Up North Pride Week Moves Online
Pride week in Traverse City would have been packed with thousands of people celebrating the LGBTQ plus community, but due to COVID-19, they’ve had to move their festivities online.
“We can’t put any of our participants into harms way,” said Up North Pride co-Founder Jonny Cameron. “We serve marginalized communities and it’s about immune compromised people and the health of the greater whole.”
“We’re having a drag show this year, it’s virtual,” Cameron said. “And then we are also having a virtual march.”
The drag show will premiere on Up North Pride’s Facebook page June 25 and feature local drag performers and celebrity cameos.
Up North Pride is also encouraging people to submit photos and videos for their virtual march to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 26. Someone will be randomly selected to win a $500 gift certificate package.
But not everything is online, Up North Pride has also passed out yard signs for people to show their support or pride for the LGBTQ plus community, something that the sponsors of pride week have really enjoyed showing off.
“They’re super cute not just from an artistic standpoint but it’s also, I think, just this huge warm hug as you’re driving down the road and you see these Up North Pride signs,” said Heidi Lovy, a community health specialist at the Thomas Judd Care Center. “They’re also sending a message to the community that everyone is welcome here and we’re all about equality.”
And that’s the lesson Cameron wants everyone to know, especially those who may be struggling.
“Our greatest goal is to say hey we’re here, we’re beautiful, we’re a community, we’re loved and supported,” Cameron said. “If you happen to be at home, isolated, struggling, there are others who are here. Find us, we’re here to help and love and affirm you.”