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ANN ARBOR –
Hundreds of people danced, ate, drank, mingled and celebrated in Braun Court, the de facto LGBT community center of Ann Arbor, to commemorate the 16th annual OutFest. The event was billed as a celebration of National Coming Out Day and as a fundraiser for WRAP, the area’s actual community center project.
Gabe Javier emceed the event that featured speakers, bands and a live DJ.
Dave Garcia, the executive director of the Kalamazoo Resource Center, spoke about how important grassroots organizing can be in the everyday lives of people. “HRC (Human Rights Campaign) and NGLTF (the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force), for all the good work they do, cannot touch our lives in a personal way,” he said. “That is up to us – the local organizers and community centers.”
Two delightful bagpipers serenaded the crowd to start the program, and several local bands performed, including Drag King Rebellion and (the) fundamentalists.
Keith Orr and Martin Contreras, owners of autBar and Common Language Bookstore, both located in Braun Court, were the primary organizers of the event, which raised about $2,000 for WRAP.