LGBT

His name is Eddie Meltzer and he's 34 years old, though according to NPR's Ari Shapiro, he looks about 10 years younger. But it's his humanitarian act to assist many families of the victims of the Orlando shooting massacre that brought him to Shapiro's attention.

NPR Illinois

About 300 people stood on Lawrence Avenue outside of Springfield's LGBTQ community resource facility, The Phoenix Center

via flickr.com/beejjorgensen

Across the nation those in and who are allies of the LGBTQ community are mourning the loss of life in Orlando over the weekend. 

The Legacy Project

Learning about the past to change the future: it's a goal of many academic institutions. But when it comes to the LGBT community - not enough has been done to memorialize and honor figures who've been overlooked due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. That's the opinion of Victor Salvo - founder and director of The Legacy Project.

WUIS/Rachel Otwell

Marriage for same-sex couples is now the law of the land. While it took effect in Illinois in 2014, the United States Supreme Court made it available across the country earlier this year. So what's next in the push for rights in the LGBT community? That's a question I posed at a recent conference in Springfield:


A nationwide survey recently published found that Illinois school districts typically don’t mention gay, lesbian and transgender students in their anti-bullying policies.

Rachel Otwell/WUIS

Central Illinois and other places in the Midwest can sometimes be isolating to those in the LGBT community - that is those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. But for the past five years in Springfield, Pride Fest has been drawing them together with their friends, families, and allies. Politicians, drag queens, and many others in between have been involved. 

A bill moving through the General Assembly would allow transgender people more rights post-mortem.

This I Believe: In Confusion

Feb 19, 2015
Larissa Mulch headshot
Rachel Lattimore / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

People have often asked me why I’m not straight, and I like to tell them the following: When I was four years old I sneezed and no one said “bless you” and at that moment the devil entered my soul. Of course the journey to discovering my sexuality was not nearly so simple. It was, and still is more like the yellow brick road; long, winding, Judy Garland is probably involved somehow, and it’s been very, very confusing. I believe in confusion.

Illinois General Assembly

Counseling that tries to change a person's sexual orientation can cause depression, anxiety and self-destructive behavior, according to reports from psychologists.

A proposal to make the therapy off limits for minors failed last year in the Illinois House. The CEO of the gay rights group Equality Illinois, Bernard Cherkasov, is hopeful it will pass this time.

http://www.hrc.org/campaigns/municipal-equality-index

Same sex marriage took effect in Illinois earlier this year, and while our state has joined the ranks of others that offer an increased amount of rights and protections to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community, cities differ in laws and policies that promote equality. A report that was released a few weeks ago looked at cities from around the country - seven of which are in Illinois.

Luca Casarteli/Wiki Commons

November 20th is known as "Transgender Day of Remembrance." It's an acknowledgement of those who were the victims of violence caused by their gender identification and presentation. Unlike the rest of the words in the acronym "LGBT" - transgender is not a sexuality. It is an umbrella term used for those who feel the sex they were born as is not an accurate depiction of the gender they feel themselves to be. 

WUIS/Illinois Issues

The second time around could be the charm for a small group of upstate administrators hoping to build the first-of-its-kind school in the city of Chicago. It also would be a first for the entire state. They propose opening a school that is friendly to students who struggle in mainstream schools, regardless of their sexual orientation. But opponents say allowing the idea to manifest would only create a new kind of discrimination.