Archive for the ‘Community Event’ Category


Transgender Day of Visibility

March 22, 2018

Transgender Day of Visibility on March 31 and the days leading up to it are an opportunity to show our support for the trans community. It aims to bring attention to the accomplishments of trans people around the globe while fighting cissexism and transphobia by spreading knowledge of the trans community. Unlike Transgender Day of Remembrance, this is not a day for mourning; this is a day of empowerment and getting the recognition transgender people deserve!

Events in Illinois this week will entertain and educate. Check out the TDOV calendar.


Sign Up Today! LGBTQ Advocacy Day is a month away

March 12, 2018

LGBTQ Advocacy Day in Springfield is a month away, and we’re happy to announce that Affinity Community Services is a community partner and second bus pickup location for the April 11 day trip to Springfield.

One of our priority issues will be the Inclusive Curriculum Bill, an initiative of Equality Illinois and the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance, to teach students the historical events and contributions by LGBTQ people. An LGBTQ-inclusive curriculum can also have a positive affect on students’ self-image and make their peers more accepting.

LGBTQ Advocacy Day includes lobbying training, meetings with legislators, and a visit to the Capitol, plus a box lunch and concluding reception. Registration includes transportation selection: bus from two locations in Chicago or driving on your own, including car pooling and ride sharing. The bus departs at 6am from Equality Illinois in the Loop at 16 N. Wabash Ave., and from Affinity Community Services, 2850 S. Wabash Ave., at 6:35am.


Show Up. SPEAK UP! Town Halls in March

March 2, 2018

SHOW UP. SPEAK UP! LGBTQ Town Halls in March will connect communities throughout the state with political and civic leaders to discuss advancing policies for LGBTQ constituencies. Please join in the discussions at an event near you in Carbondale, Chicago, Belleville, Peoria, and Springfield.

March 6 | 6pm – LGBTQ+ Forum with Candidates for State Rep. District 115 at the Carbondale Civic Center, 200 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale – Hosted by Rainbow Cafe of Carbondale. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 8 | 6:30pm – Women of Color Candidates Forum for Illinois at Reunion, 2557 W. North Ave., Chicago – Hosted by E3 Radio in Chicago. DETAILS AND REGISTRATION

March 22 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with state Rep. LaToya Greenwood of East St. Louis – Hosted by WPT, Inc. Belleville, IL location TBA

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall meeting with Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth of Peoria at the Universalist Unitarian Church, 3000 W. Richwoods Blvd., Peoria – Hosted by Peoria Proud. RSVP

March 26 | 6pm – Town Hall with state Sen. Andy Manar, Springfield Mayor Jim Langfelder, Ald. Kristen DiCenso, Ald. Andrew Proctor, Sangamon County Board Member Tony DelGiorno, and candidate Betsy Lodrigan, at the Phoenix Center, 109 E. Lawrence Ave., Springfield – Hosted by Phoenix Center. No RSVP required.

March 28 | 6pm – State of the LGBTQ Community Town Hall with state Senator Iris Y. Martinez, state State Senator Omar Aquino, and state Representative Will Guzzardi, at the Puerto Rican Arts Alliance, 3000 N. Elbridge Ave., Chicago – Hosted by ALMA. RSVP


Honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. By Fighting Injustice

January 15, 2018

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Equality Illinois honors his legacy and pledges to continue our fight for justice for LGBTQ Illinoisans and all who face inequality UNTIL WE’RE ALL EQUAL.


Women’s March Chicago: March to the Polls

January 13, 2018

In one week, join the Women’s March Chicago: March to the Polls in Grant Park.

On January 20, women and allies will come together in downtown Chicago to celebrate the spirit of the resistance efforts over the past year and unite to focus on the 2018 elections and beyond.

The January 21, 2017 Chicago march and marches throughout Illinois were powerful. 250,000 women and allies showed up in Chicago to raise their voices for issues each of us hold dear. That historic day embodied the ongoing fight for women’s rights. Now, we march on!



Getting to Zero Town Halls

December 18, 2017

Now is the time for Illinois to build on the state’s tremendous progress in the fight against HIV. New HIV cases in Illinois dropped by nearly 28% over the decade from 2006-2015, and Illinois has nearly eliminated mother-to-child HIV transmission. In the City of Chicago, there have been fewer than 1,000 new HIV cases annually since 2013, the fewest cases reported annually since 1990.

It’s time to take stock of the state’s portfolio of programs targeted for people vulnerable to and living with HIV or for general populations and optimize them for today’s epidemic. Most importantly, it’s imperative that we eradicate health disparities so everyone–regardless of HIV status–can thrive. That’s why it’s time for an Illinois Getting to Zero plan.

Your input is so important to make sure our Getting to Zero work is successful and that it makes a difference for people living with and vulnerable to HIV. We are looking forward to gathering your thoughts, ideas and hopes for Getting to Zero in Illinois.

Attend a Getting to Zero Town Hall during January in Normal, Waukegan, Springfield, Moline, Carbondale, Collinsville, and Champaign. Find dates and details.



Replay: LGBTQ Forum with the Democratic Candidates for Governor

December 8, 2017

On Dec. 6, 2017, the five Democratic candidates for governor met in a historic statewide forum in that was the first ever in Illinois to focus solely on LGBTQ issues.

The candidates–Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber, businessman Chris Kennedy, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, state Sen. Daniel Biss, and businessman J.B. Pritzker–all agreed that issues such as youth homelessness, health care access, immigration fairness, equal treatment of transgender students and care for elderly community members must be better addressed by the state. The candidates also committed to appointing LGBTQ Illinoisans to senior level positions in their administration if they are elected.

The forum was hosted in Chicago’s historic Second Presbyterian Church, introduced by Anthony C. Galloway of Equality Illinois, moderated by Brian C. Johnson of Equality Illinois, with questions asked by the other cosponsors Imani Rupert-Gordon of Affinity Community Services, Kenny Martín-Ocasio of ALMA Chicago, and Kim L. Hunt of Pride Action Tank.


Sign Up for LGBTQ Forum in One Week

November 29, 2017

Sign up today HERE because in just one week the Democratic candidates for governor meet in the first LGBTQ Forum for statewide candidates ever in Illinois.

Your presence and visibility in Chicago’s historic Second Presbyterian Church on Dec. 6 will display the strength of LGBTQ Illinoisans, our families, and allies. Seating in the church is limited, so register today.

You’ll see state Sen. Daniel Biss​, Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber​, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman​, businessman Chris Kennedy​, and businessman J.B. Pritzker​ answer questions put to them about the issues critical to you by Forum hosts Affinity Community Services​, ALMA Chicago​, the Equality Illinois​ Institute, and Pride Action Tank​.



Happy Thanksgiving!

November 23, 2017

HAPPY THANKSGIVING from Equality Illinois! We are so thankful to all of you!

From the donors who make possible our work fighting for LGBTQ civil rights to the volunteers who help us, from LGBTQ organizations throughout Illinois to the allied organizations in the state with whom we share a common purpose of allowing all Illinoisans to live their true lives, from the people who attend our events to the public officials who open their doors and their hearts to our message, and to the vast majority of Illinoisans who believe that LGBTQ rights are human rights and deserve to be respected…THANK YOU!


Attend the LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor

November 12, 2017

Click HERE to attend the Forum on Dec. 6

Register to attend the Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor, on Wed., Dec. 6 in Chicago.

Participants include state Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, businessman Chris Kennedy, and businessman JB Pritzker.

We want to hear from these candidates how they would tackle issues important to LGBTQ Illinoisans and what kind of priority they would give them if elected governor.
The forum is presented by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA Chicago), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank before an audience at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, Chicago.



Candidates Forum To Air At Statewide Watch Events

November 9, 2017

The statewide civic power of LGBTQ Illinoisans will be featured at the state’s first Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor, which will include statewide viewing sites.

Organized by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank, the forum will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 6-8 p.m. before an audience at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop.

The Democratic candidates who have confirmed their participation are State Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, businessman Chris Kennedy, and businessman J.B. Pritzker.

In addition to public attendance at the forum in Chicago, Illinoisans will be able to watch a video livestream at locations in Carbondale, Metro East, Normal, Peoria, Quad Cities, and Springfield hosted by local LGBTQ organizations.

You can register to attend the forum in CHICAGO

Or, sign up to attend a livestream event in these locations:








Submit Your Question for the LGBTQ Forum

November 8, 2017

YOU are invited to submit questions for the Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor.

Four weeks from today on Wednesday, Dec. 6, State Sen. Daniel Biss, Madison County Regional Superintendent of Schools Bob Daiber, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, businessman Chris Kennedy, and businessman JB Pritzker will sit down with a coalition of organizations that serve and advocate for LGBTQ Illinoisans.

We want to make sure your voices are heard, so submit your questions today.

The event is organized by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA Chicago), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank. Co-hosting organizations include the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, CALOR, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Howard Brown Health, HRC Chicago, LGBT Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Peoria Proud, Phoenix Center of Springfield, Prairie Pride Coalition of Bloomington-Normal, Rainbow Cafe LGBT Youth Center of Carbondale, South Side Help Center, Wpt Cares of Metro East, and A.L.P.H.A.S. of the Quad Cities.



LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor

September 7, 2017



Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Illinoisans will have an opportunity to hear directly from the Democratic candidates for governor about the issues that impact our lives at a candidate forum in Chicago on Wednesday, December 6, a coalition of organizations that serve and advocate for LGBTQ Illinoisans announced Thursday.

You can register to attend the forum and see the candidates in person.

The “Illinois LGBTQ Forum: The Democratic Candidates for Governor” is organized by Affinity Community Services, the Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action (ALMA), the Equality Illinois Institute, and Pride Action Tank. The forum will take place 6-8 p.m. at the Second Presbyterian Church, 1936 S. Michigan Avenue, in Chicago’s South Loop. The forum organizers also plan to broadcast the event live through social media platforms so LGBTQ organizations and people across the state can watch it.

As of today, the announced Democratic candidates who have confirmed their participation are State Sen. Daniel Biss, anti-violence activist Tio Hardiman, Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar,  businessman J.B. Pritzker, and businessman Chris Kennedy.



Fighting transgender military ban at the Illinois State Fair

August 11, 2017

Equality Illinois is at the Illinois State Fair for the 6th year in a row, this year seeking support for our brave and patriotic troops, including transgender members of the military.

Fairgoers who stop by the Equality Illinois booth during the State Fair, which runs now through Aug. 20 in Springfield, will be able to sign a message to their U.S. representative that Equality Illinois will forward to Washington.

If you can’t make it to our booth at the southeast corner of the fairgrounds in Springfield to send a message to your member of Congress, click below to tell them to reject the Trump ban.



Fahrenheit Chicago-Pride South on the Lake

July 25, 2017

Equality Illinois and AIDS Foundation of Chicago are excited to announce Fahrenheit Chicago–Pride South on the Lake, an end-of-summer beach party of fun, music, and social networking for LGBTQ Illinoisans, their friends and families.

The free event, featuring non-stop music, beach games and a Bid Whist card tournament, public health awareness, and civic engagement, will be on Sunday, Aug. 27 from 11am to 7pm at Oakwood Beach, 41st Street and Lake Shore Drive, Chicago.

“We are so excited to bring LGBTQ people of color from all generations together for a summer party on the South Side. With Fahrenheit Chicago, we look forward to gathering and socializing on the South Side, and we hope it also helps build stronger bridges within the diverse queer community from all parts of the city and the Chicago area,” said Anthony Galloway, Director of Civic Engagement of Equality Illinois, the statewide LGBTQ civil rights organization.



Proud Families Helping Kids in Need

June 19, 2017

Join Equality Illinois and Cradles to Crayons Chicago this Saturday for Proud Families Service Day, an opportunity during Pride Month for families of every stripe to show their support for local kids living in need.

Together, youth and adults inspect, sort, and package all new and like-new donations into customized “KidPacks”.

Anyone age six and above can volunteer at the Giving Factory. Activities are appropriate and engaging for individuals and families. You will work at a volunteer station such as Clothing Sort, Outfits, School Supplies, Shoes, Toys, or Shopping.

Please sign up for the two-hour shift.



Remember the victims of the Pulse shooting

June 12, 2017


Honor LGBTQ veterans on this Memorial Day

May 29, 2017

On Memorial Day, Equality Illinois remembers all who served our nation and made the ultimate sacrifice.

A monument honoring LGBTQ veterans is being dedicated today at 1pm at Halsted and Addison streets in Chicago.

The local chapter of American Veterans for Equal Rights (AVER Chicago Chapter) is behind the effort, but it is several thousand dollars short. You can participate by contributing through its GoFundMe page.

“LGBTQ Americans have played a vital part in making our country the free, democratic and vibrant place it is today. Far too often, the acknowledgment that many of our heroes in American history and society identify as a member of the LGBTQ community has been hidden from us and the general public,” Brian C. Johnson, CEO of Equality Illinois.



Illinois Women March on Springfield

April 17, 2017

On Tuesday, April 25, thousands of people, including LGBTQ Illinoisans, will come together as Illinois Women March on Springfield and take action for civil rights and a responsible budget. Equality Illinois is proud to be a coalition partner for this inspiring and impactful event. Please join us!

We will rally and lobby for legislative initiatives and budget priorities that affirm all Illinoisans, including LGBTQ people, people of color, women, immigrants, refugees, and people with disabilities.

Surrounded by pro-fairness allies from across the state, April 25 will be a great opportunity to talk with legislators about important progressive initiatives such as the birth certificate modernization bill (HB 1785), the LGBTQ panic defense ban (SB 1761), the Immigration Safe Zones Act (HB 426), and legislation protecting access to safe and legal reproductive healthcare in Illinois (HB 40).




Celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 16, 2017

King Day 2017

On Martin Luther King Jr. Day, there is no more fitting thought at this time in our history than the inscription written on the side of his memorial in Washington, DC: “Out of the mountain of despair, a stone of hope.” Equality Illinois joins the nation today in pausing to remember Dr. King.


Happy Thanksgiving

November 24, 2016


Equality Illinois wishes you and yours a Happy Thanksgiving, as we also look ahead to the challenging work we must do together in Illinois and throughout the U.S. to make sure everyone has a place at the table.



November 16, 2016

action-fair-fb-1Announcing the POST-ELECTION ACTION FORUM-An LGBTQ response to the Trump presidency

Join us on Monday, Nov. 28 to:
1. Discuss the protections that are at risk for LGBTQ Americans
2. Learn how the LGBTQ community and other groups are responding
3. Find opportunities to take action and volunteer

Event Co-Sponsors: Equality Illinois, Lake View Presbyterian Church, Howard Brown Health, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, Test Positive Aware Network, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Chicago House, Black Treatment Advocates Network, Association of Latinos/as Motivating Action, Center on Halsted, Pride Action Tank, Affinity, Puerto Rican Cultural Center (Vida/SIDA), Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Brothers Health Collective



The vigils continue this week…

June 13, 2016

Vigils this week(1)

Vigils in memory of the victims of the Orlando massacre at the Pulse nightclub and in solidarity with the LGBT community continue this week. If you know of a ceremony in your area, please email us at, and we’ll add it to this list:

Joliet – 7:00 p.m. at E Jefferson and Power Alley
Charleston – 7:30 p.m. at the Coles County Courthouse, 653 Jackson Ave.

Berwyn – 8 p.m. at Serenity Park, 26th Street at Wesley

Elgin – 8:30 p.m. in the plaza behind Elgin City Hall, 150 Dexter Court


State of OUR State Rally

January 14, 2016

RALLY for webIt’s unprecedented. The State of Illinois is now in its 7th month without an operating budget. Our families and communities are suffering, and we cannot proceed without making our voices heard.

On January 27–the day of Gov. Rauner’s State of the State address–join Equality Illinois at the “State of OUR State Rally” – organized by the Responsible Budget Coalition, at 11 AM at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield.

Lunch will be provided if you register in advance.

Equality Illinois is a member of the Responsible Budget Coalition because we believe Illinois needs a fair and responsible budget that protects critical services for Illinoisans. And that budget is past due.



Growing Your Family

November 10, 2015

Growing Your FamilyGrowing your family is an incredible experience, and we are so excited for you! For assistance in adoption and foster care, especially for ‪#‎LGBT‬ parents, you can attend this free seminar in Peoria sponsored by Equality Illinois, Familycore, Peoria Proud and the Center for Law & Social Work.

While the journey for prospective parents can be long and sometimes challenging, Equality Illinois is committed to helping you understand and navigate your legal rights. We hope that this seminar will help you along this exciting journey!

Please join us in Peoria on December 10 for this seminar, part of Equality Illinois’ work to create a lived equality for LGBT Illinoisans and families.