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LGBTQ+ pride on display at Central Illinois parades, concerts, movies and more this June

Pride flags displayed during the 2022 festival in Urbana.

The start of June marks the beginning of Pride month around the United States and some parts of the world, a season intended to celebrate the lives and experiences of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer communities and to protest against the rollback of hard-won civil rights gains. The events take place in June in time with the 1969 uprising at New York City’s Stonewall Inn, a catalyst for global LGBTQ+ movements. – Associated Press

Illinois’ celebrations are happening after the Democratic majority state lawmakers approved bills to make policies more gender inclusive and protect LGBTQ marriages. At the same time, Republican-majority statehouses in many states including neighboring Indiana, Iowa, and Missouri have passed a surge of anti-LGBTQ legislation. Here is a list of some of the local events:

Date, time Location Activities and links to organizers
Saturday, June 3, 1:00-5:00 p.m. Temple Plaza, Downtown Danville A pet parade will kick off the first-ever pride celebration in the Vermilion County city. That will be followed by music by DJ Silkee. There will also be booths featuring job recruiters, businesses, and arts and crafts for children. Click here for more information.
Saturday, June 3, 6:00-9:00 p.m. Allerton Park & Retreat Center, Monticello

The Allerton Park Concert Series opens with a pride month celebration featuring music by of Bad Medicine and Lipstick Jodi. Food will be available for purchase. Click here for more information.

Illinois Public Media is a sponsor of the summer concert series.

Saturday, June 10, 7:00 a.m. Tuscola Community Building, 122 W N Central Ave, Tuscola Pound the Pavement for Pride 5k Color Run/Walk. Click here for more information.
Saturday, June 10, 7:00 p.m. Tuscola Community Building, 122 W N Central Ave, Tuscola Queens in the Corn is a night of drag performances hosted by Tuscola GSA Booster Club. Click here for more information.
Saturday, June 24, 3:00-11:00 p.m. Rose Bowl Tavern, 106 N Race St #1, Urbana

Uniting Pride of Champaign County holds a pride celebration, including a drag queen story time, drag show, local vendors, arts & crafts, and a performance by OTNES – formerly local artist Emily Blue. Click here for more information.

Wednesday, June 28, 6:30 p.m. Victory Park, Urbana Outdoor concert commemorating 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. Mank & Sass will perform. Click here for more information.
Friday, June 30, 7:00 p.m. Virginia Theatre, Champaign A screening and discussion of the documentary “Mama Bears” presented by Illinois Public Media.

“Mama Bears” is an exploration of the journeys taken by Sara Cunningham and Kimberly Shappley, two “mama bears”—conservative, Christian mothers whose profound love for their LGBTQ+ children has turned them into fierce advocates for the entire queer community—and Tammi Terrell Morris, a young African American lesbian whose struggle for self-acceptance perfectly exemplifies why the mama bears are so vitally important. Click here for more information.

Illinois moves toward gender inclusivity as others move away

Illinois lawmakers passed a trio of bills that would update existing laws to be more gender inclusive and add protections for LGBTQ marriages. Gov. J.B. Pritzker has said he will sign them. One bill would replace certain pronouns with the nouns to which the pronouns refer, such as “minor” instead of “he or she,” and “person who gives birth” in place of “mother” in some existing laws concerning children in the state’s care.

Another bill would require state agencies to track employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming to help achieve workforce diversity, and a third bill would make it easier for LGBTQ couples who resided in other states to marry in Illinois.

When the Supreme Court overturned the federal right to an abortion in June, the ruling included a concurring opinion from Justice Clarence Thomas that suggested the high court should review other precedent-setting rulings, including the 2015 decision legalizing same-sex marriage.

The marriage bill is meant to serve as fail-safe in case that decision is reversed. – Associated Press

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director for the Illinois Newsroom. He started at WILL in October of 2019 after serving as News Director for WKAR in East Lansing, Michigan. Previously, he was a news producer and manager at the NBC station in Dallas, where he won 7 Emmy awards. Born in Vietnam, Reginald is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

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