Sen. Mike Simmons

CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons, a Chicago Democrat who is the first openly gay member of the Illinois State Senate, was joined by community leaders, organizations, activists, and advocates to host a Pride Month reflection press conference Friday afternoon.

“This is a very special Pride Month, since it is the first I am celebrating as the first openly LGBTQ+ member of the Illinois Senate,” Simmons said. “We have had a lot of wins in the fight for LGBTQ+ people, but there is still a lot more urgent and important work that needs to be done. It’s an honor to be here today with all of these amazing advocates and leaders as we continue the fight for justice for LGBTQ+ people and for queer liberation.”

Simmons began the press conference by reading a list of names of transgender women who have been killed this year in Chicago as a result of anti-trans violence before asking for a moment of silence in their memory. Several speakers were then invited to share their perspectives, representing a wide range of Chicago-based LGBTQ+ organizations, including Brave Space Alliance, The Chicago Therapy Collective, Affinity Community Services, Howard Brown Health, Equality Illinois, The Legacy Project and more.

“I’m very grateful for all the work these organizations have done to make lives better for queer people in our city and across our state,” Simmons said.

The press conference took place at the Gerber/Hart Museum and Archives, located in the Rogers Park neighborhood in Chicago, and it can be viewed in full here.