Smile Politely

The Rainbow Connection: July 23–29

MONDAY, July 23


WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Monday, July 23, 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: Nekromancy

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Monday, July 23, 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+


TUESDAY, July 24

Rainbow Lemonade Stand 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, July 24, 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 Social Group

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Tuesday, July 24, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Man UP meets in a social setting for casual discussion, games, and more. For adult men, 26+.

For more information go here, or contact Kevin.

WHAT: Circuit Pulse

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Tuesday, July 24, 9:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Circuit Pulse is Champaign-Urbana’s weekly club night featuring all electronic dance music with a circuit party vibe. Great drink specials and no cover charge.


Every Tuesday features a non-stop mix of:

Club House
Vocal Trance
Italo House
French House
Hard Trance
Progressive Trance
Hard House
Scouse House
Bassline House

Great drink specials and no cover charge.




WHERE: UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Wednesday, July 25, 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.

WHAT: Brother II Brother Meeting

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

WHEN: Wednesday, July 25, 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 Rage.

WHAT: Rent

WHERE: The Station Theatre

WHEN: Wednesday–Sunday, July 25–29, 8:00–11:00 p.m.

Rent, Jonathan Larson’s musical based on Puccini’s La bohème, won the Tony for Best Musical and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. This production is directed by  Mikel Matthews Jr., with musical direction by Alex Zelck Smith. Reservations can be made on the Station’s website or by calling (217) 384-4000.

Click on the link above for detailed information about the cast, and check out Meghan Whelan’s review.

WHAT: Boys Night Out

WHERE: Boltini Lounge

WHEN: Wednesday, July 25, 9:00 p.m.

Every Wednesday is Boys Night Out at Boltini Lounge. DJ Randall Ellison is at the decks spinning Hi-NRG, dance pop, disco house, and oldskool, gay club anthems.



WHAT: Play It UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Thursday, July 26, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

Play It UP is a social group for LGBTQA middle and high school youth. Play it UP is peer-led, adult-supported, and an official program of The UP Center. The facilitators of the group include two board members and the youth seat on the Board of Directors.

Youth involved in Play it UP organize monthly social events for LGBTQA youth to engage in, including movie nights, putt-putt, bowling, etc.

Information shared at Play it UP is strictly confidential, including youths’ presence at the group.

For more information, please contact Peggy.

WHAT: Open Mic Night

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Thursday, July 26, 8:00–11:00 p.m.

Join us for Mike Solomon‘s One Night Stand at Emerald City! Michael hosts Open Mic Night every Thursday. Stop in early for half price appetizers and drink specials until 7:00 p.m.

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


FRIDAY, July 27

WHAT: Blend UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Friday, July 27, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Blend UP is a discussion group for same-gender loving people of color in the Urbana-Champaign community. This group is geared toward meeting the social and support needs of LGBTQ people of color in Champaign-Urbana. The group is a meeting space for LGBTQs, both on campus and in the larger community.

For more information contact Lance.



WHAT: Families Group Picnic

WHERE: Hessel Park

WHEN: Saturday, July 28, 11:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.

The UP Center’s Families Group focuses on the specific needs of LGBTQA parents and children. This group provides separate programming opportunities for children of LGBTQA parents, LQBTQA parents, and the family.

Bring your family and join the Families Group at Hessel Park for a picnic, the chance to play in the fountains, and lots of fun with other LGBTQ families!

The UP Center will provide drinks, but please bring lunches if you would like, and join us for a mid-summer picnic.

The fountains will be on, so feel free to bring bathing suits, towels, and anything else your family might want for water play. Everyone is welcome!

For more information, go here.

WHAT: A Midsummer Night’s Wet Dream

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Saturday, July 28, 10:45 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Join the Emerald City DIVAS for the newest installment to their DIVAS Show Series.

This show features special guests Saya Naomi Diaz Deleon-Visage and Dymond-Champagne Calloway of Chicago, and of course your favorite DIVAS, Leiloni Stars and Aurora Lamont-Carrington.

DJ Dreea will be on the decks from 9pm–2am with drink specials and great tunes all night long.

To reserve a table, please email Leiloni Stars. See a map of available tables here.


SUNDAY, July 29

WHAT: Chicago Dragstravaganza

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Sunday, July 29, 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.

This week, the Chicago Dragstravaganza Girls are back to perform an amazing show with lots of glam and high-energy. The show is hosted by Evah Envy, with special performances by Isys DeLeon, Serena Fiierce, Zumiyah Rayne, and Jasmine Fiierce.

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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.

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

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