Smile Politely

The Rainbow Connection: September 4–9

TUESDAY, September 4

ETC Cafe, 1203 W. Green Street, corner of Green/Goodwin

The Rainbow Coffeehouse offers a welcoming, open environment for all LGBTQ and Ally communities to socialize. Whether you are here for a meeting, hanging out with friends, or to study, we invite you to join us at Rainbow Coffeehouse.

WHAT: Mpowerment Meeting

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

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 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, Sept. 4, 7:00–9:00 p.m.

Man UP is geared towards adult men, ages 26 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: Infusions

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

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 8:00 p.m.

Infusions: A Multicultural Gender and Sexuality Alliance is a cultural/LGBTQ organization dedicated to inclusion and diversity. Infusion focuses on the intersections of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and race. We are open to any and all who seek to learn more about and to support these intersections of identities.

Infusions seeks to provide an inclusive space for LGBTQ people of color who may not feel welcomed within their ethnic communities due to their gender identity or sexuality.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Circuit Pulse

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Tuesday, Sept. 4, 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.


WEDNESDAY, September 5

WHAT: Brother II Brother Meeting

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

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 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 Rage.

WHAT: Coming Out Support Group

WHERE: Illini Union (Room 317)

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 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: Trans UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 7:00–8:30 p.m.

Tran UP is a group for members of the transgender community to come together in a safe space to discuss our lives and socialize.

Topics for discussion can relate to the coming out process, transitioning, becoming comfortable with ourselves, and living as a trans person in general society, dating, and more — all while developing friendships and networking within the community.

A private changing room is available adjacent to meeting space. Privacy and confidentiality are respected and appreciated.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Boys Night Out

WHERE: Boltini Lounge

WHEN: Wednesday, Sept. 5, 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.


THURSDAY, September 6

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

WHERE: Asian American Cultural Center

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 5:00–6:00 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: Play It UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 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: Building Bridges

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

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 7:00–8:00 p.m.

Building Bridges exists to provide an open, accepting, safe space space for people who identify as LGBTQ and Allies and are interested in discussions about Christianity.

For more information, please email.

WHAT: Open Mic Night

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 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.

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

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

WHEN: Thursday, Sept. 6, 8:00 p.m.

oSTEM@Illinois is an LGBT and Ally RSO that facilitates the growth of LGBT representation in STEM fields. We provide members with the tools to advance themselves both academically and professionally in an environment that is welcoming and friendly.

For more information, please contact John.


FRIDAY, September 7

WHAT: Blend UP

WHERE: The UP Center of Champaign County

WHEN: Friday, Sept. 7, 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. We welcome men, women, and transgender folks of all identities to join us.

Discussion topics include:

  • Family
  • Relationships
  • School
  • Work
  • Defining yourself

Blend UP is for young adults and adults (ages 18 and up). For more information contact Lance.

WHAT: C-U Pride Fest

WHERE: 88 Broadway

WHEN: Friday–Sunday, Sept. 7–10

You’ll find all the details of this years Pride Festival in last Friday’s radio podcast and today’s preview, but here’s a quick rundown of all the fun.

Friday: Cocktails @ 5:30 | Show @ 7:00 | Food @ 7:30 p.m., $40

Murder Mystery Dinner. “Date with Death: A Queer Encounter.” Presented by the Champaign-Urbana Theatre Company. Enjoy a “Seven Corpse” dinner, “Guess Who Dun It,” and win prizes.

Dinner Menu:

  • Mixed Greens Salad with Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Carrots, Croutons and Dressings
  • Homemade Olive Bread
  • Fresh Steamed Green Beans
  • Garlic and Rosemary Infused Mashed Potatoes
  • Crown Breasted Chicken
  • White Wine Marinated Chicken Breasts stuffed with Mushrooms, Swiss and Parsley in a Almandine Cream Sauce
  • Mushroom and Spinach Lasagna
  • Dessert Table: Banana Cream Pies, Mixed Berry Shortcakes and Chocolate Covered Strawberries

Buy tickets here.


Saturday: Noon-2:00 a.m. (“Family Time” ends at 9:00 p.m.)

Performances and Entertainment:

Stephen Leonard
Dawna Nelson & The Impalas
The Diva & The Dude
Duke of Uke and His Novelty Orchestra
Carnivàle Debauche
Foam Parties
Drag Performances
Local Artists Booths
Community Organizations
Kids Play Area


Workshops Throughout Saturday
What Does It Mean To Be An Ally?
Local Queer History
Youth Drag 101 (Pre-Registration Required)
Engaging Your Elected Officials
Candidate Forum


Sunday: 10:00 a.m., $25

Dish It UP: Post-Pride Brunch. Put the final touches on your C-U Pride Fest weekend with a brunch hosted by the UP Center! Piato Cafe will provide a delicious brunch and 88 Broadway is generously providing complementary mimosas. Start your day with a delicious meal and drag performances by five of C-U’s favorite Queens!


  • Fresh Fruit Salad
  • Assorted Pastries
  • Sausage Patties
  • Bacon
  • Pancakes
  • Biscuits and Gravy
  • Hashbrowns
  • Omelet Station

Get your tickets here.


SUNDAY, September 9

WHAT: Bags & Hags 50/50 Tourney

WHERE: Emerald City Lounge

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 9, 3:00 p.m.

Pride Weekend continues at Emerald City Lounge! 50/50 double-elimination bag tournament. Registrations starts at 2:00 p.m. Tournament starts at 3:00. And yes, there will be great drink specials.

Registration Fee:

$30 per team (Presales, ending on the 7th)
$40 on the 8th or 9th

Call and reserve your team today!

WHAT: Women of Pride

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

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 9, 6:30 p.m.

Women of Pride is a student group made for women, by women, as a safe place to gather. We informally 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 gathering weekly for discussions, workshops, and events on or off campus.

For more information, please contact Sarah.

WHAT: Sunday Night Drag Shows

WHERE: Chester Street Bar

WHEN: Sunday, Sept. 9, 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.


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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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