In 2023, the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center will be celebrating its 30 Year Anniversary. Please check back frequently for updates!
UIUC Campus LGBTQ Historical Timeline
- January 5, 1972
Gay Liberation asks for Urbana to amend Sec. 21.38. to not make dressing in non-gender conforming clothing an illegal act.
- August 1972
Gay Liberation Front formed at U of I. Activities included consciousness raising.
- January 1976
- Gay Illini resource center opens in YMCA (Student Advocate 1/14/76 heading “Resource Center to Begin Operation)
- The resource center provides a circulating collection of books and publications
- Starts a few times a week from 12-1 or 12-2, goes down to Wednesdays from 12-2 due to time constraints with shared space in the YWCA.
- Transfers to the Union in Fall of 1976. (DI April 29, 1978 “Union Space”)
- GAYLY Illini in front of folder 4 talks about the center opening and taking on a more community education and information service role in addition to a lending library of sorts.
- January 12, 1976
Gay Switchboard opens. Phone line for information can be called from 7pm to 1am as well as for support and crisis hotline.
- Between September 1975-July 1976
- Gay Illini Coffee House Wednesday night meetings of the Gay Illini took place at the Red Herring at 7:30 and are open to the public.
- Gay Illini worked rigorously on the Champaign Human Rights Ordinance
- Open to the public, many members from surrounding community including Danville. Some sources seemed to point to it as mostly being a male organization.
- An Affiliate of the National Coalition of Gay Activists
- January 7, 1977
Article from The Courier “Conference to Focus on Homosexual Rights” held in Champaign at the Union for gay liberation organizations across the state of Illinois
- Friday April 1, 1977
Article from Gay Life “Gay Appointed Urbana Commission” mentions that Urbana is one of the 35 municipalities in the nation with a gay rights ordinance, but is the only one in Illinois.
- April 11-17, 1977
“Gay Illini to Host Pride Week Program (Gay Life 4 March 1977) held at U of I
- Wednesday, July 20, 1977
Article from the Daily Illini “Champaign Approves Rights Ordinance” Many articles on this day about it in various papers (Gay Life, News Gazette, Courier)
- Tuesday, July 26, 1977
Article from the Daily Illini “City Sets Fine Example for others on Gay Rights”
- April 17-24, 1983
The seventh annual Gay Illini awareness week
First report given to the Chancellor on why the campus needs a LGBT Resource center with an office – it was ignored.
- April 16, 1987
“Chancellor’s Campuswide Task Force on Sexual Orientation” Final Report submitted by Mary Ellen O’Shaughnessey, Chair.
- (Appointed by Chancellor Thomas E. Everhart in Feb. 1986) submitted a final report on campus climate in 1987.
- Board of Trustees adopted a resolution on Sept. 29, 1987 to prohibit discrimination due to sexuality
- June 11, 1987
Illini Week “Ikenberry, board affirm UI policy protects gays"
- October 11, 1987
Gay and Lesbian Illini assemble a group of individuals to go to the national march on Washington
- December 22, 1988
Article from Chicago Sun-Times “Chicago gay rights bill ok’d after 15 year battle”
- Approximately 13 years after Urbana, 11 after Champaign
- June 23, 1989
Article from Daily Illini “C-U mayors jointly declare special day for gay pride”
Exact Years Unknown
- From video with Curt McKay “Out on Campus”
Formed by faculty and staff initially as a social group, but quickly transitioned into more activism work.
- get Residence halls to allow same-sex couples to live together
- get gender identity and sexual orientation to be included in the university’s non-discrimination policy
- 1993 – LGBTRC received funding!
Small, shared space in the Illini Union.
- 1993 – The Ally Network began
The need for LGBT people and straight people who were supportive, to get some training on how to be supportive but also to form a network to help them know who to talk to on campus if a student had a problem or for other needs. That was developed through the Counseling Center which had a sexual orientation, diversity, allies committee (SODA). Soon, there were ally trainings for many of the cultural houses and even Greek ally trainings implemented.
$10,000 funding came in to remodel and have a bigger space, so the center could become a place to hang out and socialize as well.
History of PRIDE (RSO)
- Gay Liberation Front
- Gay Illini
- Gay and Lesbian Illini
- Lesbian and Gay Illini
- Changes into People for Lesbian gay and bisexual concerns (PLGBC) Feb 24 1991)
- Pride (Maybe other iterations existed at other times that could not be located)