Macomb County Takes a New Approach to LGBTQ+ History Month!

Downtown Mount Clemens was the destination for Macomb’s first pride festival

Charlize McDaniel, Junior Writer

Fall is the new time for pride in Macomb County! Honoring October as LGBTQ+ History Month, a festival was held in Downtown Mount Clemens. It took place October 15-17 and was titled “Fall Into Pride”. Several streets were filled with people participating in the activities held during the event. Live music, dancing, street fair vendors, and much more was offered to guests and those passing through.

There was plenty for just about everyone to do. Live music brought performances from Mae James, Kelly Zullo, DJ Emily Rogers, Nikki Holland and much more. Drag storytimes and performances were hosted by Crystal Harding. Free Covid-19 vaccines were even being offered at a mobile clinic. Lots of non-profit markets set up shop for the festival to cater to guests passing by. A children’s area was available for the use of those thirteen years of age and younger. Many bars and restaurants catered to guests. Most importantly, a historical pride walk was available for viewing along Macomb Place. As a result of all the welcoming activities, visitors from all different age groups and backgrounds joined in the festival. 

When Cameren Alexander-Kopich, 10th grader attending Henry Ford II, was asked what he found most interesting about the festival he responded by saying, “Honestly, all of it was pretty interesting, even the kids craft tables were fun. Though, if you’re making me pick I’d have to say the history walk…I absolutely hate history but it was nice learning something about the people who invented our kind of pride.”

Macomb County put this event together in hopes to bring the community together. This idea was brought to light with the hope of giving Macomb citizens something to look forward to after two continuous summers of canceled events. The festival was announced to the public during the summer of 2020 and was scheduled for June of 2021. Due to the new Covid-19 variant, the event was rescheduled for October. 

“Everybody just seemed happy. I mean, you really had to be there and see it for yourself. There was so much to do and so many people…just having a good time,” Marco Lively, 11th grader attending Dakota High School, stated. She continued on by saying, “I’ve been contributing to pride since I was twelve. Festivals, pradas, parties, any big thing themed LGBTQ+ pride can be a perfect way to help random strangers come together… It’s all about common interests and goals.”

Pride has come to be something recognizable and commonly celebrated among the LGBTQ+ community. Having pride and encouraging others to show theirs are one of the few things that make these people similar.

“Pride is important to me because it’s important to be yourself. It’s important to not be ashamed of who you are and celebrate what makes you so unique,” Lively said when asked why pride was important to her. 

Cameren answered the same question by saying, “Because having pride in yourself is basically the same as having confidence in yourself. You can’t go very far if you don’t have confidence and you aren’t proud of what you’ve done. If you want to succeed then you kind of have to know who you are, having pride helps that.”

In summary, Macomb is starting to join other cities in the fall festivities of pride. Since 1994, October has been recognized as LGBTQ+ history month, along with June being Pride Month. The delay of the festival worked out in the end, giving the community a way to celebrate the historic month.