA CITY — The sixth annual PrideCon for LGBTQ youth is coming Feb. 29, with new workshops, expanded art offerings, and another year of educational activities for parents, too. About 80 kids have already registered for this free daylong conference coordinated by United Action for Youth. That tops last year’s record-breaking attendance of 75 youth from throughout Iowa for the day of education, networking, socializing, art, and food. Registration is encouraged right up until the day of the event by clicking www.unitedactionforyouth.org/pridecon. The event is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.…

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