St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville)

State Rep: Parents need opt-out for LGBTQ history bill

LOUISVILLE, Ill. — A state representative in southeastern Illinois is saying the Inclusive Curriculum Bill needs a parental opt-out. St. Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Louisville) announced that he had voted against the bill in an article that was carried by several small town newspapers, but had Bailey’s byline. “I am opposed to yet another mandate on our teachers,” Bailey said in the article.

Rainbow Cafe hosts the first Southern Illinois Pride Pageant

CARBONDALE — The Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center hosted the first Southern Illinois Pride Pageant as a fundraiser for the Southern Illinois Pride Festival. The event raised more than $2,000 for the festival, which will be held in Carbondale this summer.  Christopher Matthews was named 2019 Mr. Southern Illinois Pride; Shelly Smith is  2019 Miss Southern Illinois Pride; Blanche DuBois is 2019 Southern Illinois Pride Queen, and Faim Lee Jewls is 2019 Southern Illinois Pride King. Their reign goes until 2020. All photos by Shay Miller of Hot Shoe Photography

Inclusive prom coming to Cape Girardeau

CAPE GIRARDEAU — A Cape Girardeau will hold a prom for LGBTQ youth in April, a local TV station reported on Monday. From KFVS:

Organizers say the event is to allow the LGBTQ+ community to attend a prom where attendees can bring a date of their choosing and to have a great prom experience. The theme of the prom is “Over the Rainbow – A prom for Everyone.”

The event will be held at Safe Space Cape on Fountain St. in Cape Girardeau. The prom is open to community members in the ninth grade through adults.

2019 Southern IL Pride Pageant

CARBONDALE — The Southern Illinois Pride Pageant is next weekend! From the Facebook event:
Southern IL Pride Pageant is a place for Queens and Kings of the Tri-State area to compete to become Southern IL PRIDE Royalty for 2019. ENTER THE COMPETITION at

Proceeds benefit the 2nd Annual Southern IL Pride Fest! Doors open at 8pm
Performances at 9pm

$5 Admission

19 to enter, 21 to drink

Lavender Graduation coming to Southern Illinois University

CARBONDALE — The Southern Illinois University LGBT Resource Center is holding a Lavender Graduation for LGBTQ students graduating this May, August and December. The graduation will include a pre-commencement reception award ceremony and reception.The center is asking for formal or semi-formal attire for the event, but it isn’t required. The time and place are:

Tuesday, April 30, 2019
Alumni Lounge, Student Recreation Center
6:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Dinner will be served. The deadline to sign up is 4:30 p.m. on April 17. You can sign up through the SIU LGBT Resource center website or through a Google Doc set up by the center.

Drag artist Florintine Dawn reads to the kids during the Drag Queen Story Hour.

Evansville TV station thinks Drag Queen Story Hour cost the police a lot. It didn’t

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — An Evansville television station posted a story about the potential costs for the recent Drag Queen Story Hour, thinking it could be up to $48,000. It actually wasn’t even close to that. WEHT-TV compared what happened in Greenville, South Carolina’s Drag Queen Story Hour, the cost was $48,000. When contacted, Evansville Police Department Sgt.

Drag artist Florintine Dawn reads to the kids during the Drag Queen Story Hour.

Evansville’s Drag Queen Story Hour a success

EVANSVILLE, Ind. —After months of arguing, meetings and protest, the first Drag Queen Story Hour was a success. The Evansville-Vanderburgh Public Library (EVPL) said in a statement that about 275 children and their guardians were able to attend the event, with another 150 turned away because they simply ran out of room. Local drag artist Florintine Dawn read the “Very Hungry Caterpillar;” “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”;and “Goodnight Moon.” Children also danced to “The Hokey Pokey,” “Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes” and “Freeze Dance.”

SIU students offering free income tax help

CARBONDALE — A group of Southern Illinois University (SIU) students are preparing taxes for local residents for free. SIU said in a January post on their website that Beta Alpha Psi, an SIU College of Business honors accounting student organization, is sponsoring the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program in 2019 to assist low-and moderate-income community members and fellow students in completing their tax returns. The post reported that program kicked off on Feb. 9 and will be going on each Saturday until April 6. Free tax preparation help will be available from 8 a.m. until noon in the computer lab on the lower level of Rehn Hall, located at 1025 Lincoln Drive.

Cape Girardeau to have first Pride this spring

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. — This small city just across the Mississippi from Illinois will have its first Pride celebration this spring. Local public radio station KRCU reported that it was being organized by local LGBTQ organization Cape Pride. From KRCU:

Amber Moyers, who heads the board of directors for the LGBTQ+ advocacy group, says the event has been in the works since June 2018. They had hoped to hold the event last year, but Moyers says they ran out of time, and were still in need of more organization before moving forward.