.grecaptcha-badge { visibility: hidden; }
Close this search box.

WEATHER ALERT: Hurricane Beryl’s to bring heavy rainfall and potential flooding to Illinois

LGBTQ Pride Flies High In Urbana

LGBTQ rainbow flag was raised above the Urbana City Building on June 7, 2021.

URBANA – On Monday, Joanne Geigner helped raise the rainbow flag above the Urbana City Building. 

She is part of Uniting Pride, which advocates for Champaign County’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities. Geigner is also the mother of a transgender son. She says the flag’s visibility sends a message to community members who may feel isolated.

 “We need to be visible so they can see that there are parents who love them,” says Geigner. “That there are community members who are interested in their health… make sure that we are respecting pronouns, that we’re respecting the identity of everyone, respecting who they love.”

Mayor Diane Wolf Marlin says Urbana became the first city in Illinois to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that included sexual orientation in 1975.

She says displaying the pride flag welcomes the LGBTQ community.

“I think it’s important to make sure everyone feels they are welcome in Urbana and supported and accepted,” says Mayor Wolf Marlin.

With more people becoming vaccinated against COVID-19, Geiger says the organization Uniting Pride is considering a Pride Fest in September after University of Illinois students return. The festival may be a mix of in-person and virtual events. Last year’s Pride Fest was held online, due to the pandemic.

Picture of Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick

Reginald Hardwick is the News & Public Affairs Director at Illinois Public Media. He oversees daily newscasts and online stories. He also manages The 21st Show, a live, weekday talk show that airs on 7 NPR stations throughout Illinois. He is the executive producer of IPM's annual environmental TV special "State of Change." And he is the co-creator of Illinois Soul, IPM's Black-focused audio service that launched in February 2024. Before arriving at IPM in 2019, he served as News Director at WKAR in East Lansing and spent 17 years as a TV news producer and manager at KXAS, the NBC-owned station in Dallas/Fort Worth. Reginald is the recipient of three Edward R. Murrow regional awards, seven regional Emmy awards, and multiple honors from the National Association of Black Journalists. Born in Vietnam, Reginald grew up in Colorado and is a graduate of the University of Northern Colorado. Email: rh14@illinois.edu Twitter: @RNewsWILL

More Stories From Illinois Public Media