Trans the Movie Documentary Planned for Sunday, February 24 in Buffalo Grove

This amazing and lovingly crafted documentary looks at the broad range of issues regarding being transgender, as well as the many variations of transgender people there are. There are interviews with people of various ages, male and female, gay and straight, transitioning, and not transitioning, as well as family and friends all bringing a variety of personal perspectives to light.

Community Profile: Peter Thaddeus

Peter Thaddeus is a professional artist who is running the Naperville Tuesday night program at Youth Outlook. He supplements discussions with art/creative projects to add fun and interaction to group. The youth are creating something meaningful out of clay, paint, paper, sand, markers, or a variety of other fun vehicles of artistic expression. Find other Peter’s works at or Instagram @thaddeus_art. He has a “Pride” page devoted to the community. Dare to Dream: the youth are making
Emerald City centerpieces for the event! This post originally appeared in Open Doors, the newsletter of PFLAG of Northern Illinois.

Spreading the word about PrEP in the Prairie State

By Matt Simonette

SPRINGFIELD — Jeffery Erdman and Michael Maginn, both officials with the Illinois Public Health Association (IPHA), are working hard to make sure that providers, advocates and community members across the entirety of Illinois know about PrEP resources. Erdman, IPHA’s assistant director for programs and compliance, said that the PrEP intervention had been on the agency’s radar for about five years. “We have been working with all of our providers, building PrEP clinics at their sites or, if they can’t build them, hopefully they can make referrals to providers in their communities who are prescribing PrEP.” He added, “We’ve done a ton of work—we’ve been to Rockford [for example], all the way down to Murphysboro, in Jackson County in southern Illinois.”

County health departments and community-based organizations in varied locales have been receptive to the message. There are now dedicated clinics, or at least accessible resources, in Lake, DuPage and Jackson Counties, among others, and a clinic is planned for a November opening in Sangamon County, where Springfield is located. Maginn, who is IPHA’s HIV program manager/prevention lead agent, said, “The problem is, outside of the Chicago area, we’re dealing with rural areas, [where it is] more difficult to find providers who are willing to write prescriptions for PrEP, and it’s hard to get the patient to the facility in order to fulfill the obligations of the medication, such as quarterly testing.”

Physicians who aren’t infectious disease specialists often don’t feel qualified to write prescriptions for Truvada—the oral medication primarily used as a PrEP intervention—and may wish to refer their patients to such a specialist, according to Maginn.

LGBTQI+ Spirituality Forum Oct. 16 at ISU

Please join us from 7 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 16 in the ISU Bone Student Center Old Main Room for a spirituality forum hosted by the Prairie Pride Coalition which will acknowledge how members of the LGBTQIA+ community have been harmed by religion, and how some faith traditions are seeking change, reconciliation, and healing.

4th Annual Deck the Balls raises $1205 for Vital Bridges

CHICAGO — Touché, the Chicago Leather Club and the clubs of Chicago joined forces at the 4th annual Deck the Balls event at Touché. Five Human trees stepped up in a grassroots type of fundraiser to bring some holiday cash to Lori Cannon and the clients at Vital Bridges Northside Grocery Center. Because of a generous anonymous donor, the total raised that night was doubled to provide Groceryland with a total gift of $1205. “It seemed to be fitting to be hosting this event in conjunction with the Clubs annual holiday party that Touché hosts. The leather clubs have played a key community outreach. It was the Hellfire Club that offered the first year of office space, mimeograph machine, and answering machine so that Open Hand could exists and do the work of serving clients,” said Lori Canon.

LA&M announces opportunities to meet executive director finalists

CHICAGO — The three finalists for Leather Archives and Museum (LA&M) executive director position will be making site visits and participating in various focus groups and meetings this upcoming weekend. Jeffrey Storer, experienced Director of Operations will be on site December 1, Gary Wasdin, veteran library director and executive director will be on site December 2, and Alisa Swindell, active lecturer, curator, and research assistant will be on site December 3. Each candidate will host a Member’s Only VIP lunch reception from 12:30 – 2:00pm the day of their visit.  This will be a casual opportunity for members of the LA&M to meet and mingle with the finalists as they share their leadership style and vision for the LA&M. A question and answer session for Members and Non-Members of the LA&M, specifically including those people who are active in the leather, kink, BDSM, and fetish communities, will take place in the Etienne Auditorium of the LA&M.  These sessions will also be broadcast on Facebook live from the Leather Archives and Museum’s Facebook page in an effort to keep those not in the Chicago area involved in the selection process. Storer will host his Q&A session Friday, December 1 from 7:00 – 7:40pm CST
Wasdin will host his Q&A session Saturday, December 2 from 3:40 – 4:20pm CST
Swindell will host her Q&A session Sunday, December 3 from 3:40 – 4:20pm CST

Finalists are also scheduled to participate in various focus groups with staff, donors, volunteers, and the Board of Directors.