June is here and along with the warm weather and influx in outdoor events comes the time to celebrate those in our queer community for National Pride Month. In honor of this vivacious month, take a peek at all of the wonderful events, compilations and organizations that have been put forth this month for our LBGTQ+ neighbors. Say it loud, say it proud – we’re here, we’re queer and ready to celebrate Pride in Champaign Center.
In celebration of national Pride month, peep this MUST-READ book list, Here, Queer and Ready to Party, curated by our friends at The Literary. These selections feature novels with queer focused storylines and nonfiction works exploring queer cultures and lifestyles that will be the perfect addition to anyone’s summer TBR list!
Don your highest heels and get ready to SLAY when you check out all of the drag shows that will be sashaying their way into Champaign this month.
- Toast to Taylor Pride Celebration – June 3 – You will not want to miss when Toast of Taylor St. partners with Uniting Pride of Champaign County for their Pride celebration. It’s going to be night filled fantastic musical performances and culminating with a Drag Show featuring Ceduxion Carrington, Spank Knightly, Mona Montclair, Just Sue and Karma Carrington.
- Drag Tings Drag Show at Neil St Blues – June 4 – Come for the food, stay for the fabulous when Neil St. Blues puts on Drag Tings Drag Show. Hosted by Hera Winn and Ceduxion Carrington, this show features the talents of Daeshaun, Corrina, Monty, Chanel, Carmella and Hostess Cake. DJ Silke will have this party poppin all night as these performers are here to work!
- Axe Bar Drag Show – Close out Pride month on a high note when Uniting Pride of Champaign County teams up with Axe Bar to bring you a showstopping cast of local drag icons for on epic show. This one night at the Axe Bar you do not want to miss!
Experience the ferocious fight that two self-proclaimed “mama bears” put up to protect the rights for their LGBTQ+ children when The Virginia Theatre screens the documentary, “Mama Bears” on June 30. Stick around after the screening for the panel discussion to learn more about the journey these two mamas took from their evangelical, Christian upbringing to becoming true advocates for the queer community.
While not a disease that only afflicts our queer community members, AIDS has certainly had a devastating impact on our LGBTQ+ neighbors over the past 42 years since the first reported instance of the disease in 1981. After those first reports came the sequential epidemic that ravaged primarily our gay population and from that emerged the Greater Community Aids Project or GCAP to help serve those affected by AIDS as well as educate the public about the disease. Champaign is very fortunate to have the resources of a local GCAP chapter at our disposal and Champaign Center Partnership in turn is privileged to call GCAP a member of our organization. Learn more about this wonderful organization as well as their executive director, Berry Stevenson, by reading this month’s Meet Your Community Leader blog.
If you still feel as if you haven’t gotten your fill of all things Pride for the month of June? Head on over to the The UP Center of Champaign County’s calendar to find out about all the exciting events and programs they have dedicated to Pride this month as well as other happenings that they have dedicated to and for our queer community coming up this year. And if you still need just a bit more Pride in your life, read our Meet Your Community Leader blog from last year where we highlighted Uniting Pride of Champaign County’s Director of Operations, Nicole Frydman.