Queertober: the Happiest Month of the Year! October 1-30, 2013

Queertober Logo


Ever wonder where you can go to find acceptance, support, or even identity?  Well, if you are seeking an empowering truthful journey to find any of those, University of Illinois Springfield presents Queertober: The Happiest Month of the Year!  The month long celebration will feature educative and informative events raising awareness for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, and Allied communities.

Click to download the posters:

Version One "Lauren"   Queertober Poster "Matt"

Free “I Got 99 Problems” T-Shirts – Blog

The past few years students wore “Gay? Fine By Me!” t-shirts and “NO H8″ while participating in the Closet Door on the Quad. Students vote to decide the logo. This year the logo is to encourage dialogue about ongoing concerns.

Everyone has a sexual orientation and gender identity including heterosexual allies! Help list the 98 problems by posting one and read others on the 99 Problems Blog at or submit one when picking up the t-shirt. This is intended as an avenue for dialogue. Posts are also highly encouraged that create intersections between LGBTQ concerns, sexism, racism, etc.

Wear this shirt on Thursday, Oct. 10 while attending the Closet Door on the Quad celebrating National Coming Out Day!

Students receive one free t-shirt. Pick up tshirts at Student Life Building rm. 22 – LGBTQA Resource Office student lounge.

99 Problem Tshirts   99-Problems-Tshirt-Logo-small

Calendar of Events

Athlete-Ally-Flyer October 1: Athlete Ally: Overcoming Homophobia in Athletics: with Hudson Taylor, Jeff Sheng & the Fearless exhibit opening. TRAC Gym, 7-9 PM, ECCE Speaker Series

Hudson Taylor and Jeff Sheng will provide presentations with a joint question and answer session to follow. Hudson Taylor will discuss what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ community in the context of sports and how professional athletes can overcome homophobia and transphobia. Jeff Sheng will explain the creation of the Fearless exhibit while providing context to the lives of out LGBTQ high school and college athletes. A reception will follow. The Fearless exhibit will be featured on campus during the month of October in the TRAC Atrium, PAC, and the Student Life Building.

Hudson Taylor –

Hudson Taylor founded Athlete Ally in January of 2011 and is a three-time NCAA All-American wrestler. An athlete all his life, Hudson experienced demeaning humor in high school and college athletics, but befriended LGBT people when studying theater and Interactive Performance Art at the University of Maryland. Seeing the juxtaposition between the theatre department and the locker room, Hudson felt it was imperative that he confront a side of sports that no athlete should be proud of: sports marginalizes LGBT athletes, coaches and others through systemic homophobia and transphobia. Hudson decided that he could no longer watch from the sidelines as his athletic culture isolated and segregated LGBT athletes and betrayed the integrity and diversity at the heart of athletics. When Hudson wore an LGBT equality sticker from the Human Rights Campaign on his wrestling headgear, he encountered criticism from his peers, but received positive attention from the media. Following his presence in the media, Hudson received hundreds of emails from parents and closeted athletes. This experience inspired him to found this non-for-profit organization, with the mission of educating, encouraging and empowering straight athlete allies to combat homophobia and transphobia in sports. Hudson is currently an assistant coach of the Columbia University wrestling team.

Jeff Sheng –

Jeff Sheng is an American artist and photographer. He was a visiting guest professor of photography at Harvard University in 2011. He taught as a visiting assistant professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara for the departments of Studio Art and Asian American studies between 2007-2012. Jeff Sheng and the Fearless exhibit documents high school and collegiate athletes who openly self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender and are “out” to their predominantly straight teammates and coaches. It features photos of the athletes with accompanying text written by the athletes. Exhibitions include over 50 high schools and colleges. In 2009, he was awarded a grant to exhibit at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Other venues have included ESPN headquarters in 2008, the 2009 International LGBT Human Rights Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Nike World Headquarters in 2010.

His recent photo series, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” featuring images of closeted service members in the U.S. Military, was widely referenced by the national press during the repeal of the policy. His photography has been published in the New York Times Magazine, Newsweek, and Time Magazine, and he has been profiled by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, NPR, the BBC, CNN, and by ABC World News Tonight.

Sponsored by ECCE Speaker Series, Recreational Sports, UIS Athletics, UIS LGBTQA Resource Office

October 3: LGBTea Weekly Social, Drop by Anytime!, 4-6PM, SLB22, More info at

A comfortable, accepting, & non-judgemental social atmosphere for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning, and allied students. Every Thursday! Hang out, watch movies, listen to music, make plans for the weekend. Free food. Bring a friend.

October 7: Safe Zone Religion Advanced Session, PAC Rm. G, 12-2PM

God does not condemn LGBTQ people. This session allows for participants to confidentially share their own faith or beliefs while introducing key challenges facing LGBTQ people seeking to balance both identities. Participants will gain information and LGBTQ-supportive resources in a Judeo-Christian context, as well as thoughtful, respectful language and strategies to engage with people of faith. Recommended for any potential Safe Zone member that may be struggling with this issue or in need of information to support LGBTQ students of faith. Register online.

October 10: Annual Closet Door on the Quad celebrating National Coming Out Day – Music by Summer Osborne. Wear your “99 Problems” shirts!, 4-6 PM, Pick up free shirts at Student Life Building rm. 22

SummerOsborne National Coming Out day is held annually on October 11 and encourages people to take the next step in their coming out process, and commemorates the 1987 National March on Washington for LGBTQ equality. UIS celebrates with the Closet Door on the Quad. Participants are encouraged to walk through the door and tell their coming out stories or why they are allies to the LGBTQA population.

Summer Osborne is a lyric-driven singer/songwriter from St. Louis, MO. You can describe her music as folk soul, acoustic rock, and piano pop… with glimpses of jazz, blues, and roots music. You can reveal that she has power vocals and is an artful storyteller. However, you cannot confine her to a genre. You will laugh, you will cry, you will feel, you will enjoy yourself. Come join the adventure to feel better!! It is the evolution of the soul – one song at a time.

October 16: Safe Zone Multiple Identities Advanced Session, PAC Rm. G, 4-6PM October 17: LGBTea Weekly Social, Drop by Anytime!, 4-6PM, SLB22

Not all LGBTQ people are White or Atheist. This cross cultural session allows for participants to share their own multiple identities; explores the intersections between race, culture, sexual orientation, and gender; and helps to illuminate the challenges of LGBTQ students with multiple identities. A particular emphasis is made on how different cultures and communities in the U.S. and internationally understand and define sexuality and gender minorities. Participants will leave with a personal action plan to use and reflect on in their daily life at UIS. Register online.

October 21: Safe Zone Transgender Advanced Session: LRH Great Room, 12-2PM

Transgender people continue to be an invisible, often forgotten community. This session helps participants develop self-awareness and compassion and to think critically about their own assumptions and vulnerabilities as related to gender. Participants will learn about the gender binary, understand accurate terms, explore potential gender transition processes, and consider common concerns and challenges in higher education. This session is recommended for any person wanting to learn how to become a better ally to this population. Register online.

October 22: March on Springfield for Marriage Equality, 1-4PM Downtown, Free bus transportation at 12:30PM, meet at SLB22. Wear “99 Problems” shirts! More info on the march at

Join students, staff, and faculty as we travel together to downtown Springfield and participate in the rally and march.

October 24: LGBTea Weekly Social, Drop by Anytime!, 4-6PM, SLB22, More info at

A comfortable, accepting, & non-judgemental social atmosphere for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, queer, questioning, and allied students. Every Thursday! Hang out, watch movies, listen to music, make plans for the weekend. Free food. Bring a friend.

October 24: Rev. Kiyimba, Uganda Unitarian Universalist Church, Intergroup dialogue on LGBTQ international issues, 9:30PM, LRH Great Room., free taco bar.

kiyimba The Reverend Mark Kiyimba is a Unitarian Universalist minister and founder of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Uganda.  He also operates a primary school for over 550 students, many of whom have been affected by HIV/AIDS, and a children’s home for AIDS orphans near Masaka, Uganda.

His is the only congregation in Uganda that openly welcomes and is inclusive of LGBT people. Rev. Kiyimba is an outspoken critic of Uganda’s anti-LGBT legislation, which would mandate harsh penalties such as life imprisonment or death just for being homosexual in Uganda.  The bill has moved on and off the Parliament’s agenda without a vote on multiple occasions; it could still be voted on in the future.  Rev. Kiyimba has been questioned on multiple occasions by police who accuse him of using the church and school to recruit homosexuals. He was compelled to leave Uganda last year due to concerns for his own safety.

Rev. Kiyimba was awarded the National Education Association’s Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights in Washington, D.C. on July 1st.  This award is presented to a person whose activities in human rights significantly impact education and the achievement of equal opportunity for those facing discrimination due to their sexual orientation.

This intergroup dialogue will consist of an opening message by Rev. Kiyimba, small group discussions, and an open sharing of experiences with students from various backgrounds, cultures, countries, faith beliefs, sexual orientations, and gender identities. A free taco bar will be available for all participants.

October 30: Annual Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) Drag Show, SLB Gym, 8PM

The closing event of Queertober. Join students and talent from Central Illinois as the best female and male illusion entertains for all. This annual event is always a treat that you do not want to miss.


Athletics; Art, Music, & Theatre; ECCE Speaker Series; LGBTQA Resource Office; Student Government Association; Recreational Sports; Queer Straight Alliance. If you anticipate needing reasonable accommodations, contact us at least three days in advance at 217-206-8316 or

* All people of all sexual orientations and gender identities are welcome to attend all programs. Allies are welcome! Free and open to the public.