Evansville event to take Pride to next level locally

EVANSVILLE — New group River City Pride is hoping to take Evansville’s LGBTQ Pride celebrations up a notch. The Evansville Courier & Press reported Monday that River City Pride will hold its firstfestival, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on June 22 at Haynie’s Corner. From the Evansville Couier & Press:

“It’s time here in Evansville that we do something big,” said Emil Lamar, founder of River City Pride. AIDS Resource Group sponsored an LGBT pride event last June at Haynie’s Corner, but the upcoming festival will take that to a new level, organizers said. AIDS Resource Group remains involved.

Southern Illinois Pride announces 2019 schedule

CARBONDALE —  Southern Illinois Pride has announced the schedule of events for this year’s celebration. May 31

5:30 p.m. – Opening Reception at the Varsity Center for the Arts, followed by a double feature: To Wong Fu, with Love, Julie Newmar and Kinky Boots. 10:30 p.m. – Benefit concert for the Rainbow Cafe, hosted by PK’s. June 1

10 a.m. – Pride March. Gather at Gaia, march begins at 11 a.m. Everyone is welcome.

‘Confederate Heritage’ billboard goes up in Paducah

PADUCAH, Ky. — Billboards promoting a “Confederate Heritage Month” is causing controversy in this city on the Ohio River, a local TV station reported on Monday. Local 6 reported two of billboards in Paducah, one across the street from the entrance to Noble Park and the other one is between 3rd and 4th Street, on Oscar Cross Avenue. From Local 6:
Julian Robinson with McCracken County Democrats grew up seeing Confederate flags in Paducah. “It leaves me an idea of uncertainty around here,” Robinson said.

State Rep. to try to block transgender-supportive state Medicaid policy

SPRINGFIELD — St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) has told a Central Illinois TV station that he wants to block a new state Medicaid policy for gender-affirming surgeries. Last week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced a new policy that would allow transgender people to use Illinois’s Medicaid program to pay for gender affirming surgery. He had told the state Department of Healthcare and Family Services to develop a policy to cover the surgeries for people with gender dysphoria. While many in the LGBTQ community celebrated the news, others haven’t been so happy.

Racist flyers reappear at John A. Logan College

CARTERVILLE — The Southern Illinoisan reported on Monday that racist flyers may have made an appearance seven months after they were last seen at John A. Logan College. The newspaper reported that about 100 flyers from The Creativity Alliance, also known as the Church of Creativity, a white nationalist group that has ties to Southern Illinois, showed up last week at the community college. From the Southern Illinoisan:
Steve O’Keefe, who works for JALC’s college relations department, was unequivocal in his response. “We just want to be clear: We don’t condone it. We don’t tolerate it,” O’Keefe told The Southern Monday.

The Closet: LGBTQ Community Art Show coming to Carbondale

CARBONDALE — The Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center is hosting a community art show in late April. From the Facebook event:

THE CLOSET: LGBTQIA+ COMMUNITY ART SHOW will feature anonymous LGBTQIA+ youth artists as well as 5 community artists Colin Whitworth, Jonny Gray, Whitney Beaver, Emily Sands, and A.B. Performanceart. Over the past several months, these artists partnered with Rainbow Café and held workshops and demonstrations to help foster the creativity and skills of R.C. youth. The artworks created through this process will be published in the next edition of the Rainbow Café Youth Art-Zine THE CLOSET and are featured in an exhibition in the Surplus Gallery that will culminate in a gallery reception/fundraiser that will benefit Rainbow Café. The show will be at the Siu Surplus Gallery at 432 S. Washington in Carbondale.

LGBTQ open forum with Carbondale mayoral candidates on March 28

CARBONDALE — Unconditional, the LGBTQIA Family, Parent and Ally Group, is hosting a forum for Carbondale’s candidates for mayor this week. From the Facebook event:
Meet and Greet and Open Forum with incumbent Mike Henry and candidate Nathan Columbo. What concerns do we have as the LGBTQ community of Carbondale and the greater Southern Illinois area? As family, parents, allies, and LGBTQ individuals, let’s take this chance to express our concerns and ask questions to help inform not only the candidates but also, the community! Hosted by Unconditional, the LGBTQIA Family, Parent and Ally Group

We do not endorse any candidate; the purpose of this forum is for community education.

Carbondale hosts Southern Illinois AIDS Walk

CARBONDALE — About 130 people took part in this past weekend’s annual Southern Illinois AIDS Walk in Carbondale. The walkers started at the Newman Catholic Student Center in Carbondale and walked for two miles. Wally Paynter said this year’s walk raised more than $6,000 and they were still counting. The money will be going to the Southern Illinois AIDS Coalition, which does HIV education throughout Southern Illinois and provides assistance to low income households impacted by HIV/AIDS. All photos courtesy of Stephen Lee Bear

Southern Illinois lawmaker wants local schools to oppose Inclusive Curriculum Bill

EFFINGHAM — St. Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City) said that local school superintendents should actively oppose the Inclusive Curriculum Bill working its way through the State Senate. Wilhour made the statement in a post on the WXEF-FM website in Effingham. “I can’t imaging that there are many parents here locally that are eager for their schools to start teaching this curriculum in the classroom,” Wilhour said in the post. “If cities like Chicago can ignore federal immigration laws, then surely school districts in Southern Illinois can ignore ridiculous mandates like this.