History Out of the Closet on June 28

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BLOOMINGTON — The McLean County Museum of History will be hosting a event about the history of the LGBTQ community in McLean County.

From the Facebook event:

The Museum is pleased to announce the formation of a partnership with the Prairie Pride Coalition to present a special program and to expand the Museum’s collection of materials associated with the LGBTQ+ community. Coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City, on Friday, June 28 at 5:30 p.m. a panel of local individuals will present History out of the Closet — a discussion of experiences of members of the LGBTQ+ community in McLean County.

McLean County’s LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of the county’s rich history. But little has been recorded or gathered regarding the experiences of its members because of cultural biases and prejudices. The June 28 History Out of the Closet program will feature community members Dave Bentlin, Jan Lancaster, Bruce Lang, Cameron Hurley, and Olemuel Ashford. These individuals will discuss their personal experiences in order to bring to light the many challenges and risks the LGBTQ+ community faced prior to the establishment of laws that granted them equal rights and protections in McLean County. Topics will include navigating work and social situations within an unaccepting community, efforts made to change cultural views and attain equal rights, struggles and successes throughout the AIDS epidemic, and stories of everyday life both in and out of the closet. The panel discussion will be moderated by Mike Matejka.

A reception with light refreshments will immediately follow the program.

For more information about this free, public program, please contact the Education Department at 309-827-0428 or education@mchistory.org.

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