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Up North Pride Kicks Off In Traverse City Amid Backlash

Nick Westendorp, WCMU/Record Eagle

Up North Pride, a week long celebration of the LGBTQ community, is going on right now in Traverse City. In recent weeks the organization has faced increased backlash.


Last week Traverse City crosswalks were decorated with temporary rainbow murals for Up North Pride week. The decorations were met with social media backlash ranging from confusion over funding all the way to hate speech directed at the LGBTQ community.

Nick Viox, vice chair for the leadership team of Up North Pride, said “I think it’s actually helping prove our point as to why we have a pride, seeing comments like that, seeing the sort of backlash, and the opportunity for a conversation as to why conversation pride needs to happen, seeing why it’s so necessary for people who don’t often have a safe space to feel safe, and to have our community surround each other with that love.”

Viox said that the hate speech has raised security concerns, however he said his group has a strong partnership, to keep events safe. He said, “we are lucky enough to have the full support from the Traverse City police department to make sure we have a safe event no matter what, we’ve been meeting with them regularly to ensure the safety of all of the events for Up North Pride.”

Viox said that despite the increased backlash, there has also been increased support, through both community involvement and even displays of pride flags. He said, “it’s really been a beautiful statement with how our community has been getting involved with supporting the LGBTQ community.”

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You can read more on this story in Monday’s edition of the Traverse City Record Eagle.