Author Archive


Equality Illinois 2022 Pride Kickoff Brunch

May 16, 2022

Equality Illinois is hosting a Pride Kickoff Brunch June 4th and we hope you will join us in supporting them! This year our honoree will be Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris, the first LGBTQ+ person to serve as a legislative leader in the Illinois General Assembly.

 We hope to see you there!


Network for Equality

April 6, 2022

We are excited that Network for Equality – our premier LGBTQ+ networking event – is BACK Tuesday, April 26, 2022. Can I count on you to buy a ticket to this impactful LGBTQ networking event?



Legislative Update

April 6, 2022

BIG NEWS! On National Honor Our LGBTQ+ Elders Day(5/16/22), Governor JB Pritzker signed SB 3490 into law to disrupt disparities for LGBTQ+ older adults and older adults living with HIV. The new law creates the Illinois Commission on LGBTQ+ Aging; establishes an LGBTQ+ Older Adult Advocate within state government; and requires state-funded aging services providers to complete LGBTQ+ older adult awareness and competency training. Thank you, Governor Pritzker, State Senator Karina Villa and State Representative Lakesia Collins! SB 3490 was supported by the Illinois Department on AgingAARP of IllinoisAIDS Foundation ChicagoCenter on HalstedEquality IllinoisHoward Brown HealthPride Action TankSAGEGolden Rainbows of Illinois SouthPrairie Pride CoalitionChicago Bar Association, and many more organizations.



Illinois Standing for Queer and Trans Communities

March 28, 2022

Join us Monday, March 28th at 5:30pm in Federal Plaza.

Equality Illinois and other community partners stand for queer and trans communities in the face of anti-trans and anti-LTBTQ actions in states like TX, IN and FL and violence here in Chicago.


EI’s FY21 Annual Report

February 22, 2022

At a time when LGBTQ civil rights are under attack nationally, we are proud to have worked with the LGBTQ community and allies to help place Illinois at the cutting edge of LGBTQ full equality.



EI’s LGBTQ Civil Rights Survey!

February 8, 2022

Equality Illinois is proud to announce the launch of our LGBTQ civil rights survey!  Building off the input of 100+ stakeholders around the state, we have designed this short survey to gather your input on where you think Equality Illinois’ civil rights work should head in the next 5 years.

TODAY, please take 10 minutes to do the following:

  1. Fill out the survey here.  Your voice could help decide the civil rights agenda for LGBTQ Illinoisans for the next 5 years.
  2. Ask your friends (LGBTQ community members and our allies) to also fill out the survey by sending them this link: https://tinyurl.com/EI2022Survey

That’s it!
  Oh, and every person who fills out the survey will be entered to win a $50 gift card! Our first drawing is this Friday so take the survey TODAY!



EI 2022 Gala COVID Safety Protocol

January 25, 2022

The 2022 Gala is coming up! We have strengthened our protocols to keep you safe.

According to City mandate, the Hilton must also independently verify proof of ID alongside the proof of vaccination. In order to streamline that process and fulfill those requirements, we are no longer planning on using the Clear App, but instead partnering with the Hilton to implement a one step check in process during which all guests must provide physical or digital copies of the following three documents:

  1. Photo ID
  2. Proof of vaccination (either physical copy or digital copy)
  3. Proof of negative test results (any form of test, either physical copy or digital copy)


If you’re joining us, please make sure that you are prepared to meet these requirements. If you haven’t gotten your tickets yet, you can do so by clicking HERE.



January 11, 2022

Equality Illinois is excited to offer you a chance to win TWO Round-Trip, Business/First ZN Class tickets to any destination that United Airlines serves between US48/Alaska/Canada/Caribbean/Mexico/Central America on United and United Express. Prize is valued at $6,050!

You can purchase raffle tickets online until Friday, February 4, 2022, 9AM CT. For every one raffle ticket you purchase, your name is entered once for a chance to win. The raffle drawing will be held at the Gala, but you need not be present to win.




December 16, 2021


During this season of generosity and gift-giving, so many LGBTQ Illinoisans still don’t earn a living wage.

Can you #GiveForEquality today to support Equality Illinois’ efforts to secure a better future for the LGBTQ community in Illinois?

During this holiday season, we are asking 200 LGBTQ and allied supporters to make a small gift toward advancing our equality. 

With a donation of as little as $10, $25, or $50, you can help ensure that our critical work on the path to equality for all continues.



PS: To share your support and encourage others to join the cause, post on any social media platform using the hashtags #GiveForEquality and #EqualityIllinoisHoliday



December 13, 2021

It doesn’t take much to make a big difference for LGBTQ kids. #GiveForEquality today!



LGBTBIQ+ community in USA and Mexico

December 10, 2021
Durante un viaje reciente a México, nuestra Directora Adjunta, Mony Ruiz-Velasco tuvo una conversación con elle Dr. Jesus Ociel Baena Saucedo en el podcast de Legaton. En el episodio conversan sobre los derechos de las comunidades LGBTQI+ en EUA y México.
(During a recent trip to Mexico our Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco sat in conversation with Dr. Jesus Ociel Baena Saucedo on the Legatón podcast. In the episode they discussed the reach of the rights of the LGBTBIQ+ community in USA 🗽 and Mexico 🇲🇽🙌!)

Listen to the Podcast today!



December 8, 2021

Equality Illinois joined with our partners Prairie Pride Coalition and the UP Center of Champaign County and over 400 other organizations, publishers, bookstores, and individuals to condemn the coordinated political attack on books (including LGBTQ-affirming texts) in schools across the country. We are seeing these attacks in Illinois schools and libraries. Every kid deserves to see themselves in books. We support LGBTQ youth and oppose censorship in school libraries. https://ncac.org/news/attack-on-books


#GivingTuesday #GiveForEquality

November 30, 2021

Happy Holidays! In this season of celebration and togetherness with family, many of our LGBTQ community remain under attack from anti-LGBTQ equality forces. In fact, just across the border in Ohio, bills are being presented to threaten the rights of trans youth to receive gender affirming healthcare and put at risk for discriminatory treatment in schools. 

While we are proud of how far Illinois has come, anti-equality bills wait in the wings unless we fight them. 

To do that, we need each and every one of you!  During this holiday season, we are asking 200 LGBTQ and allied supporters to make a small gift toward advancing our equality.

With a donation of as little as $10, $25, or $50, you can help ensure that our critical work on the path to equality for all continues.

PS: To share your support and encourage others to join the cause, post on any social media platform using the hashtags #GiveForEquality and #EqualityIllinoisHoliday


TDOR 2021

November 16, 2021


Join us for an incredible showcase of talented Trans performers this Trans Day of Remembrance, Resilience and Resistance!


EI 2022 Gala Program Book

November 12, 2021

We’re excited to return LIVE! to the Hilton for the 2022 Equality Illinois Gala on February 5. Promote your cause or business in this year’s Gala program book ad!



Help shape the LGBTQ civil rights agenda

November 10, 2021

Equality Illinois is starting the development of our next five-year Strategic Plan, which will go into effect July 2022.

As part of this process, we are hosting virtual town halls and want to hear from YOU! Equality Illinois values the input of our community partners, stakeholders, and donors in shaping the next 5 years of our vital LGBTQ civil rights work. Please help us advance our mission of building a future rooted in social justice for all Illinoisans.


EI Blog

October 22, 2021

“Immigration is an LGBTQ issue. There are an estimated 1.3 million LGBTQ immigrants in the United States and more than 22% of are undocumented. There are approximately 128,500 same-sex binational couples that include at least one foreign born partner/spouse. In addition, the U.S. is a destination for LGBTQ asylum seekers who come seeking safety and fleeing persecution or death based on their sexual or gender identity.”

Read more from EI’s Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco on EI’s Blog


2021 Veto Session

October 21, 2021


Restore Voting Rights for LGBTQ Incarcerated People

October 15, 2021

LGBTQ people who are caught up in the criminal legal system face unique challenges, but they should not lose their right to vote and their ability to participate in democratic life. Tell your state legislators to vote YES for the Voting in Prisons Bill. Advanced by Chicago Votes, this bill would restore voting rights to people incarcerated in Illinois prisons.

LGBTQ people are disproportionately impacted by the prison system. According to the Movement Advancement Project, 7.9% of adults in prisons are LGBT, and 20% of youth in juvenile detention facilities are LGBT. Put differently, LGBT adults and youth are twice as likely to be incarcerated as non-LGBT adults and youth. When incarcerated, LGBTQ people – all people in prisons, in fact– are denied the right to vote.

Yet, the almost 30,000 people in Illinois prisons are still impacted by the decisions of elected officials. Without ensuring that people in prison can vote, their lives and the communities they come from lack representation. The Voting in Prisons Bill will uplift the voices of communities that are disproportionately harmed by the criminal legal system and will bring our democracy into the 21st Century.

Tell your state legislators to vote for the Voting in Prisons Bill:


Hispanic Heritage Month!

September 15, 2021

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month! From September 15th to October 15th, we will be honoring Latinx LGBTQ+ trailblazers and organizations who are doing amazing things in our community!

Sylvia Rivera was a Venezuelan/Puerto Rican American trans activist. Most known as one of the inciters of the monumental Stonewall Uprising in New York City, along with her friend, Marsha P. Johnson. Sylvia also helped found STAR, a group dedicated to helping homeless trans youth. In addition to being one of the first trans youth shelters STAR was also one of the first political organizations for trans rights in the world. Today the Sylvia Rivera Law Project (SRLP) is named in her honor. SRLP is a non-profit organization that engages in policy work and provides trainings and free legal services for trans, intersex, and gender non-conforming low-income people of color.


EI Gala 2022

September 14, 2021

We are excited to announce that the Equality Illinois Gala is returning to the Hilton Chicago on February 5, 2022. Refer to the Save the Date above for more details. We can’t wait to see you in celebration and solidarity; it’s time to get back together, better than ever!
If you are interested in sponsoring the Gala, purchasing a table, or any other information, click button below


Apply for our 2021- 2022 Community Advisory Group!

July 13, 2021

Apply for our 2021- 2022 Community Advisory Group!

The Equality Illinois Community Advisory Group is a diverse cross-section of voices from across Illinois that informs the policy positions and initiatives we adopt and pursue in our work to secure and defend the equal and inclusive rights of LGBTQ Illinoisans.

If you’re interested in serving on the group, go to the application page to review the objectives and responsibilities of the Community Advisory Group, then download, complete, and return the form. Applications are due no later than August 20, 2021. Together, we will advance justice and equality in Illinois.


Radicalism Is Part Of Our History

June 22, 2021

Radicalism is part of our history.  The LGBTQ community has achieved the levels of equality we enjoy today in part because members of our community refused to play nice.  The Stonewall uprising afterall was a riot.  And anger – anger at powerful institutions, governments, and people – is an appropriate and understandable response to the injustices we continue to face.  When one out of every five young people caught up in the criminal justice system identify as LGBTQ and when 22% of LGBTQ people live in poverty (including 30% of trans folx); rage at the systems which over criminalize us and marginalize us economically is absolutely legitimate.

And just as radicalism is a central part of queer liberation, so is inclusion.  We are also a community that has opened our arms wide to bring in as many LGBTQ people and our allies as possible.  Over the past decades, our rage and our love have worked together to build a movement that has achieved unprecedented wins.

As we move toward the end of Pride month, we will see (and indeed have seen) the full range of queer expression manifest.  We encourage our community and our allies to hold space for the diversity of response to LGBTQ injustices.  We also call on our community and our allies to avoid any calls – explicit or implicit – to violence against groups or individuals as part of our march toward full queer liberation.  Anger has a role in our movement; violence does not.  As a community, we are our best when we pair our rage with our love.


EI supports Cook County Gender-Inclusive Documents

June 22, 2021

Today, the Cook County Board’s Human Relations Committee will meet to consider Commissioner Kevin B. Morrison’s ordinance to make county forms and documents gender-inclusive.

Read the written statement submitted by Myles Brady Davis, Press Secretary and Director of Communications, in support of the ordinance


PRIDE 2021: IL’s Got Talent WINNER!

June 7, 2021

BIG congratulations to our Pride 2021: IL’s Got Talent winning artist, Mikey Everything!
Also, special THANK YOU to our amazing Sponsors and fierce Host Committee members for their generosity in supporting the mission of Equality Illinois to build a more equitable state for LGBTQ people.