Transgender athlete Schuyler Bailar to headline cultural dinner, Sept. 20

NORMAL — The Illinois State University Speaker Series is bringing in transgender athlete Schuyler Bailar to headline its University Housing Services LGBTQA Cultural Dinner on Friday, Sept. 20. The university made the announcement in a press release on their website. A recent graduate of Harvard University, Bailar is the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer, and the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport. ISU said the meal will be catered by the Marriott Hotel and Conference Center in Normal with a menu of Korean dishes.

Schuyler Bailar to speak at Illinois State in Sept.

NORMAL — Schuyler Bailar, the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport at a NCAA Division 1 men’s team, will speak at the Bloomington-Normal Mariott Hotel and Conference Center on Friday, Sept. 20

From the Facebook event:
Schuyler Bailar is the first transgender athlete to compete in any sport on an NCAA Division 1 men’s team. He is also an internationally-celebrated inspirational speaker and inclusion advocate. By 15, Schuyler was one of the nation’s top-20 15-year-old breaststrokers. At 17, he set a national age-group record.

ISU LGBTQA Alumni Network to walk in Chicago Pride Parade, free reception prior

NORMAL —  The Illinois State University LGBTQA Alumni Network will be marching in the Chicago Pride Parade and is inviting the community to join. The networks will also hold a reception at ISU’s Chicago office on Michigan Avenue, the school said in a statement. The reception will include niversity updates from Bob Navarro ’91, M.S. ’93, Ph.D. ’02, one of the newest members of the ISU Board of Trustees, and participation with the ISU walking unit in the parade. The events are complimentary but they do suggest people register by 4:30 p.m. on June 21 online or by calling the Alumni Engagement Chicago Office at (309) 438-3500. The Alamo II in Normal is also selling Pride merchandise at 15% off.

No charges in swastika scrawled on high school lockers

NORMAL — Illinois State University Police told local media that a student who scrawled racist graffiti on lockers at University High School won’t be charged. From the Bloomington Pantagraph:

“It was written in spray deodorant and was able to be wiped off easily and so there was no criminal damage,” Illinois State University Police Chief Aaron Woodruff said Tuesday. “It didn’t rise to the level of criminal damage. It was probably just a case of using bad judgment.”
Laboratory Schools Superintendent Dana Kinley said administrators quickly identified the student and are dealing with it administratively. “This is a matter we take very seriously and are handling it that way,” she said.

ISU Pride’s 21st Annual Charity Drag Show on March 2

NORMAL — ISU Pride will have it’s annual drag charity show at the Bone Student Center on March 2 with RuPaul’s Drag Race finalist Shea Coulee. From the Facebook event:
We are so excited to announce our headliner is Shea Coulee! Her name is Shae Coulee and she didn’t come to play – finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 9 and Chicago native, Shea Coulee came to slay. With her arresting beauty, captivating live performances and stunning visuals, Shea Coulee is bound to leave a lasting impression. Known for breaking the mold in terms of drag-related music, She has been featured on MTVUK, Billboard, Grindr, and Paper Magzine.

Heartland Theatre Company debuting ‘Marjorie Prime’ on Feb. 7

NORMAL — The Heartland Theatre Company will debut it’s production of “Majorie Prime” on Feb. 7 at their space in Normal. From the Facebook event:
MARJORIE PRIME by Jordan Harrison
Directed by Don LaCasse

Once a celebrated violinist, eighty-six year old Marjorie spends her final, ailing days with what appears to be a younger version of her deceased husband, Walter. But who is this new Walter and what does he know and understand about the past, if anything? As their interactions deepen, Marjorie’s family begins to develop diverging accounts of their lives, drawn into the chance to reconstruct the often painful past.

Rally in support of transgender, intersex community in Normal

NORMAL — The transgender and intersex communities of Normal came out with their allies on Tuesday to protest the recent proposed anti-transgender policy proposed by the Trump administration with the Gender Spectrum Rally: Our Future. The policy proposed Department of Health and Human Services would create a legal definition of gender that would exclude transgender and intersex people from consideration by the government. The rally was the latest of a number of rallies held in central Illinois, following ones in Decatur the day before and nearby Bloomington last week. B’N Trans Community, one of the organizing groups, said about 60 people attended. The rally was endorsed by a number of organizations from the Bloomington/Normal area and across Central Illinois:

PFLAG Bloomington/Normal
IWU Pride Alliance
Central Illinois PRIDE Health Center
Bloomington-Normal Democratic Socialists of America
College Democrats at Illinois State University
ISU Pride
ACLU of Central Illinois
Prairie Pride Coalition

(Editor’s note: The Illinois Eagle also endorsed the rally.)

Photos courtesy of Jamie Scoval