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Research and education to support LGBTQIA people in Chicago and beyond.

our Mission

To use a self-as-expert approach to research and education that strengthens and supports the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual (LGBTQIA) community in Chicago and the surrounding areas.


We envision freely available and affordable treatments and services that are tailored to the LGBTQIA community that are empirically supported by data-based, community-informed research.


As a data-driven organization, we collaborate and work directly with LGBTQIA individuals and focus groups. We aim to identify research needs and shape research methodology in a way that will be workable and meaningful for all participants, while remaining rooted in ethical scientific practice. We also offer data-based, community-informed trainings to help professionals who are interested in building their competence in working with people who are LGBTQIA.

Our core values are community-driven.

Self-determination: We believe that all people deserve respect, and the freedom to make their own choices and focus on what is most valuable to them. Each person has the right to define their gender, sexuality, and other identities in whatever ways they choose.

Non-hierarchical work: Rather than a more traditional model of "experts" shaping research and trainings, our focus is on creating collaborative relationships with emphasis on shared experiences and strengths.

Workability: We strive to do what makes practical sense. If a strategy stops working, or doesn't work in a particular context, we seek out new options to determine what works best in a given situation, and continue to evaluate progress over time.

Empowering the LGBTQIA community: We seek out direct involvement and feedback from LGBTQIA individuals in our organization's activities and leadership so the research we conduct and the education we provide is by us, for us. In addition, no one will be turned away from educational services because of an inability to pay.

Meet the Crew


It's all up to you.

We would love for you to get involved in supporting the LGBTQIA community through volunteering or donating, or even just getting in touch with us. We welcome you to ask us more questions, discuss our programming, set up an appointment, or to offer suggestions for what we can do to better meet your needs.

You can reach us at or call us at (872) 888-7987.

Financial Information

Your ongoing generous support allows us to do the work that we do.

From conducting research that affirms and benefits the trans community, to providing access to coaching services on a sliding scale, your support helped us to build infrastructure and begin to meet unique community needs in 2016. You can read about our first year as an organization in our 2016 Annual Report. With your continued support, we look forward to expanding access to these resources in 2017, and to begin to incorporate group supports for the LGBTQIA community and training for helping professionals on providing TGQI affirming care.



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Bring your most fun and fancy self - whatever that means for you - to the Winter Gala benefitting Upswing Advocates, an LGBTQIA focused research and training organization that provides sliding scale, accessible services. Join us for a night of performances, dancing, food, drinks, and community at the Preston Bradley Center in Uptown.


Gruff and Tumble
Acrobatica Infiniti
Dr. Fan C. Pants
and more!

DJ KidzBop


Gold and Platinum ticket buyers, be sure to stop by for your VIP swag bags at event entrance!

The Preston Bradley Center is accessible by car, and a couple blocks off of the Lawrence Red Line. The building is wheelchair accessible.

Tickets available HERE

Sliding scale gala ticket options are available! Email us at


Thanks to our gala sponsors: