CU at Zero conducting trans health survey

CHAMPAIGN — CU at Zero is conducting a transgender health survey of residents in Champaign County. The organizations said that the anonymous survey will identify key interests of transgender and gender non-conforming people in the county. The survey results will be used to develop action plans to better serve the community. You can take the survey at Please be sure to share the link for the survey.

Stonewall Democrats of Illinois launch party in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD — The newly formed Stonewall Democrats of Illinois will hold their launch part at the Club Station House in Springfield on Tuesday, Aug. 13. From the Facebook event:
Celebrate the formation of Stonewall Democrats of Illinois, our statewide LGBT Democratic organization. Find out about plans for the 2020 Inaugural Convention of IL Stonewall Democrats. Free admission and bar snacks.

Transgender athlete Schuyler Bailar to headline cultural dinner, Sept. 20

NORMAL — The Illinois State University Speaker Series is bringing in transgender athlete Schuyler Bailar to headline its University Housing Services LGBTQA Cultural Dinner on Friday, Sept. 20. The university made the announcement in a press release on their website. A recent graduate of Harvard University, Bailar is the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer, and the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport. ISU said the meal will be catered by the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal with a menu of Korean dishes.

Peoria holds first River City Pride

PEORIA — Peoria had its first River City Pride this past weekend. 

The event was held at the city’s Glen Oak Park Amphitheatre and had family activities, vendors and entertainers. 

Peoria Proud organized the event and are working on more events in the future. 

Photos by Regev Nystrom

Schuyler Bailar to speak at Illinois State in Sept.

NORMAL — Schuyler Bailar, the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport at a NCAA Division 1 men’s team, will speak at the Bloomington-Normal Mariott Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, Sept. 20

From the Facebook event:
Schuyler Bailar is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. He is also an internationally-celebrated inspirational speaker and inclusion advocate. By 15, Schuyler was one of the nation’s top-20 15-year-old breaststrokers. At 17, he set a national age-group record.

‘In Her Closet—How to Make a Drag Queen’ exhibit opens at Surplock Museum in Sept.

URBANA — A new exhibit, “In Her Closet—How to Make a Drag Queen,” will open at the Spurlock Museum in Urbana on Sunday, Sept. 15. From the Facebook event:
When you hear “drag queen,” what comes to mind? Perhaps pink feathers, sequins, sky-high heels, corsets, impossible proportions, duct tape, a pound of stage makeup, and a healthy portion of sass. The popularity of drag has exploded in recent years, and so have the questions and curiosities related to drag artistry.

Springfield’s Club Station House to stay open

SPRINGFIELD — The Club Station House will remain open, the bar’s owner said in a Facebook post on Friday. The Club Station House was going to have its final event this weekend as the building had been sold. However, in the post, owner Ryan Brady said that building sale was not going to go through. According to the post, the closing date had to be pushed back until one of the lead investors, who was out of the country, returned. As they had to be there for the closing, the sale could not go through.

Inter-Faith Peoria Pride Celebration set for Aug. 3

PEORIA — The Interfaith Alliance of Central Illinois will be holding a Pride celebration in Peoria to open that city’s events. From the Facebook event:
Join us from 11am-11:30am for an inter-faith service to open the River City Pride Festival in Peoria. We will celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community through song, dance, and an inter-faith blessing remembering the many who have advocated for the lives and rights of the LGBTQIA+ community. If you are apart of a faith community and would like to also volunteer at the Affirming Faith Communities Vendor Booth passing out bottles of water with rainbow minute maid mixers and literature– you are also welcome to participate! Lastly, we will be partnering with Free Mom Hugs to provide hugs and high fives.

Champaign mayor says police won’t help ICE

CHAMPAIGN — Champaign Mayor Deborah Frank Feinen announced on Thursday that the city’s police department will not help ICE officials with going after immigrants. In a statement, the police department and mayor’s office stated:

Champaign Police does not take part in ICE immigration raids or immigration enforcement operations involving suspected undocumented residents. The State of Illinois’ TRUST Act prohibits local law enforcement from assisting with any federal immigration enforcement operation. Champaign Police will not stop, arrest, search, or detain anyone solely based on their nationality or immigration status. If known, Champaign Police will not share information about an undocumented individual with federal officials.