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Motor City Pride to recognize the drag community as Grand Marshals at pride parade

In this June 26, 2016, file photo, a woman holds a rainbow flag during the NYC Pride Parade in New York.
Seth Wenig
In this June 26, 2016, file photo, a woman holds a rainbow flag during the NYC Pride Parade in New York.

As pride month begins, anti-LGBTQ legislation, specifically targeted at transgender people and drag queens, has been on the rise nationwide.

Motor City Pride out of Detroit is honoring drag queens in their upcoming pride festival by having them lead the parade as Grand Marshals.

Motor City Pride Chairperson Dave Wait said it is important to honor the drag community’s contributions in the fight for LGBTQ rights.

“(We) are recognizing the (drag community) for being at the forefront of the pride movement and the equal rights movement for the past 50 years or even longer,” Wait said. “Because of all the negative legislation happening around the country, we are very fortunate that Michigan is a very welcoming state and so we are going to recognize them for the way they have led the charge for equal rights.”

Wait said he is grateful the organization is in Michigan where they are able to openly honor the drag community.

“We are fortunate here in Michigan that we have a very supportive governor and legislator with the laws that they have passed this year where other festivals in other parts of the country, there’s a lot of different laws and bills that are being proposed and passed that’s prohibiting different type’s of things,” Wait said.

He also said being in Michigan helps with safety. Motor City Pride makes safety a top priority by having security detectors as people come in the festival, security gaurds and police monitoring outside the event.

“We always have lots of ongoing conversations, so (safety is) always forefront,” Wait said. “... It’s something that we are always talking about (and) being aware of with soceity and what’s taking place.”

Motor City Pride Festival will kick things off on Satruday, June 10, and the parade will happen on Sunday, June 11 at 12 p.m.

The festival will have four stages with over 50 acts performing throughout the two days along with 150 different vendors in attendance.