Galena Library Hosts Program Series Focusing on Pride

Left: Dr. Pip Gordon, Top right: Robert W. Fieseler, Bottom right: K Kriesel

The Galena Public Library plans to host a series of programming for adults and teens focusing on LGBTQ+ topics and history. These programs will be presented in a variety of formats including in-person, virtual, and hybrid. Visit to register unless stated otherwise. Registration is encouraged for all events.

Thursday, May 19 @ 6 PM - The Alphabet Mafia: What is LGBTQIA2 and why are they together? (hybrid)

Step by step, the letters and number of LGBTQIA2 will be broken down into simple descriptions. The presenter shall also explain why these are all grouped together. Resources to learn more will be offered as well. Presented by K Kriesel (see below).

Thursday, May 26 @ 6 PM - Non-binary: What is it and how should I act around a non-binary person (hybrid)

You might have heard the term "non-binary" within the past few years, or perhaps "genderqueer" or the use of unfamiliar pronouns. This presentation shall explain these terms, what it means when someone claims them, and etiquette around non-binary people.

K Kriesel (they/them and she/her) is a hospice chaplain, wedding officiant, and textile artist. They have facilitated workshops for church groups that want to be more LGBTQIA2 inclusive but didn't know where to start, and they were on the diversity committee for the Embroiderers Guild of America. In undergrad they interned at the Milwaukee Gay Arts Center and The Alliance School, an alternative high school for LGBTQIA2 kids who had been bullied out of their regular school. K is thrilled to contribute to Pride in Galena!

Thursday, June 2 @ 5 PM - Planting Pride: Teen Night (In-person)

Co-hosted by Riverview Center/NW IL GSA. Decorate a planter and fill it with succulents! Enjoy socializing in a safe space and celebrate pride! For students in grades 6-12. Advance sign up required. Visit or email to sign up.

Tuesday, June 14 @5 PM - Planting Pride: Adult Night (In-person)

An LGBTQIA+ group for adults in our community to come together and receive support from the community and allies. This will include open discussion and a succulent planter decorating activity. Co-hosted by Riverview Center/NW IL GSA. All materials and succulents will be provided for the planter decoration activity. Email Alissa at Riverview Center with any questions

Thursday, June 23 @ 6 PM - Tinderbox: The Untold Story of the Upstairs Lounge FIre (virtual)

Award winning author and journalist Robert W. Fieseler will read from Tinderbox and discuss the Up Stairs Lounge, and its Illinois Impact.

Buried for decades, the Up Stairs Lounge tragedy has only recently emerged as a catalyzing event of the queer liberation movement. In recognition of Pride, we are highlighting the strong Illinois connection to this vital piece of American history, and Fieseler's reading will explore this newly uncovered link. Chicagoland, in fact, lost one of its own that June 24, 1973 in the Big Easy.

Robert W. Fieseler is a National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association "Journalist of the Year" and the acclaimed debut author of Tinderbox – winner of the Edgar Award and the Louisiana Literary Award, shortlisted for the Saroyan International Prize for Writing. Queer literary icon Andrew Holleran reviewed Tinderbox as "far more than just a history of gay rights," and Michael Cunningham praised it as "essential reading at any time." Fieseler is presently working on his second queer history book, which was a finalist for the J. Anthony Lukas Work-in-Progress Award. He graduated co-valedictorian from the Columbia Journalism School and lives with his husband and two kittens in New Orleans.For more information about Robert W. Fieseler visit his website,

Tuesday, June 28 @ 6 PM - LGBTQ+ History: Stonewall and Beyond (hybrid)

This talk will discuss the Stonewall Riot, which is credited as being the inspiration for Pride Month, but it will also look further back in time to other, lesser-known protests as well as forward to pivotal moments in the march of progress towards LGBTQ+ rights. The talk will primarily be focused on the roots of queer liberation to inform audiences how Pride Month got its start and how it has grown to be more inclusive.

Dr. Phillip "Pip" Gordon (they/them) is an associate professor of English and Gay Studies Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville. Originally from West Tennessee, Pip completed degrees at the University of Tennessee-Martin (BA, 2005) and the University of Mississippi (MA, 2008; PhD, 2013). Pip has published many articles on LGBTQ+ representation in books and other media, including the recent monograph Gay Faulkner: Uncovering a Homosexual Presence in Yoknapatawpha and Beyond (University Press of Mississippi, 2020).

Please contact adult services librarian, Larissa Distler at or 815-777-0200 with any questions regarding adult programming at the Galena Public Library.

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