Car Wash fundraiser for Carbondale’s Rainbow Cafe

MARION — Rainbow Cafe, a safe space for LGBTQ youth is holding a car wash fundraiser on Saturday, Aug. 25. From the Facebook event:
Help the Rainbow Cafe Youth Raise funds for camp!!! Alternatively, if you’re interested in supporting the camp and not able to attend our car wash, a GoFundMe has also been created:

Do you know a youth age 13-19 who may want to participate in our camp? Let us know!

SW Indiana school district tackles gender identity

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — The Evansville-Vanderburgh School Corporation in southwestern Indiana took on gender identity and its non-discrimination policy at their school board meeting Monday night. From
The school system faces litigation regarding its bathroom policy for transgender students. A transgender high school student filed a lawsuit in February against the EVSC alleging the school won’t let him use the men’s restroom. The student was born a female but has openly identified as male since he was 12.

Southern Illinois celebrates their first Pride

CARBONDALE — Carbondale hosted the first Pride celebration in the far southern area of Illinois this past weekend, becoming the latest in the state to celebrate LGBTQ rights. Other Pride parades and festivals take place in Chicago, Springfield, Metro East, Joliet and Peoria. The Southern Illinoisan reported that hundreds turned out for a walk and festival at the Carbondale Pavilion. A local church, Church of the Good Shepherd, hosts an annual Pride Picnic, but this is the first time that a month of activities has been planned for the area. From The Southern Illinosan:

Before the march, Carbondale City Council member Jessica Bradshaw told the crowd that the city’s inclusivity was one of its strengths.

First Southern Illinois Pride Weekend to be held in June

CARBONDALE — Carbondale will join other Illinois cities in celebrating Pride this year. From the Facebook event:
The following schedule is subject to change, and more details will be available soon:

Friday, June 1st:
Welcome Reception, 6:00 p.m., location TBA
Showing of “Milk”, the story of Harvey Milk, Varsity Theater, 8:00

Saturday, June 2nd:
PrideWalk – starting at Carbondale Gaia house at 11 am
Festival – Carbondale Pavilion, 12 p.m. – 4p.m., with Mistress of Ceremonies, the Living Legend, Blanche Dubois! Local bands, tables, activities and events for all ages. MORE DETAILS TBA
DRAG QUEEN BINGO, 4:00 – 6:00 p.m., Varsity Theater
YOUTH PARTY – 7pm – 11 pm, Carbondale Gaia House – live band and drag show. Ages 13-19
BENEFIT CONCERT FOR THE RAINBOW CAFE – Street Bar, 8 p.m. – featuring an array of fabulous drag artists / performers, and local bands.

S.I. Pride to protest anti-LGBTQ education billboard

CARBONDALE — S.I. Pride, a LGBTQ Pride organization in Carbondale, will be protesting a billboard opposing a proposal to include LGBTQ in the state school history curriculum. From WCIA in Champaign:
It’s unclear who posted the billboard. It reads, “Paid for by the Church Without Walls,” but no church with that name is accepting responsibility. An employee of Equality Illinois took the photo off Highway 143, near Carbondale. Equality Illinois is the group behind the initiative to bring LGBTQ history to schools.

Equality Illinois

Equality Illinois LGBTQ Town Halls launch in Central and Southern Illinois

NORMAL — With Illinoisans facing uncertainty about LGBTQ rights in the Trump era and push back in some parts of the state as they try to assert their rights, Equality Illinois LGBTQ Town Halls launch Tuesday night in Bloomington-Normal and continue Wednesday night in Peoria. Future town halls are scheduled in Carbondale and the Metro East area. “The laws that guarantee legal equality in Illinois still do not always create a true, open, lived equality for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people and our families,” said Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois. “It’s not enough to simply join the fight against the anti-LGBTQ actions of the Trump administration in Washington. We must simultaneously build a more fair and just Illinois.”