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Mackinac Island to host first Pride festival

Pride Flag
Zelda Gardner
Getty Images
Before the repeal, Arizona was one of at least seven states with curriculum laws around LGBTQ issues.

Later this month, the historic Mackinac Island will be draped in rainbow colors.

Vice President of Straits Pride Kyrsten Cavazos knows the September dates are unusual—Pride Month is in June. But she said the organization didn’t want to get in the way of other, bigger pride celebrations and the Lilac Festival.

"It’s in our shoulder season here on Mackinac Island, and things are little slower for us in terms of volume and traffic," she said. "And we thought it would be a great opportunity to open up things for people who work here seasonally and who are slowing down at their jobs and can take part in something.

Organizers were a little worried about how the local community would react to a festival, Cavazos said. The nonprofit has been trying to get one started for years.

“Straits Pride was just trying to establish ourselves as a local organization. And put our foot down, ‘We are here. We are here to support the community, and we’re not taking more no for an answer,'" she said. "Once we were able to do that, all of those wheels just kept turning.”

Cavazos said the community has been supportive of the festival. Some events at the festival include a drag brunch, queer prom, and a bike ride around the island.

The festival starts September 22nd.

Ben Jodway is an intern, serving as a reporter for WCMU Public Media and the Pioneer in Big Rapids. He has covered Indigenous communities and political extremism in Michigan.