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.

Mission

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+ Scholarship 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 $25,000 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)

2021 OPALGA+ Board

TOP ROW (L to R) Anthony Didato, Jan Grillos, Steve Angus, Rylan Martin

MIDDLE ROW (L to R) Kelly Soprych, Kendall Alexander, Tim Silver, Greg Raub

BOTTOM ROW (L to R) Tom Gull, Jim Gibson, Co-Chair, Alisa Ray, Co-Chair


The Oak Park Lesbian and Gay Association:
Stories from the History Making First Decade

Click HERE to view the book.

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