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CAAN events are free unless noted.

National Coming Out Day 2017:

Wednesday October 11, 2017 starting at 7:00 p.m. at the Universalist Unitarian Church of Joliet, 3401 W. Jefferson Joliet, IL 60431 is a Screening of the documentary film The Sunday Sessions. Watch the trailer here.
THE SUNDAY SESSIONS is an intimate portrait of one manís struggle to reconcile his religious conviction and sexual identity. The observational documentary chronicles the turbulent journey of a devoutly Catholic gay man as he attends conversion therapy in hopes of changing his sexual orientation.
Conversion therapy is the controversial, non-scientifically based process which aims to convert an individualís sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual. Although it has been discredited by all major American medical, psychiatric, psychological and professional counseling organizations, some therapists still offer the service for reasons almost exclusively rooted in a conservative religious belief system.
The filmmakers had unfettered access to individual therapy sessions, family sessions, and a collection of weekend camps, and have crafted an emotional and psychological thriller which chronicles two years of Nathanís journey from acceptance to skepticism, all leading to a profound epiphany.
Will Nathan succumb to the power of dogma at the expense of finding and accepting his true self?

Gender Explorers:

Gender Explorers is a free, peer-run support group for transgender adults in and around Joliet. Our mission is to provide a safe and confidential space for individuals to share their personal experiences and explore questions of identity, transition, and/or coming out with people on similar paths. We are inclusive of both female-to-male (FTM) spectrum and male-to-female (MTF) spectrum individuals, of genderqueer persons, of intersexed folks, and of those questioning their gender identity. People of color and people with disabilities are encouraged to attend. The meeting space is accessible. The group meets monthly on 3rd Wednesdays from 6:30p - 8p Universalist Unitarian Church in Joliet. 3401 W. Jefferson Joliet, IL 60431 For more information e-mail Gender Explore.

LGBTQ Seniors:

Every Friday the LGBT Seniors Program at West Suburban hosts a lunch and discussion group. New participants are welcome. Discussions include topics of interest such as information on particular medical issues, advocacy issues for LGBT seniors, sharing stories and memories, current events and general conversation. We also invite outside guest speakers to discuss a variety of educational issues.
Crazy Crafters Ė Every Monday we have our weekly Crazy Crafters night from 7-9PM.
Monthly Movie Night Ė The fourth Wednesday of every month from 4-6 PM we host a movie night. Movies shown reflect an LGBT theme and speak to the experience of being LGBT.
Ballroom Dancing - all skills levels, including beginners are welcome. Ballroom dancing classes recur every 2nd and 4th Thursday of each month from 2-4 PM.
The LGBT Seniors Program offers free case management (seniors 55 and up in the western suburbs) and mental health counseling. All programming takes place at the Forest Park office location at 8300 Roosevelt Road. Go to their website here. Contact the LGBT Program Director at 708-234-1859 or eric@wsseniors.org for more information.

Consider a Career as a Foster Parent:

Foster parents who work for SOS Children’s Villages Illinois: There are 3 villages in Illinois. One is in Lockport. For more information, please contact SOS Children's Village

Youth and Young Adult LGBT*QIA Peer Support Groups

Pinwheels is a network of families embracing their children's and teens gender creativity in a kind and loving manner. Our support group focuses on providing a monthly meeting place for parents to connect with other families by sharing information and experiences. There is a group in Homewood. Go to their website here. If you want information about a youth group in Joliet please fill out the contact form.
 
The GLBT National Help Center has a Trans Teens Online Talk Group and GLBT Youth talk line. Please go to their website. for more information.

LGBTQIA+ Pride:

prideWe expose the rips in the fabric of society. HB-2 was the ambush bill that North Carolina passed in one day that made a state law to take away LGBTQIA+ and workers' rights. The Orlando massacre was hate following us into our safe place. The Presidential election is putting into office people who want us to go away. We cannot go away. We are nature's human beings who were born in or who immigrated to the United States. Our job is to stay alive, to pursue happiness, and to be secure in the knowledge that we are sufficient exactly as we define ourselves.

CAAN Congress:

We held a Congress June 27, 2015 at the Center for Independent Living in Joliet. We determined that we must begin the conversations with other leaders of the community to create together a Safe Community for All.

A Few Years Later:

What we have experienced is that it is hard to even get in the doors much less to start a conversation. We will not be deterred. Another Congress will be held on June 10, 2017 from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Disability Resource Center 77 N. 129th Infantry Dr. Joliet, IL 60435 We have lost the illusion of civil rights nationwide. Don't lose them in Illinois. Speak out against the racist, ableist, transphobic, homophobic talk right when it happens. Let's work together for a Safe Community for All.
 
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