The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

The independent student newspaper at the University of Illinois since 1871

The Daily Illini

CU celebrates Queer Homecoming as part of Pride Fest

Locals and students attended Queer Homecoming in celebration of Champaign-Urbana Pride Fest on Sept. 29. 

The dance was hosted by Uniting Pride of Champaign County, a local nonprofit, at the Canopy Club. Doors opened at 9 p.m., and the party lasted until 2 a.m. 

It was held as a part of a two-week-long Pride Fest from Sept. 23 through Oct. 1. The festival is part of the second-largest pride celebration in Illinois. 

C-U Pride Fest garnered over 55 local and national sponsors. Other events hosted later in the week included a nature walk at Busey Woods, a Drag Extravaganza at the Canopy Club and a Drag Brunch hosted by MyPride365. 

Entertainment at Queer Homecoming included Champaign’s own DJ Silkee, and Carnivale Debauche, a burlesque and vaudeville troupe. Defy Gravity, a pole fitness and aerial arts studio based in Urbana, also performed. Defy Gravity also participated in CU Pride Fest on Saturday.  

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Jarred Baligod, senior in Engineering, said participating in Pride Fest events was a safe opportunity to fully express himself. 

“It felt amazing to be there and feel the joy of people just being themselves,” Baligod said.  

Nicole Frydman, director of operations at Uniting Pride, said hosting events like Queer Homecoming provides an inclusive opportunity for those who may have felt excluded from other school traditions. 

“Hosting an event like this provides a chance to heal from the struggles of the past and make some new beautiful memories in a safe and affirming space,” Frydman said. 

Frydman said she hopes CU Pride Fest events invoke a sense of pride within people who celebrate throughout the week. 

“No matter who tries to shut us down or erase us, we’re here and won’t let them stop us from living our best lives,” Frydman said. 

 

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Jessie Wang, Senior News Reporter
Hi! My name is Jessie and I’m a junior majoring in CS + philosophy. I am an assistant news editor, and this is my third semester with The DI. I’m super excited to be part of our lovely newspaper! Feel free to contact me at my email below if you want to chat.
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