Smile Politely

The Rainbow Connection: November 15–21

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

WHAT: ThanksGAYving: An LGBT Potluck Dinner

WHERE: La Casa Cultural Latina

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 5:00–9:00 p.m. (Dinner begins at 5:45)

Join us for a dinner to celebrate being a family on campus and just being thankful of each other and the resources we have here. This is going to be a potluck dinner, so of course it’s free. Just cook up your favorite holiday dish (or dish in general) and bring it over.


WHERE: UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 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, please contact Evelyne.

WHAT: Play It UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17, 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 Megan.

WHAT: Transitioning Together: Shifting Identities, Visibility, and Hangin’ in There

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

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17, 2:00–3:00 p.m.

Presented by Coyote Grace, a nationally known folk band. This event is free and open to the public.

Coyote GraceWHAT: Coyote Grace Concert

WHERE: Independent Media Center

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

The bluegrass and blues band Coyote Grace will provide an evening performance in honor of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

For more information, please go here or contact Kevin.

WHAT: Hot Slugs

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18, 5:00 p.m.

Doors: 5:00 p.m.
Show: 9:00 p.m.
Tickets: Free
Age Limit: 19+

WHAT: Transgender Day of Remembrance: A T-Gathering

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Sunday, Nov. 20, 4:00–6:00 p.m.

T-Gathering is a gathering of the transgender community and supporters for Transgender Day of Remembrance 2011. Transgender Day of Remembrance serves several purposes. It raises public awareness of hate crimes against transgender people, an action that current media doesn’t perform. Day of Remembrance publicly mourns and honors the lives of our brothers and sisters who might otherwise be forgotten. Through the vigil, we express love and respect for our people in the face of national indifference and hatred.

Tea and snacks will be provided. A private changing room is available next to the meeting space.

For more information, please go here or contact Lee Boyer.

WHAT: What’s UP: LGBTQA Young Adult Social/Support Group

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 21, 6:30–7:30 p.m.

What’s UP is a group for LGBTQA people aged 18–25 to come together and work out problems, rant, socialize, philosophize, commiserate, speculate, or just plain talk.

For more information, email Bronwyn.


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, Nov. 15, 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, Nov. 15, 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, Nov. 16, 6:00–8:00 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: Illinois Bi Pride Meeting

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

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 6:30 p.m.

Illinois Bi Pride is a registered organization at the University of Illinois dedicated to supporting bisexual, pansexual, queer people, and our allies.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Coming Out Support Group

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 317)

WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 16, 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–Thursday, Nov. 16–17, 9:00 p.m.–2:00 a.m.

Leiloni Stars will be joining DJ Randall Ellison to host the weekly Wednesday night Boys Night Out celebration at Boltini Lounge. There will be activities, performances, show tunes, and club jams throughout the night.

DJ Randall Ellison will start playing show tunes around 9pm. Leiloni will join him and begin hosting around 10:30pm. Activities and performances to follow shortly after. Club jams will start spinning around 11pm.

No Cover
Age: 21+

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

WHERE: Asian American Cultural Center

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17, 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: Building Bridges

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 211)

WHEN: Thursday, Nov. 17, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Building Bridges exists to provide an open, accepting, safe space space for U of I students who identify as LGBTQ and Allies and are drawn to Christianity.

We aim to foster personal growth in ourselves, our spiritual health, and our community through honest spiritual discussions, sharing of personal experiences, and promoting social interaction. We respect the diversity of members’ spiritual backgrounds and are committed to breaking down stereotypes and to building an understanding between diverse groups.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Pride Meeting

WHERE: Illini Union (Room TBA)

WHEN: Monday, Nov. 21, 8:00 p.m.

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.

For more information, please email Kyle.

WHAT: Nekromancy

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Monday–Tuesday, Nov. 21–22, 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+


Acorn Equality Fund Breakfast

The UP Center of Champaign County is excited to provide an opportunity for youth to learn more about a downstate Illinois college scholarship from the Acorn Equality Fund. LGBTQ youth are at an increased risk of dropping out of high school due to the effects of stigma and discrimination. The UP Center hopes to prevent this negative outcome by providing youth with resources they can utilize after high school, especially those resources that are LGBTQ-affirming. The Acorn Equality Fund offers LGBTQ individuals, allies, and children of LGBTQ parents (at any academic level) the opportunity to apply for scholarships to help pay for school and school-related expenses (between $1,000 and $4,000 each, as much as $25,000 annually). They present these awards at their annual Family Breakfast and Fundraiser. This year the breakfast will take place on Saturday, December 3 in East Peoria.

The UP Center plans to sponsor a table of 10 (at $250) for youth (and a friend or family member if they choose) to attend, but we need your help! Please help send these youth to the breakfast where they can learn more about their scholarship opportunities (several of whom will be applying next year!). We need donations that will go directly toward funding the breakfast for the youth and their families. If you are interested, you can donate at the following levels:

  • $20 (provides 1 gas card for a family/group to attend)
  • $25 (pays for 1 youth to attend)
  • $50 (pays for 1 youth and a guest to attend)

Or at any amount you feel comfortable with.

Please help us encourage our local LGBTQ youth to finish high school and look toward the future by sponsoring this event in any way. Email Megan with any questions.

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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. If I attempted to write this myself, I’d never get it done.

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