Queertober: the Happiest Month of the Year! October 2017

Queertober Logo


This month long celebration in October features educational, informative, and social events that raise awareness and provide support for the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Pansexual, Transgender, Genderqueer, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, Asexual, +, and heterosexual allied communities at UIS.

Dese’Rae L. Stage: Live Through This
Queertober Kickoff Event
Register Online in UIS Connection
Thursday, September 28 | 5:30 p.m. | Brookens Auditorium
Exhibition reception at the UIS Visual Arts Gallery – Health and Science Building, Room 201 immediately following the presentation event held in Brookens Auditorium!

“Live Through This” is a collection of portraits and true stories of 180 suicide attempt survivors in 33 cities across the United States. “Live Through This” reminds us that suicide is a human issue by putting faces and names to the statistics that have been the only representation of attempt survivors in the past. Dese’Rae L. Stage is a Philadelphia-based artist, suicide awareness activist, and public speaker. She struggled with self-injury for nine years and survived a suicide attempt catalyzed by an emotionally and physically abusive relationship. These experiences, coupled with the loss of friends to suicide and the lack of resources for attempt survivors, prompted her to create “Live Through This”. “Live Through This” received extensive media coverage, including the New York Times, Associated Press, and NPR. Dese’Rae’s story is featured in the upcoming feature-length documentary, “The S Word.” She has provided commentary on suicide prevention for BBC Radio, The Glenn Beck Program, Fox News, and more. Her photographs have been exhibited nationwide in solo and group formats, and published in The Village Voice, New Yorker, and New York Magazine. Her writing has been published by Cosmopolitan, Huffington Post, and XoJane.
Learn more about Dese’Rae L. Stage:

Co-sponsored by: ECCE Speaker Series, UIS Visual Arts Gallery and the Office of Gender & Sexuality Student Services.

For a list of other upcoming ECCE Speaker Series events, visit www.uis.edu/speakerseries/. All events are free and open to the public. Individuals with disabilities who anticipate the need for accommodations should contact the UIS Speaker Series Office at 217/206-8507 or speakerseries@uis.edu in advance.

National Coming Out Day
Annual Closet Door on the Quad with “HUMAN” tshirts.
Wednesday, October 11, 4 – 6 pm, by the Colonnade Fountain

Take the next step in your own coming out process. Participants are
encouraged to walk through the door and tell their coming out stories or
why they are an ally to all gender and sexuality minorities.
Get your free shirt at SLB22 starting Friday, October 6. Flag colors from left to right: Ace, Bi, Pride, Trans, Pan.

Debriefing Bonfire
Following the Closet Door on the Quad from 7-10pm, Larkspur Firepit
Join us for smores and conversation after we debrief your experience succeeding the event.

LGBTea Weekly Socials:
Drop by anytime!
Register on UIS Connection, links below –
October 5, 12, 19, & 26. Every Thursday.
All Semester, 4 pm – 6 pm, SLB22.
A comfortable, accepting, & non-judgemental social atmosphere to hang out,
watch movies, listen to music, make plans for the weekend. Free food. Bring a friend.


Sex Ed Boot Camp: Take Care of your Privates –
Register Online in UIS Connection
Wednesday, October 12, 7 -11pm, LRH Great Room
Join Dr. Joni & Esther Lastique’s discussion about sex. The lecture includes discussions of basic anatomy, sexual responsibility & addressing Title IX & violence prevention, if and when to be sexual, and safer sex techniques for the 21st century. Students often wish for greater detail on these topics as well as a conversation about healthy versus unhealhty relationships and how to prevent dating violence.  The programs is inclusive of all sexual orientations and is customizable for gender specific audiences.
Sponsored by: Health Services, Diversity Center, Gender and Sexuality Student Services, & Department of Student Affairs.

Safe Zone Fundamentals Session:
Register Online in UIS Connection
Friday, October 6, 12 – 3 pm, PAC Conference Room C/D
A basic awareness and knowledge session that prepares participants for the five advanced sessions. This introductory three hour session includes a guided imagery, interactive terminology game, an introduction to trans identities as well as the human sexuality continuum, and a LGBT Icon’s in history game with an emphasis on multiple identities. Student peer educators conclude with an engaging Gay 101 activity and interactive panel.

Bisexuality & Pansexuality Safe Zone Session:
Register Online in UIS Connection
Wednesday, October 4, 12 – 3pm, LRH Great Room
An incredibly interactive session that dispels myths, defines terminology, and explains sexuality as a spectrum. Participants will gain a greater awareness of bisexuality as a valid sexual orientation and how biphobia manifests in the heterosexual as well as non-heterosexual populations. This session is recommended for anyone in need of understanding sexual identity development over the lifespan.

Religion & Faith Safe Zone Session:
Register Online in UIS Connection
Tuesday, October 10, 2 – 4pm, PAC Conference Room H
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.

Multiple Identities Safe Zone Session:
Register Online in UIS Connection
Thursday, October 19, 2 – 4pm, PAC Conference Room H
Not all LGBTQIA+ 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 LGBTQIA+ 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.

Transgender Safe Zone Session:
Register Online in UIS Connection
Wednesday, October 25, 12 – 3pm, LRH Great Room
Facilitators: Dr. Holly Thompson (HDC), Kerry Poynter (Diversity Center) 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.

Privilege Walk
Friday, October 6, 6 – 7pm, Founders Residence Hall classrooms
Privilege walk is an activity where participants are asked a series of questions to reveal where they land on the privilege spectrum. Many believe that it allows experiences to come to life as our bodies tell our stories. Many are overcome with emotion as they  become aware of the obstacles and  benefits that come with different identities.

Mentor Programs Halloween Party:
“Halloween Around the World”
Friday, October 27, 3 – 6pm, In the Diversity Center
The Necessary Steps, Hispanic/Latinx, and Gender & Sexuality Student Services mentor programs all together are hosting a Halloween party!
There will be snacks, appetizers, games, a photo booth, and a costume contest for all students to enjoy! Within the prayer room in the Diversity Center there will also be descriptions about cultural adaptations or traditions around the idea of All Hallows Eve (celebrating one’s deceased ancestors).
Whether you are in these mentor programs or not, all students are welcome to attend. Tell your friends and let’s celebrate Halloween early.


The Gender and Sexuality Student Services is committed to providing universal access to all
of our events. Please contact us at 217-206-8316 or gss@uis.edu to request
accommodations. One week in advance is necessary to arrange for some
accessibility needs.

Gender and Sexuality Student Services, Diversity Center, Health Services, UIS Visual Arts Gallery, Student Affairs, Residence Life,
ECCE Speaker Series,& NPR UIS radio.