Transgender inmate sues Illinois to change prisons

EAST ST. LOUIS — A transgender woman at a northern Illinois men’s prison is suing the state corrections department to be housed at a women’s prison, according to WGN TV. The Chicago TV station reported that Deon “Strawberry” Hampton has sued the Illinois Department of Corrections before. They have have been moved to four different prisons in the past year. Hampton has said they’ve suffered abuse at several male prisons.

Rock the Pride coming in August

BELOIT, Wisc. — The Yellow Brick Road Organization will be hosting Rock the Pride in this city on the Illinois-Wisconsin border this August. This will be the first public Rock County Pride Fest. During the day there will be family activities and in the evening entertainment for all ages. The fest will be on Aug.

Racine considers improving protections for LGBTQ

RACINE — The government of Racine, Wisc., is looking at improving legal protections for LGBTQ residients, according to a local newspaper. The Journal-Times of Racine reported that it was one of several initiatives the city is starting to support the community. From the Journal-Times:
The Human Rights Campaign, a national civil rights organization that advocates for the LGBTQ+ community, annually assesseshow inclusive cities across the nation are of diverse gender identities and sexual orientations. In 2017, Racine received one of the lowest scores of the seven Wisconsin cities rated in the report. The city tied with Oshkosh in receiving 29 out of a possible 100 points.

Celebrity drag line-up set for Dorothy’s Masquerade Ball

SOUTH BELOIT — The Yellow Brick Road (YBR) organization of South Beloit has finalized the celebrity drag line up for their Dorothy’s Masquerade Ball next month. The non-professionals in drag will include Marc Perry, Yuri Rashkin, Eric Stoner, John Pruitt, and Khary Penebaker. Tickets are $20 for general admission, $45 for dinner, dancing and show tickets and $75 VIP Tickets including all of that with a backstage pass. Tickets are are going quick. Ticket sales end on Feb. 1 and can be bought at https://www.yellowbrickrd.org/events/dorothys-masquerade-ball.

PFLAG of Sauk Valley’s Farmhouse Winter Social Annual Meeting, Jan. 21

STERLING — PFLAG of Sauk Valley in northern Illinois will hold their annual meeting this Saturday, Jan. 21, at the Woodlawn Art Academy. From the Facebook event:
Join PFLAG Sauk Valley as we launch into a new year! Greet new board members and visit with friends – old and new – at this annual social event, which will be held at Woodlawn Arts Academy’s Farmhouse in Sterling, which boasts plenty of parking on the side in a lighted lot. You are encouraged to bring your own beverage and a favorite munchy to share.

Dorothy’s Masquerade Ball to benefit South Beloit’s YBR

SOUTH BELOIT — The Yellow Brick Road (YBR) organization of South Beloit is holding the Dorothy’s Masquerade Ball this February. The event will consist of a dinner, dance, and a drag show! All proceeds go toward YBR events like Rock the Pride- Rock County’s Pride Fest and a future brick-n-mortar community center. The evening drag show is hosted by the current reigning National Entertainer of the Year Femme, Cass Marie Domino and will feature some of the finest performers in the northern Illinois area. Local celebrities will be dressing in drag as well.

Our Trans Family Exhibit opens in October

ROCKTON — UUCRV, PFLAG Rockford and Yellow Brick Road are proud to present “Our Trans Family,” a photo project fostering greater understanding about people who identify as transgender. The photos show people in the transgender community as they express themselves. The documentary exhibit compiles photos and interviews of 20-30 individuals and their families. Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Rock Valley (329 School St, Rockton, IL 61072) hosts the gallery Fridays: October 6, 13 with Gallery Talk and Reception, 20 and 27, 2017, 5:00 – 7:00 pm and Sundays: October 8, 15, 22, and 29 from 11:30 am – 2:00 pm and by appointment (call Judith Ann 608-289-1432). Join us for a Gallery Celebration with sermon by one of the photographers on October 8 at 10:30 (uucrv.org).

Action Camp 2k17

OTTAWA — For the last four years the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance has hosted a 4-day sleepaway Youth Leadership Action Camp for young people throughout the state to come together to discuss those issues most pertinent to them and learn from one another how best to advocate for change within their school and home communities. And this year we’re adding another day! Students who are rising 8th through 12th graders in Illinois who are interested in making schools safer for students throughout the state are encouraged to apply for Action Camp. Action Camp will be staffed by Alliance volunteers, staff members and Youth Committee members. Si tu o tus padres hablan español y necesitan ayuda traduciendo las formas o tienen preguntas, por favor contáctanos a través de actioncamp@illinoissafeschools.org. 

Note to returning campers!

Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois PAC makes endorsements in District 211 school board races

CHICAGO — Palatine-based Township High School District 211 has become a flash point recently in the fight to protect the civil rights of transgender students. That’s why the Equality Illinois PAC (EI PAC) believes it is important to weigh in on the school board election there with the endorsements of three candidates: Anna Klimkowicz, Robert LeFevre, and Edward Yung. These candidates are being challenged by opponents who want to rescind the district’s policy that affirms transgender students and who are affiliated with an anti-LGBTQ extremist organization. The EI PAC, the statewide LGBTQ political action committee, announced the endorsements in advance of the April 4 school board election. District 211 is the largest high school district in Illinois and includes Hoffman Estates, Inverness, Palatine, and Schaumburg.