Pride Parade Kicks off LGBTQ Pride Month!

Deepa Jha, Contributor

The world can be a crazy and hateful place to those who are what society deems “different”. Anyone can see that someone who is a part of the LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning) can go through a lot of hate for wanting to express who they are. With the White House rolling back on policies that help the group become more equal, at least politically, some awareness and love need to be spread. Thankfully, Detroit, Michigan held their very own Motor City Pride Parade/Festival.

The first event started at 1 p.m. on Saturday, June 10th. The festival attracted more than 200 entertainers and thousands of visitors. It was located in Hart Plaza, Detroit. The festival included things such as 14 food trucks and provided music for the visitors to dance to. The parade started the next day, Sunday, at 11 a.m. Admission was $5 for anyone who was 13 years old and above. Anyone who was 12 years old and under was free admission. It eventually ended in Hart Plaza. After the parade, a candlelit vigil was held at 8 p.m. The vigil was held to commemorate those who have suffered violence as a result of their ties to the LGBTQ community. This year, it was especially for the 49 individuals who lost their lives and the 58 individuals who were wounded in the Pulse nightclub attack. It was close to the 1 year anniversary of the attack on the gay nightclub.

The parade has a huge story behind its creation. On June 27th, 1969, police raided a gay bar to enforce an alcohol control law that was barely enforced anywhere else in the city. But that night was different. This time, those in the bar chose to speak out against the discrimination.

They had enough of being physically taken out of places, being beat, or even being arrested, just because they were gay. On this night, resistance exploded against the police and this liberating event was known as the Stonewall Rebellion. The Motor City Pride celebration commemorates this mile marker for the rights of gay people everywhere.

Chairperson Dave Wait says “Motor City Pride is a celebration of the strength and diversity of Michigan’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community that is second to none.” Sophomore Lily Kollin definitely agreed, “I think by far the best part of the experience was being around the LGBTQ community. I’m new to the community myself and have never before considered myself a part of it and I just felt incredibly welcomed and at home being around so many other weirdos just like me.”

With recent events, the LGBTQ community really needed this unity. The Trump administration reversed a protection for transgender students that let them use whatever bathroom corresponded with their identity. Now the transgender students must use whatever bathroom lies in accordance with the gender they were assigned at birth. Trump also appointed Neil Gorsuch as the new Supreme Justice. As many know, Neil Gorsuch opposes same-sex marriage, which was legalized in 2015. Same-sex marriage was a huge win for the LGBTQ community and sparked celebrations all over the nation.

Despite all of these setbacks, the community still manages to find unity. You can see it in parades or festivals, such as the Motor City Pride Festival/Parade. I, for one, am proud to live in a city that can boast it’s diversity without fear of what others think. It is a true representation of human nature. In light of hate or evil, humans can find unity in trying to overcome it. The LGBTQ community’s members have gone through more than what most of us should think is acceptable. It is a strong, united front who sticks up for what is right, as we all should. One can only hope that the next generation doesn’t have to be judged for who they want to be, but embraced. That they don’t have to fight for what is right and to merely be able to enjoy the spoils of something that is a natural right- equality.