Fairfield store stands proud with LGBTQ Pride, Black Lives Matter message

FAIRFIELD — A few years ago, Paul Praither saw a headline that wrenched his heart: a teenager that worked for him at Everybody’s Whole Foods, who was undergoing a transition from one gender to another, had chosen to end his life. “He was a really nice kid. I wish he would have said something. I wish I would have said something,” Praither said. The tragedy inspired Praither to lead an LGBTQ renaissance at Everybody’s — a visual explosion of acceptance, equality and diversity that has blossomed this summer into a…

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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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Old Capitol Screen Printers stands up for face masks, nonprofits

IOWA CITY — Old Capitol Screen Printers, known for supporting nonprofit groups with free or discounted T-shirt printing, is helping to raise money for the Coralville Community Food Pantry with a themed tote bag. It also created and printed themed T-shirts for Johnson County Ambulance workers to wear during protests through the streets of Iowa City Thursday night. Old Capitol is also helping to raise money for Summer of the Arts, which is cancelled this year, by selling a specially-themed T-shirt (Keep the Arts Alive) From June 7 to 17. The…

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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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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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Why newspapers matter

The suspicion of media among LGBTQ people and people of color runs deep. So deep, that even a lesbian reporter writing a supportive piece about the LGBTQ community, for an LGBTQ-identified paper or column, can find herself getting verbally slapped in the face. When you’re trying to write regularly about both LGBTQ issues and those relevant to people of color, it can feel like a minefield. Case in point: I once wrote about an endeavor to bring a transgender health conference to Iowa City. With the death toll against transgender…

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E-stim adds new charge to intimacy

OMAHA — Erotic stimulation through electricity sounds a little “scary” at first, says Bill Dudley, an experienced practitioner who presents workshops regularly.. “Any time you mention electricity people get a little bit nervous and rightfully so,” says Dudley, who will present a workshop on electro-sex during Sash Bash March 7. “But what we’re talking about here are implements and toys that have been specifically made for use on the human body – and more specifically with an erotic bent in mind.” Dudley says many tools in the “kink” world are…

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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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