Northern Illinois University

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News Release

Contact: Margie Cook, NIU LGBT Resource Center
(815) 753-5428

March 24, 2009

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Awareness Month
combines art, education, activism, entertainment

DeKalb, Ill. — Along with spring, April at Northern Illinois University brings a focus on programs exploring lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) identity and community for LGBT Awareness Month.

The range of events includes movies, discussions, local and nationally-known speakers, the National Day of Silence and Night of Noise, a participatory art project and a student art show, a talent show, and the 15th annual Pride Awards banquet.

A complete schedule of activities is available online at Some of the highlights include the following:

  • Wednesday, April 1 (and additional dates)
    Pride, Empowerment and Community are the themes for a new art installation in development at the LGBT Resource Center. Everyone is welcome to participate in this project, to help create a montage of postcards sharing personal stories, thoughts and reflections to inspire future students. Images and more information are online at
  • Thursday, April 2
    The 5th Annual Ally Awards Reception recognizes individuals, departments, and groups who have supported the LGBT community this year, along with announcing new volunteers in the NIU Ally Program.
  • April 15 - 25
    “Self Own: dialing it up . . . Art Dealing with LGBT Issues” is the theme for a student art show taking place in downtown DeKalb, at Bliss Beads Studio and Gallery. A closing reception is scheduled for April 25.
  • Wednesday, April 15
    Activist Mia Mingus will present “Wrong Is Not My Name: The Intersections of Disability, Queerness, Race and Gender” based on her experience as a self-described “queer, disabled, Korean transracial adoptee.”
  • Friday, April 17
    The National Day of Silence/Night of Noise is a student-led day of action where participants take a day-long vow of silence to recognize and protest the discrimination and harassment- in effect, the silencing- experienced by LGBT students and their allies. Interested participants can pick up stickers and handbills at the LGBT Resource Center.
  • Saturday, April 18
    The 13th annual Gay Jam is a drag and variety show featuring local talent and benefiting Hope Haven Homeless Shelter. Prism, the sponsoring organization, is currently seeking interested performers; past talent has included musicians and singers, poetry, dance, comedy routines, drag performances, and more.
  • Wednesday, April 22
    United Campus Ministries and Lutheran Campus Ministries will host a day of activities with Justin Lee, the founder of the Gay Christian Network, an interdenominational organization that helps individuals reconcile their faith and sexuality, and works with others to create respectful dialogue on LGBT issues.
  • Thursday, April 23, and Friday, April 24
    Author Toni McNaron, professor emerita at the University of Minnesota, will make two presentations, addressing contemporary gay and lesbian writing as well as issues of homophobia within academic settings.
  • Tuesday, April 28
    “How We Took on the US Congress and the Fight Against Prop 8: NIU Students in the National Fight for LGBT Equality” is the title for a presentation by NIU students Hillary Kowalski (Communication) and Cynthia Edwards (Law), who will talk about their internships with the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network in Washington DC and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation in Los Angeles CA. Come hear how they took on the fight against the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy in the military and the fight against Prop 8 in California, and met Hillary Clinton and George Takai (of Star Trek fame) along the way!
  • Thursday, April 30
    The month wraps up with the 15th Annual Pride Awards Dinner, a celebration of leadership and achievement by students, faculty and staff.

All programs are open to the public and free of charge unless otherwise designated. Sign language interpreters are available upon request (815-753-6515 V/TTY). Contact the LGBT Resource Center at (815) 753-5428 or for assistance with any other accessibility needs or for more information.

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