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200 North Main St | Bloomington, Illinois | 309-827-0428

History Out of the Closet: The LGBTQ+ Community in McLean County

Friday, June 28
Starts at 5:30 PM

McLean County Museum of History
200 N. Main St, Bloomington IL 61701

Join the Prairie Pride Coalition and the McLean County Museum of History on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots for  History Out of the Closet,  a panel discussion with the LGBTQ community in McLean County. The discussion will be held on Friday, June 28 from 5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the Museum.  McLean County’s LGBTQ+ community is an integral part of McLean County’s rich history.  But little has been recorded or gathered regarding the experiences of its members because of cultural biases and prejudices. The program will feature community members Dave Bentlin, Jan Lancaster, Bruce Lang, Cameron Hurley, and Olemuel Ashford.  These individuals will discuss their personal experiences in order to bring to light the many challenges and risks the LGBTQ+ community faced prior to the establishment of laws that granted them equal rights and protections in McLean County.  Topics will include social and work lives within an unaccepting community, efforts made to change cultural views and attain equal rights, struggles and successes throughout the AIDS epidemic, and stories of everyday life both in and out of the closet. The panel discussion will be moderated by Mike Matejka.

To learn more about this initiative visit the Museum’s website @  or

the Prairie Pride Coalition’s facebook page.  If you have questions, or

wish to schedule a specific time during this event (or on another date),

contact Museum Curator Susan Hartzold at skhartzold@mchistory.org.