The Laramie Project – 20th Anniversary Reading, Nov. 4

CHICAGO — About Face Youth Theatre and Pride Films and Plays in Chicago will present a 20th anniversary reading of The Laramie Project on Sunday, Nov. 4. The reading will be a fundraiser for the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Tickets are $5 to $20 and are available at Brown Paper Tickets. From the Facebook event:
Jason Gerace directs an ensemble of Chicago’s greatest talents!

Reclaiming video games’ queer past before it disappears

By Adrienne Shaw, Temple University
The role of video games in queer communities is finally being recognized – but it’s almost too late. For 30 years, GLAAD, a leading advocate for LGBTQ visibility in the media, has honored TV shows that positively represent LGBTQ people – and along the way has expanded its attention to include other genres, such as English language film, journalism, theater and Spanish language media. The 2019 GLAAD Media Awards will, for the first time, recognize video games with LGBTQ characters. As someone who has studied LGBTQ issues in games since 2005, I see this move as an important historical shift, acknowledging that games are worthy of LGBTQ media activists’ attention. When I started my career, I had to convince people that there even were LGBTQ game content, players or creators to be studied.

Youth Outlook’s 20th Anniversary Dare to Dream Gala in Aurora, Nov. 3

AURORA — Youth Outlook will be holding their annual gala at Pipers Banquets in Aurora on Saturday, Nov. 3. From the Facebook event:
Youth Outlook is celebrating our 20th Anniversary at this year’s Dare to Dream Gala. Please save the date of November 3rd, 2018 and join us as we honor our past and look forward to the future with dinner, dancing, awards and celebration. This year’s gala theme is Emerald City – a theme that exemplifies the idea of building community and finding your home.

‘Hell No To The Memo’ rally in Decatur on Sunday

DECATUR — The LGBTQ community in Decatur is holding a rally to protest the proposed anti-transgender policy from the Trump administration. From the Facebook event:
The Trump Administration is gearing up for another attack on our community. The Department of Health and Human Services drafted a memo to federal agencies that would change the definition of sex and gender in a way that threatens the social, medical, and academic safety of trans and intersex Americans. We are gathering in front of the court house on Wood Street to stand in solidarity with our trans brothers and sisters and to make sure that the people at the top hear our unified voice when we say HELL NO to the MEMO! We will meet at the corner in front of the court house from noon-2pm.

GLAAD: Record-high percentage of LGBTQ regular characters on broadcast TV

LOS ANGELES – GLAAD, the LGBTQ media advocacy organization, on Thursday announced the findings of its annual Where We Are on TV report. Where We Are on TV analyzes the overall diversity of primetime scripted series regulars on broadcast networks and assesses the number of LGBTQ characters on cable networks and original scripted streaming series on the services Amazon, Hulu, and Netflix for the 2018-2019 TV season. This marks the 23rd year that GLAAD has tracked the presence of LGBTQ characters on television. Read the full report here: https://www.glaad.org/whereweareontv and follow @GLAAD for infographics. The 2018 Where We Are on TV report found a record-high percentage of LGBTQ series regulars on broadcast television at 8.8% of all series regulars.

Intersex-affirming hospital policy guide published

NEW YORK — Friday, October 26 marks Intersex Awareness Day. interACT: Advocates for Intersex Youth, Lambda Legal, and Proskauer Rose LLP have recently released the nation’s first intersex-affirming hospital policy guide, offering concrete steps for medical providers to provide sensitive, non-discriminatory care to intersex patients. “Intersex” describes up to 1.7% of the population born with natural variations in chromosomes, hormones, or genitalia that transcend an outdated understanding of biological sex as a male/female binary. The guide’s release corresponds to the first successful legislation in the United States acknowledging the non-consensual surgeries faced by intersex people. Passed in August by the state of California, SCR-110 calls for the creation of clear policy encouraging the delay of cosmetic procedures until an intersex individual is old enough to make an informed decision.

Black Gay Sexual Spaces and ‘Situations’ in the Age of AIDS, Oct. 30

URBANA — The UIUC Queer Studies Reading Group is presenting a talk titled “Black Gay Sexual Spaces and “Situations” in the Age of AIDS” on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Urbana. From the Facebook event:
Black Gay Sexual Spaces and “Situations” in an Age of AIDS
Prof. Marlon M. Bailey

OCTOBER 30, 2018
4-5:30 PM
1027 Lincoln Hall

This talk explores what sexual health means for some black gay men and what it looks like from their own perspectives. Drawing on ethnographic fieldwork in the Midwest, Professor Bailey examines black gay men’s engagement in “high risk” sex and the spaces and situations in which they occur. He argues that the sexual practices, spaces, and situations in which black gay men participate are a means through which they claim and enact sexual autonomy during this HIV crisis that disproportionately impacts them.

Bloomington/Normal transgender community rallies for visibility

All photos by Jamie Scovel

BLOOMINGTON — The transgender community and their allies rallied in Bloomington yesterday in reaction to recent moves against the community by the Trump administration. The rally, which wound through downtown Bloomington, was organized by B’N Trans – Community and Authentically You. b’N Trans said between 100 and 130 people showed up for the rally. As preparations for the rally continued, it was endorsed by a number of organizations in central Illinois including the Prairie Pride Coalition, Stonewall Democrats of McLean County, ACLU of Central Illinois, Voices of Reason, IWU Pride Alliance, FIST BloNo, Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America, and the Illinois Eagle. Other rallies have been held in Chicago and another is planned for Sunday in Decatur.