The end of May means Memorial Day picnics, skimpy shorts weather and a prelude to the queerest month of the year. As we zoom right into Pride Month, here are a few ideas to kick off the season. Whether you’re a music lover, a bookworm or someone who just needs a little extra Zen, we’ve got you covered.
1. Revel in Some Queer Country, Y’all
Saddle up for an early summer infusion of queer-friendly country music. Masked gay crooner Orville Peck will bring his “Bronco Tour” to Royal Oak Music Theatre May 31, and outspoken ally Miranda Lambert plays Pine Knob June 3, the only Michigan stop on her “Bandwagon” tour with Little Big Town opening.
Netflix’s “Queer Eye” features Lambert’s “Y’all Means All” as the theme song for its latest season, set in Texas. When Pride Source editorial director Chris Azzopardi interviewed the country star in 2019, she said she takes her role as an ally in the public eye seriously. “I do have a platform, and I try to use it for the better,” she told Azzopardi.
Tickets for both shows are available through ticketmaster.com.
2. Strike a (Yoga) Pose for a Good Cause at Zion Pride
Join Zion Well for Zion Pride in Ypsilanti at 10 a.m. June 5 at 10 a.m. for an all-levels yoga class at Riverside Park. The donation-based event also features a mental health fair starting at 9:30 a.m. Proceeds will benefit Ozone House, a shelter and support community focused on LGBTQIA+ youth outreach in Ann Arbor. Following the yoga class, stick around for a dance party hosted by DJ Myint.!
Zion Well founder Art Schupbach says one of the organization’s missions is to create an environment where everyone feels seen and loved. “This event means so much to us because our community is diverse and unique,” Schupbach says.
Register for the event at Eventbrite.
3. Sharpen Your Claws for Catfight 2022
Catfight for the Crown is billed as “your favorite, no-holds-barred, unapologetic, highly inappropriate fight to the finish” where “‘out-of-control’ amatuer drag queens battle for the coveted title of none other than Miss Kitty,” and if you’re not already buying tickets, what else could possibly lure you out for a night of fun? Food? Drinks? They’ll have those, too!
Krystina Edwards, community engagement manager at Ruth Ellis Center, says Catfight will benefit the Center’s operations and core programs, including the Drop-In Center, Ruth Ellis Claimount Center, the Ruth Ellis Health & Wellness Center and the Family Preservation program. Edwards says the concept behind the show is a unique, interactive way of “raising critical funding to support an incredible cause.” The event, Edwards adds, is designed to celebrate all forms of identity and expression.
This 18+ event takes place June 3 at The Fillmore in downtown Detroit. Doors open at 5:30 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30 p.m. Buy tickets at universe.com.
4. Examine Gender Through an Artistic Lens
The Guild of Artists and Artisans invites the public to a special Pride Month exhibition. “fluid. man. woman. and the space between.” is on display in The Guild’s Gutman Gallery in Ann Arbor through June 18 and explores “what is inherently masculine or feminine and whether or not it’s even relevant,” according to organizers.
Michigan-based artist Armando Pedroso juried “fluid. man. woman. and the space between.” alongside Guild staff, selecting 26 works from 16 artists across a variety of styles, techniques and media. Throughout the exhibition run, the gallery will host Artist Pop-Ups on Saturdays, giving visitors a chance to meet the artists behind the work. Follow Gutman Gallery on Facebook and Instagram for the latest line-up.
Gutman Gallery is located at 118 N. Fourth Ave. in Ann Arbor. Visit the exhibition Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 18 or by appointment (email [email protected]).
5. Snag a BIPOC-Centered LGBTQ+ Read
When it’s time to take a break from your busy spring schedule, head to Detroit’s 27th Letter Books, a bookstore that supports the idea that “exposure to new ideas and lifetime learning is at the center of our existence,” and pick up a book curated for open-minded readers. The store is Black-owned, woman-owned, Filipino-owned, neurodivergent-owned, veteran-owned and cancer-survivor owned.
“As readers ourselves,” the owners write, “we’ve found frustration within the current book world, where our selves are rarely represented in books. We can only read so many books by dead white guys (am I right?), and when our readership is included, the industry allows few voices and stories into the mix instead of others that are more representative of reality.”
We highly recommend these BIPOC-centered books with LGBTQ+ themes, all available through 27th Letter Books:
“The Stars and the Blackness Between Them” by Junauda Petrus (Young Adult)
“God’s Children Are Little Broken Things” by Arinze Ifeakandu
“Take My Hand” by Dolen Perkins-Valdez
27th Letter Books is located at 3546 Michigan Ave. in Detroit. Visit the store’s website at 27thletterbooks.com for current hours.
Bonus Tip: Check out our 2022 Pride Calendar for early Pride Month celebrations!