Smile Politely

The Rainbow Connection: January 25–31

WHAT: Mpowerment Meeting

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

WHEN: Tuesday, Jan. 25, 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: Bisexuality & Religion: Reconciling Sexuality and Spirituality

WHERE: LGBT Resource Center

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 6:00–7:00 p.m.

Come to Bi Pride’s second meeting of the semester and discuss, or simply listen in on, personal experiences with religion and how it affects bisexuals and the LGBT community as a whole.

Also at this meeting, we will hold an election for a new executive board position, the Educational Chair.

WHAT: Coming Out Support Group

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 317)

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Coming Out Support Group is a safe, informal space for U of I students to listen, discuss, and learn about aspects of identity and coming out. It is open to all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning students, and those who do not choose to label themselves.

This is a confidential space; we always respect your privacy.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Boys Night Out

WHERE: Boltini Lounge

WHEN: Wednesday, Jan. 26, 9:00 p.m.

Every Wednesday is Boys Night Out at Boltini Lounge.

  • DJ Randall Ellison at the decks.
  • FREE candy and condoms
  • $4.00 X-Boyfriend & Well Hung martinis; $9 carafe Long Island Iced Tea; $1.50 Miller High Life bottles; $5.00 Classic & Baby Mama Bellinis
  • Half price food specials (4:00–6:30 p.m. only)

WHAT: Friday Films: Loving Annabelle

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

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 28, 2:00 p.m.

Film screening and discussion of the movie Loving Annabelle. Rising star Erin Kelly is Annabelle, a precocious Senator’s daughter who falls for her Catholic school teacher Simone. After Simone is assigned to control the rebellious student, she instead finds herself drawn into Annabelle’s world. As their attraction builds, the two women must cope with the reactions of those around them.

WHAT: Screening of Riot Acts

WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Church of Champaign-Urbana (Fellowship Hall)

WHEN: Friday, Jan. 28, 6:30

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Champaign-Urbana welcomes Chicago filmmakers Madsen Minax and Simon Strikeback to screen their feature-length documentary about transgender and gender-variant musicians. Riot Acts is a transfabulous rockumentary representing the multi-dimensional lives of transgender and gender variant musicians, through a first-hand perspective of the intersections between gender performance and stage performance, culminating with the notions that identities and bodies are undeniably political, and the trans experience isn’t always one of tragedy, but one of creativity and joy.

Free and open to the public.

Snacks and Q & A to follow ― producers in attendance.

For more information, email Simon Strikeback.

WHAT: Same Sex Sunday Podcast

WHERE: Right here. And also here.

WHEN: Sunday, Jan. 30, 2011

This week, D. Gregory Smith returns with another great interview with the Executive Director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, Jason Marsden. They discuss hate crimes, the state of the nationwide LGBT community, and legislative concerns for our community in the Foundation’s home state of Wyoming.

Then our round table takes on the gruesome murder of LGBTQ activist, David Kato, in Uganda — and how it relates not only to anger-driven rhetoric here at home, but bullying right here in American schools. Learn more about “C-Street,” the American connection to this horrific crime. Our panelists also take on whether or not the President’s 1996 position on marriage matters, and what he did and didn’t say in the State of the Union, as well as the ups and downs of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell repeal and the progress on Civil Unions in Hawaii.

Joe Mirabella is away this week being a hard-working activist. In his place, helping to moderate the panel, our frequent guest and regular substitute co-host, Chris Geidner, politics writer at MetroWeekly in D.C.

Joining the round table this week are

  • Executive Director of Fair Wisconsin, Katie Belanger
  • Director of the Safe Schools Action Network, Shannon Cuttle
  • Round table regular and Democratic strategist, Chris Massicotte
  • Veteran, activist & author Brett Edward Stout

Check it out:

WHAT: Quench! The Struggle for Justice: LGBT Rights at Illinois

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 314A)

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 31, 12:00–1:00 p.m.

Speakers: Dr. Renee Romano, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs; Curt McKay, former LGBT Resource Center Director; Jim Hall, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, College of Medicine.

WHAT: Talk it UP

WHERE: Independent Media Center (Suite 203)

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 31, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Talk it UP is a peer-run, confidential LGBTQ support group for middle and high-school youth. LGBTQ youth can expect an atmosphere of acceptance and support while meeting other LGBTQ youth. The group is co-facilitated by two UP Center board members (one teacher, one social worker); however the group is led by the youth participants.

Snacks are provided.

For more information, please contact Christina.

WHAT: PRIDE showing of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 407)

WHEN: Monday, Jan. 31, 8:00 p.m.

Come watch with us. Popcorn will be provided and afterwards we will discuss Queer representation in the media. Remember the film runs for about 2 hours so be prepared for a somewhat longer than usual meeting. Hope to see you there!



Call for video entries

Illinois Public Media is collaborating with WGBH Lab in Boston and American Experience on PBS to invite residents of east central Illinois to create local stories about the struggles for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality.

We are looking for citizen reporters, journalists, video-bloggers, documentary story tellers, animators and new media-makers to contribute an original video story of three minutes or less as part of a national call for content. Your video will be uploaded on WILL and WGBH’s websites.

Five videos will be selected by a jury panel as winners and those winners will each receive a cash award of $1,000.

For more information, please visit this website and email Sean Powers.

Deadline to enter your video is February 14, 2011.


WHAT: Awesome Ally Award Nominations

WHERE: Your computer

WHEN: Present–Feb. 28, 11:30 p.m.

Do you know an Awesome Ally? Is there someone in your life that supports the LGBTQ community in ways you feel deserve to be recognized? If so, then nominate that person for The UP Center‘s 2nd Annual Awesome Ally Award!

Nominations will be accepted through February 28, 2011. Nominations should include one to two paragraphs about why you feel your nominee is an awesome ally. Include whatever information you feel is relevant. Nominations will be judged by the Turn it UP! 2011 committee and the award(s) will be presented at the Turn it UP! 2011 party.

All nominations should be submitted using this form.


The UP Center of Champaign County is in the early planning stages for Turn it UP! 2011, a concert and variety show featuring local musicians, spoken word artists, improv acts, and more. This event will take place on April 8, 2011.

The UP Center is looking for performers to volunteer their time and talent at Turn it UP! 2011. They are looking for musicians (all kinds), spoken word artists, comedians, improv groups, and other performers to volunteer their time to help make TIU! 2011 a success!

If you are interested in being a part of Turn It UP! 2011, should contact Megan or go here to complete the entry form.

All potential performers should complete the linked form by Feb. 15, 2011 in order to ensure adequate time to plan the event.

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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.

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