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.

Rockford-area Methodists protest anti-LGBTQ vote

ROCKFORD — United Methodist churches in the Rockford area are pushing back against the denomination’s vote to keep and strengthen anti-LGBTQ rules. The Rockford Register-Star reported that a group of Methodist ministers gathered at State Street and Alpine Road with signs showing their support for LGBTQ members. The action comes one day after the denomination’s international conference voted to reject the One Church policy that would have let regions and churches set their own LGBTQ policies. Instead, the conservative Traditional Plan, which no only keep bans on same-sex marriages in the church and LGBTQ clergy but also requires stronger enforcement. We’ll update as we hear more.

Inclusive game night with Yellow Brick Road on Wednesday

BELOIT, Wisc. — The Yellow Brick Road Organization of Beloit is hosting an inclusive game night this Wednesday

From the Facebook event:
Join us for a night of games, good food, and laughter! This is a LGBTQIA+ social event for us to get to know one another and create a sense of community. Open to everyone. Refreshments will be served.