Smile Politely

The Rainbow Connection: February 20–26

THIS WEEK’S SPECIAL EVENTS (please see below for year-round  weekly events, announcements, and selected regional events)

WHAT: Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin Film Screening

WHERE: Parkland Community College (Room D-244)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

Brother Outsider is the definitive film biography of one of the most controversial figures of the Civil Rights Movement. Bayard Rustin was one of the first Freedom Riders, an advisor to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and A. Phillip Randolph, and an organizer of the 1963 March on Washington. Yet Rustin was denied his place in the limelight for one reason: he was gay.



WHAT: Queer and Ally Meeting

WHERE: Parkland Community College (Room X150)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 12:00–1:00 p.m.

Queer and Alley is Parkland Community College’s LGBTA Student Organization that promotes social connections and campus awareness. Campus visibility and fun are our goals. Join us if you support LGBT rights and LGBT issues!

For more information, please email, or contact Kelsey.

WHAT: Quench: LGBTQ Experience & Identities through International Lenses

WHERE: Illini Union (Colonial Room; 1st floor)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 12:00–1:00 p.m.

Speakers: Jerome Ng, Student International Academic Affairs & Study Abroad & Murillo Soranso, University Housing




WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Look UP is a group for LGBTQ and ally individuals to discuss the intersections between LGBTQ identity and Christianity in a safe, supportive environment.  Discussion topics include:  gay bible studies, responding to hate/discrimination, finding LGBTQ-affirming congregations, and other topics important to those in attendance.

For more information, please contact Mada.

WHAT: God vs. Gay? A Religious Case for Equality

WHERE: Hillel Foundation, Cohen Center for Jewish Life (Room 503)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 7:00 p.m.

Lecture with Jay Michaelson.

Don’t miss out on this great opportunity to hear Jay Michaelson speak about the taboo topic of gay rights and religion, and his new book God vs. Gay?: The Religious Case for Equality.

Michaelson is the author of three books and 200 articles about the intersections of religion, sexuality, and law. In 2009, he was included on the “Forward 50” list of the 50 most influential Jewish leaders in America.


For more information


WHERE: UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Gal UP is a social/support group for women of any sexual orientation to meet and discuss aspects of our daily lives, such as coming out, being an ally, creating friendships, networking in our community, job-related issues, spiritual/religious concerns, and other topics that members want to talk about. The group is a relaxed, safe environment where women can socialize and steer the direction as interests present themselves.

Feel free to invite any woman you think might be interested.

For more information go here, or contact Evelyne or Jennifer.

WHAT: eCISSA Meeting

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

The goal of eCISSA is to eliminate all bullying of LGBTQ students and to create a school environment where youth feel nurtured and safe to be themselves, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. All middle and high school youth are invited to attend. Youth participation is kept strictly confidential.

For more information, please contact Megan.

WHAT: Biblical Self-Defense for LGBTQ People and Allies

WHERE: LGBT Resource Center, Illini Union (Room 323)

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 6:30–8:00 p.m.

This event is sponsored by Building Bridges, an open, accepting, safe space for U of I students who identify as LGBTQ and Allies and are drawn to Christianity.

This event is a workshop that looks at the verses from the Bible that can be used against LGBTQ people. Rev. Leah Robberts-Mosser from Community United Church of Christ will give this presentation, followed by advice on how to respond to these verses. A Q&A follows.

For more information, please contact Harrison.

WHAT: Black.Womyn.: Conversations with Lesbians of African Descent — Film Screening & Discussion

WHERE: LGBT Resource Center, Illini Union (Room 323)

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 24, 2:00 p.m.

This film encourages progressive dialogue about images of black lesbians and the stereotypes resulting from their portrayal in media and society at large. The director hopes to create conversation among black lesbians of differing ages and backgrounds about the lack of communication among these groups and how this affects the overall unity of black lesbians as a group.

For more information



WHAT: Otters, & Cubs, & Bears … OH MY!

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Saturday, Feb. 25, 10:00 p.m.–2:30 a.m.

Join us for “A Man’s Nite” that features drink specials and an All-Male Review after 11:00 p.m.

Doors: 9:00 p.m.
Cover: $5; $3 when you present your SCRUFF or Grinder profile on your Smart Phone




WHERE: Lincoln Square Mall (Food Court)

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 26, 2:00–4:00 p.m.

Do you want to get to know other lesbian, gay bisexual, transgender, and ally members of our community in an informal environment where you can just relax and participate in casual conversation? If you said yes, then we invite you to come hang out at Rap UP! Come be among friends and share in casual conversation.

Food and drinks are available at Art Mart.

For more information go here, or contact Ann.


WHAT: Gay & Bisexual Men’s Group

WHERE: UIUC Counseling Center

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 5:10–6:40 p.m.

Co-leaders: Rene Monteagudo, Ph.D. & Mark Patishnock, MA

This process-oriented therapy group focuses on issues relevant to gay and bi men, such as coming out, developing friendships, STDs/HIV, being gay or bisexual at UIUC, deciding whether or not to be politically active, dating, online/smartphone relationships, romantic relationships, and exploration of one’s identity as a gay or bisexual man. Finally, this group is open to other topics (e.g. depression, anxiety, etc.) not related to one’s sexual orientation.

WHAT: Illinois Pride Meeting

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 323)

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 8:00 p.m.

Illinois Pride is the largest student organization for LGBT persons and their allies at the University of Illinois. We offer resources and social activities for LGBT students, including support with coming out, scavenger hunts, bar crawls, and an annual camping trip, an more.

This week, Pride is discussing queer politics. Join us for some insight into our quest for civil rights.

For more information, please email Kyle or Josh.

WHAT: Nekromancy

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Monday, Feb. 20, 9:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Every Monday, DJ SorceryKid crafts a continuous audio-visual mixshow of the latest and the greatest in dark alternative and underground dance music.

Doors: 9:00 p.m.
Cover: $2.00
Age: 19+

Hosted by Women of Pride.

Rainbow Coffeehouse offers a welcoming, open environment to LGBT and Ally communities to socialize. Whether you’re here for a meeting, with friends or to study, we welcome all!

WHAT: Mpowerment Meeting

WHERE: Green Street Center
              24 E. Green St., Suite 14

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 6:00–9:00 p.m.

Mpowerment is a local social and HIV prevention group for young gay/bisexual men. Meetings are open to all young gay and bisexual men interested in becoming involved.

For more information, please contact Carrie Keenan.

WHAT: Man UP: Men’s Support Group

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Tuesday, Feb. 21, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

This group is geared toward adult men, ages 18 and up. We meet in a peer support setting with focused discussions on topics such as the coming out process, developing friendships within the community, dating, and more.

For more information go here, or contact Kevin.

WHAT: Brother II Brother Meeting

WHERE: Green Street Center
              24 E. Green St., Suite 14

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 6:30–9:00 p.m.

B II B is a social group for young men of color who have sexual or loving relationships with other men. The goal is to create a strong positive and healthy community for men of color in Champaign-Urbana.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Boys Night Out

WHERE: Boltini Lounge

WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 22, 9:00 p.m.

Every Wednesday is Boys Night Out at Boltini Lounge.

  • DJ Randall Ellison at the decks
  • FREE candy and condoms
  • Half price food specials (4:00–6:30 p.m. only)


WHAT: Among Women: Lesbian, Bisexual, Queer, and Questioning Support Group

WHERE: Asian American Cultural Center

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 5:00–6:30 p.m.

We are an informal support group made up of lesbian, bisexual and queer women students; a place to meet other women who share your concerns and to form or broaden your social support network; an opportunity to decrease the alienation and isolation of being a lesbian or bisexual woman in a majority heterosexual environment; and a great chance to exchange ideas, experiences, and opinions. We are open to all University of Illinois students, both graduate and undergraduate.

For more information, please contact Alexandra.

WHAT: Open Mic Night

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 7:00–10:00 p.m.

Every Thursday is Open Mic Night at Emerald City Lounge. Stop in early for half price appetizers and drink specials until 7:00 p.m.

If interested in performing on open mic night, call Emerald City at (217) 398-8661.



WHAT: Out in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (oSTEM)

WHERE: LGBT Resource Center, Illini Union (Room 323)

WHEN: Thursday, Feb. 23, 8:00 p.m.

oSTEM is a student group open to and oriented towards LGBT students in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. Allies and those not in Science also welcome!

General Body Meetings are the 1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month. The 2nd and 4th Thursdays are hangout/homework sessions. Feel free to come any Thursday.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Women of Pride

WHERE: LGBT Resource Center, Illini Union (Room 323)

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 26, 6:30 p.m.

Women of Pride is a student group made for women, by women, as a safe place to gather. We educate the campus community of cultural, political, and other social issues related to lesbians, bisexual women, and transgender people. One of our goals is to foster a sense of community among queer women and our allies. We do this by meeting weekly for discussions, workshops, and events on or off campus.

For more information, please contact Heather.

WHAT: Sunday Night Drag Shows

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 26, 11:30 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

C-Street hosts drag shows every Sunday, with different performers every week. The first Sunday of every month is Open Talent Night, hosted by Ceduxion Carrington, so anyone who wants to sing, dance, or give drag a try can compete for a cash prize.


LGBTQ participants are invited to participate in a research study on community involvement


  • 18 years of age or older
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, or queer
  • Willingness to be interviewed

Being currently or formally involved in LGBTQ-related groups is not a requirement for participation. All identifying information remains strictly confidential.

Contact the interviewer: Megan Paceley, PhD Student, School of Social Work by email, or call (217) 316-4789.

(email and phone number are confidential and accessible only by Megan.)


Do you know an Awesome Ally?

Do you know anyone whose support for the LGBTQ community deserves recognition? If so, nominate that person for the UP Center’s third annual Awesome Ally Award!

For the past two years, The UP Center has given an Awesome Ally Award to local individuals who have gone above and beyond with their dedication to the LGBTQ community. Although the past recipients have been chosen by The UP Center’s Board of Directors, this year we want YOU to help us recognize the efforts of an Awesome Ally. Individuals, as well as businesses or organizations, are eligible to win. Winners will receive an Awesome Ally badge and/or framed certificate and be formally recognized at Turn it UP! (Friday, Apr. 13th)

Nominations for this year’s Awesome Ally Award will be accepted through March 9th, 2012. All nominations will be reviewed by the UP Center. Both the nominator and nominee will receive complimentary tickets to this event.

If you would like to nominate someone for the Awesome Ally Award, please send a paragraph or two explaining how the nominee has demonstrated his or her commitment to supporting the LGBTQ community. Please indicate whether your nomination is an individual or business. Send all nominations to Tom Miebach.


Calling all performers! It’s time to Turn It UP!

The UP Center is preparing for its third annual Turn It UP! fundraising event. Turn It UP! 2012 will take place on Friday, Apr. 13, from 7:00–11:00 p.m., at 88 Broadway.

We are now seeking a diverse group of performers for this year’s event: musicians, spoken word artists, comedians, dance troupes, etc. This year we plan to devote the first portion of the event to youth acts.

We have limited time and space, so we are asking all potential performers to contact us no later than March 12. If you are interested in performing, please email Tom Miebach.

Please include the following information:

  • Contact name
  • Group name (if any)
  • Contact phone number
  • Contact email
  • Type of performance
  • Ages of performers
  • Equipment (if any) needed for performance
  • Is performance content family friendly or adults only? (this is important in scheduling)
  • Any information you wish to share about your performance or your group


*** ***

Disclaimer: This is not a comprehensive list of all LGBTQ events in our community. Please always feel free to email me or post other events/updates/corrections in the comments.

Except on rare occasions, all language is taken directly from event pages and websites, and only minimally edited.

More Articles