Thursday, June 2, 2011

LGBTQ Pride

This weekend, June 3rd-5th, Detroit and Ferndale will be hosting Pride Festivals to celebrate and promote gay, lesbian, transsexual and queer pride. The festivals compose of many events, from rallies and marches to doggie drag shows and parades. The events are all peaceful with the simple intention of recognizing and accepting diversity in our world.

Pride events are planned each year in June to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion; On June 27, 1969 at a popular gay bar in New York, the Stonewall Inn, NYC police raided the bar to enforce an alcohol control law. Raids on Gay establishments were common at the time and were conducted with no resistance. But on this night, Lesbians and Gay men fought back against the police harassment for the first time. The violent resistance became known as the Stonewall Rebellion and served as a trigger for LGBTQ liberation movement today.

Michigan hosted it's first Gay and Lesbian march in Detroit in 1986, for two years the peaceful marches took place down Woodward Avenue. In 1989, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, the Gay and Lesbian march was moved to Lansing with the hope of creating more political awareness. The same year, the first official Gay and Lesbian Pride Festival was founding by the Detroit Area Gay/Lesiban Council and hosted in Dearborn. In 1990, the event's name was changed to PrideFest and was relocated to Royal Oak on the campus of Oakland Community College. Through the next decade, the event would be renamed twice and in 2003, with the new name of Motor City Pride, the event was moved to Ferndale. This year, Motor City Pride is being held in Detroit at Hart Plaza and has been made into a two day event--or a pride weekend.

Motor City Pride will feature many events over the course of the weekend on three live stages and an underground dance area. Some of the events include: Drag Shows, a doggie drag show, belly dancing performances, and live performances by artists such as Eva Soul, Kimberly Cole, Kerli, Alexis Jordan, and The Killer Flamingos.

To complement the events going on downtown, the city of Ferndale is hosting it's own Pride Festival over the weekend. The pride weekend will beginning Friday June 3rd with a "We Are Family" Parade stepping off at 7pm, followed by an evening of rallies, marches, strolls and patio parties. Non-profit organizations and local businesses have partnered up to sponsor the event. The highlighted events of the Ferndale Pride Festival will occur June 3rd and early June 4th before the Motor City Pride Festival has began at Hart Plaza. There will be a shuttle to transport people between the two festivals on Saturday June 4th only.

On June 4th, the Second Annual Southeat Michigan Dyke March will commence in Ferndale as part of the Ferndale Pride Festival. The Dyke March strives to promote inclusion and equality of all genders and sexual orientations; it is also a grass-roots response to large scale pride events that tend to be male centered.

For more information and complete schedules for either event visit http://www.ferndalepride.com/ or http://motorcitypride.org/

Come visit the Oakland County NOW booths at the Ferndale Pride Festival on Friday and the Dyke March on Saturday!! Have an awesome weekend supporting and celebrating LGBTQ diversity!

~Katie

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