Michigan Pride makes triumphant comeback

By |2018-01-16T03:46:46-05:00June 11th, 2009|News|

by Jessica Carreras

LANSING – Though Michigan Pride was in over $10,000 of debt just last fall, that’s not the case anymore. Pride Community Organizer Monique Goch said in the week leading up to the festival that not only are they out of last year’s debt, but have this year fully covered.

“(Michigan Pride, Inc.) had an impromptu meeting to write checks and just wrote them right out for our advertising, for our booths, for banners,” Goch said. “We just did it.”
“We are running so well right now.”
It’s a far cry from last year, when sponsors dropped out both before and after the Pride weekend, leaving the organizers deep in debt from 2008’s expenses and close to shutting down. “That was a consideration,” Goch said. “They were thinking of just shutting it down because there was no money to start up again.”
This year’s festival on June 13, however, is much different.
A spring fundraiser brunch at the Radisson Hotel in Lansing paid off the remaining debt from 2008, and Michigan Pride was free to start funding this year’s festival. Contracts were signed, advertisers lept on board and sponsors held up to their deals, meaning that not only will Michigan Pride survive – it will thrive.
Moreoever, Goch – who is rumored to be taking over as chair of Michigan Pride next year – said the team was able to get everyone working together for this year’s events.
“We have a group full of six different non-profits, and none of them were talking anymore. They were all pissed off at Pride because of one thing or another, but we got them back on board,” Goch explained. “Now everyone’s excited and elated and ecstatic, and that’s the way it should be.”
Goch hopes that the optimism and excitement will spread to pridegoers, who haven’t heard much good news about Michigan Pride lately. “We have to take the negative vibe right off of this,” she said. “Sometimes an organization loses some sponsorship because of a hardship or something went wrong, but we’re going to fix it.”
Goch said the Michigan Pride team is more than excited about this year’s line up of events, too.
In addition to the usual march, rally and Diversity Festival, the weekend will kick off 9 p.m. June 12 with a White Party in Old Town to benefit the Lansing Area Aids Network.
Four specially decorated venues – Spiral Video Dance Bar, The Chrome Cat, Esquire and Grand Cafe – worked together to stage the fundraising event, which is $10 a person for admission to all four.
“It’s called a ‘White Party’ because everyone shows up decked out entirely in white,” said Goch. “They will celebrate diversity and unity all evening to deejays from Los Angeles, musical acts the Kathy Ford Band, and Nervous But Excited and comedian Mimi Gonzalez.”
Saturday night’s afterparty on June 13 will take place in Old Town as well, where a special guest, international DJ Guillaume, will be spinning at the Grand Cafe.
On Sunday, Spiral Video Dance Bar and The Chrome Cat will open for brunch and a Tea Dance. Spiral is also hosting a wine tasting for charity. Later, performers will compete in a contest to determine Lansing’s best drag queen.
Next year, the entire Pride festival will move to Lansing’s Old Town. “Old Town said ‘we embrace you,'” Goch said. “They support us and they want us to be in the community. They can’t wait for us to come to Old Town.”
For more information on Michigan Pride, visit http://www.michiganpride.org

Michigan Pride
June 12-14

White Party
9 p.m. June 12
The Michigan Pride kickoff, happening all night at Spiral Dance Bar, The Chrome Cat, Esquire Bar and Grand Cafe.
Old Town, Lansing

Diversity Festival
11 a.m.-7 p.m. June 13
Booths, food and entertainment, plus a VIP Open Air Bar, moonwalk and Pet Pampering Parlor. Admission: $5 for festival, $20 for VIP bar.
Adado Park, 300 N. Grand Ave., Lansing

State Pride March
12 p.m. June 13
A march to the Capitol to celebrate pride. Registration for floats and vehicles: $25. Walkers are free. Ends with a rally at the Capitol Building.
Adado Park, 300 N. Grand Ave., Lansing

Commitment Ceremony
2:30 p.m. June 13
Stand up and out and show your love during a group commitment ceremony. No fee, but donations to Unity of Greater Lansing Church are appreciated.
Capitol Building, 100 N. Capitol Ave., Lansing

Old Town After Party
7 p.m. June 13
Pride after party with entertainment, held at Spiral Dance Bar, The Chrome Cat, Esquire Bar and Grand Cafe.
Old Town, Lansing

Rainbow Breakfast
9:45 a.m. June 14
A Pride month breakfast celebrating the LGBT community. Followed by 11 a.m. service.
Universalist Unitarian Church of East Liberty, 2231 Jefferson, Liberty Township

Sunday Tea Dance
11 a.m. June 14
Begins with brunch and “hangover specials.” T-Dance held at 3 p.m. Grand Cafe will also feature noon lunch and drink specials.
Chrome Cat, 226 E. Grand River Ave., Lansing

Wine Tasting
6 p.m.-midnight
Wine tasting, plus hair and fashion show and Drag Queens Gone Wild.
Spiral Dance Bar, 1247 Center, Lansing

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.