CHICAGO – State Senator Mike Simmons, the first and only openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Illinois Senate, spoke out against recent attacks against the LGBTQ+ community — both local and national — along with other elected officials, community activists, business leaders and advocacy groups at a press conference today in Rogers Park.

“As the first openly LGBTQ+ person to serve in the Illinois Senate, it is important to me that we lift up community voices in response to the wave of hate and vicious attacks we’ve seen targeting LGBTQ+ communities all across the nation,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “Today we bring into focus that there have already been more than 500 punitive pieces of legislation introduced in state legislatures targeting our LGBTQ+ communities this year, with nearly 100 signed into law, that bar trans youth from participating in athletics, curtail and outlaw abortion rights, outlaw gender-affirming care and discussion of sexual orientation and gender identity in K-12 classrooms, and ban books containing LGBTQ+ protagonists in schools. Today our elected leaders and community members take space to stand for LGBTQ+ human rights, call out these horrendous attacks, and give community members a place to share their thoughts about what we need to do next. We are fed up and will not stand for hateful attacks on the LGBTQ+ community any longer. We are fighting back.”

The event was held in Chicago with elected officials, and leaders from local businesses and advocacy groups speaking, including: Sen. Simmons; State Representative Kevin Olickal; Alderpersons Angela Clay (46th Ward), Matt Martin (47th Ward), Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth (48th Ward) and Maria Hadden (49th Ward); Cook County Commissioner Josina Morita; Timothy Jackson with the Aids Foundation of Chicago; Stephanie Skora with Brave Space Alliance; Missy Perkins with Paint The City; Paul Ruffino with Rattleback Records; Anthony Galloway with Lorde, Rustin & Bates; comedian, writer, and activist KJ Whitehead; Silas Leslie with the Chicago Therapy Collective; Gregory Gross with Care for Real; Hallie Borden with Milk Hand Made + Honey Bridal; Andrew Miller and Lorraine Hayes with Test Positive Aware Network; and Searah Deysach with Early to Bed/Trans Essentials.

Senator Simmons has been known to aggressively push back against transphobic comments used in floor debate on the state Senate floor. He has also secured passage of and co-led numerous bills protecting LGBTQ+ communities including a bill that protects marriage equality and access to gender-affirming care in Illinois. This press conference was a continuation of his fight for the rights of trans-youth and all members of the LGBTQ+ community, giving elected leaders and community members the space to stand for LGBTQ+ human rights, call out these horrendous attacks, and give community members a place to share their thoughts about what needs to be done next.

“Everyone deserves to live a life true to who they are,” Simmons said. “These new laws and bills across the nation are a despicable and coordinated attack on the basic human rights of LGBTQ+ and queer communities. These new laws deny millions of people the right to live their life authentically. We have seen enough and we will fight tooth and nail to build on the progress and rights LGBTQ+ communities have secured in recent years. We will never go back in the closet. No way.”

For those who missed the event, a live stream of the press conference is available on Senator Simmons‘ Facebook page.

Category: Press Releases

Newsletter Archive

Office Info

District Office
1040 W. Bryn Mawr Ave.
Chicago, IL 60660
(773) 769-1717 (Phone)
(773) 945-9979 (Text)

Springfield Office:
Senator 7th District
Stratton Building
Section F, Office G
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8492

facebook logo 64pxtwitter logo 64pxinstagram logo 64px

eNewsletter Signup

eNewsletter Signup
  1. First Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  2. Last Name(*)
    Invalid Input
  3. Your Email(*)
    Please let us know your email address.
  4. Cell Phone(*)
    Please let us know your contact phone number.
  5. Invalid Input
  6. By selecting the “Opt-in Checkbox” and then clicking "Submit" you agree to (Terms Of Use) | (Privacy Policy) and to receive texts from Senator Simmons at your mobile number. Message and data rates may apply. Message frequency varies.