Members and friends of the Oak Park Area Lesbian and Gay Association:
Notice anything different? At a meeting of the board this week it was agreed by a unanimous vote of those present to add a plus sign to our logo. We are now OPALGA +. The plus represents two things. First – we are beyond Lesbian and Gay. We are inclusive of all who live under the rainbow flag of sexual orientation, gender identity, ethnicity, non-conforming, allies, and the many other terms that have begun to define us as very wonderful folks. Second – we are bigger than even what ‘Oak Park Area’ represents. We are Chicago, we are Elmhurst, we are Wheaton, we are Berwyn, we are Cicero, we are a community without borders.
We also agreed that when we use the LGBTQ in any of our messages or comments we will put a plus sign after that as well – LGBTQ+. This has become a commonly used indication that all are included.
Welcome one and welcome all – you are included and loved.
We are proud to celebrate our 30th Anniversary in 2019! Established in 1989, OPALGA is one of the largest LGBTQ membership organizations in Illinois. Our diverse membership includes women and men of all ages, ethnicities and socioeconomic backgrounds. Our members live in Chicago’s near-west collar suburbs, Chicago proper, and beyond.
To promote full equality for and positive attitudes toward the LGBTQ community. To provide a positive community family for our members through social activities, civic engagement, and community activism.
What We Do
• Award scholarship funds for LGBTQ and allied students.
• Host many social activities, including monthly potlucks, parties, theater events, parade marches, OPALGA fundraising gala, and more.
• Participate in community volunteer efforts, including Donut Days, the Greater Chicago Food Depository, and more.
• Participate in local community human rights forums, rallies, and parades.
• Educate the public by providing information and resources at events like Day in our Village.
What We Have Accomplished
• Provide $15,000 in scholarships annually to help LGBTQ or allied students pursue higher education
• Helped amend Oak Park’s Human Rights Ordinance to bar employment and housing discrimination (1989)
• Helped secure Domestic Partnership Benefits for Oak Park Village employees (1994)
• Helped secure Oak Park’s Domestic Partnership Registry for same-sex couples — a first-ever achievement in Illinois, and since used as a model for other communities (1997)
• Worked to educate local school administrators to establish a Human Dignity policy for LGBTQ school employees (2009)
• Received numerous awards for community service
• Served as a Gay Games VII sponsor and hosted events in Oak Park (2006)
• Rallied locally and in Springfield for the passage of Civil Unions and Marriage Equality in Illinois (2013)
2019 OPALGA Board
Front Row, left to right:
Mike Rosanova, Jim Gibson, Kelly Soprych, Colette Lueck, Margaret Gonsoulin, Perrine Meunier-Jones, Kendall Alexander
Back Row, left to right:
Tom Gull, Tom Javorcic. Bob Personnet, Co-chair Roger Wilson, Co-Chair Alisa Ray
Not pictured: Robert Stelletello and Brian Bollenbacher