Rockford’s Drag Queen Story Hour goes on despite protestors

ROCKFORD — Drag Queen Story Hour took place at Rockford’s East Branch Library on Saturday, despite more than 100 protesters across the street. The Rockford Register-Star reported that people came from other states to protest the event, which is part of Rockford’s first Pride celebrations. From the Rockford Register-Star:
“It teaches children to ignore what’s natural,” Rockford resident Stephanie Loehr said. “It is not natural for a man to say he’s a woman and for a woman to say she’s a man. That ignores basic biology and, if you really want to educate children, they should be educated on truth and not on some lies based on how somebody feels.”

Jean Weymier traveled to Rockford from West Bend, Wisconsin, to protest the event.

Galesburg holds its second Pride Picnic

GALESBURG — This small city in northwestern Illinois hosted its second Pride Picnic this past weekend. The picnic was hosted by Safe Space, a non-denominational group for people ages 18-30’s. This group has been formed to give people of this age group who have typically felt judged or ostracized by the church a safe place to hang-out with others of their age from all walks of life and talk about current events and/or topics of spirituality. It was at Lake Storey Park. The Galesburg Register-Mail reported that the event included food, karaoke, face painting, touch-a-truck, and Drag Queen Story Hour.

Pushback on Rockford’s Drag Queen Story Hour

ROCKFORD — The Rockford Public Library is hosting its first Drag Queen Story Hour as part of the city’s Pride celebrations, but some are objecting. The Rockford Register-Star reported that local residents objected to the event, and may have been unclear on the concept. From the Rockford Register-Star:
“A big, hairy man scantily dressed as a woman promoting homosexuality and gender confusion … is inappropriate for this age group,” Sandi Ware of Rockford — parent of two preschoolers — said about the Drag Queen Story Hour that’s for children ages 3 to 8. “Most lead bizarre lives as sex entertainers.”

Amy Newburn of South Beloit, a teacher and ballet instructor who has preteen and teenage children, has similar concerns.

Rockford declares June as Pride month

ROCKFORD — Rockford is declaring June as Pride month. 

The announcement was made Tuesday night at the city council meeting. A similar announcement was made at the Rockford Park District’s monthly meeting. “Tonight at City Council, I was proud to proclaim next month Pride Month for the first time in our city’s great history,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said in a Facebook post. “This proclamation for June, presented to members of PFLAG Rockford Chapter, celebrates the accomplishments of our LGBTQ+ community and commemorates the 50th anniversary of the gay rights movements across the US.” The city of Rockford said in its own post that the designation was made by a coalition of groups and agencies including the local PFLAG chapter, the City of Rockford, the Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Rockford Park District and local business.

2nd Annual Pride Picnic in Galesburg

GALESBURG — Safe Space in Galesburg is hosting its second Pride Picnic on Sunday, June 9. From the Facebook event:
Safe Space is excited to announce our 2nd Annual Pride Picnic! The organization will provide meat to be grilled and a Vegetarian meat option. There will be water and kool aid provided. Please bring a dish share.

Queer Prom 2019 in Rockford on June 8

ROCKFORD — DiversCity Youth Group in Rockford is holding a Queer Prom on Saturday, June 8. From the Facebook event:
Enjoy a night of dancing, drag performances, refreshments and fun! Come alone, with friends, or bring a companion of your choice. This event is free but don’t forget to RSVP! Register at this Google Form:
https://forms.gle/TtvLimTwb48LrPU38

Thank you to our amazing sponsors:
– In Youth We Trust Grant
– PFLAG Rockford
– Rockford Public Library
– DJ Krysta
The party starts at 6 p.m.

LGBTQ center hosting Equality Prom in Racine

RACINE, Wisc. — The LGBT Center of SE Wisconsin is hosting an Equality Prom in April, a local newspaper reported. From the Racine Journal Times:

It’s like a traditional promenade — dancing, music, friends, etc. — but the Equality Prom is exclusively for teens who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning and/or queer, as well as their allies. It’s scheduled for 6 p.m. April 6 at the Delta Hotel by Marriot, 7111 Washington Ave.