By Jerome Stuart Nichols
The White Party is a time-honored tradition that celebrates the LGBT community’s ability to come together and work for a common goal. And drink, and wear as little clothing as possible.
The fourth annual Michigan Pride White Party on June 7 promises all that and more. Just like in years past, the upcoming White Party, which takes place in downtown Lansing, will help fund the events of the Michigan Pride Festival and Rally. Normally, the two events are paired but, with Michigan Pride moved to Aug. 24, White Party is now its own event.
“It’s a party, no doubt about it. There’s not a lot of political action going on,” said Michigan Pride Co-Chair Emily Horvath.
White Party kicks off at 6 p.m. and lasts until 2 a.m., when the bars close. Purchase of a $10 wristband at any venue will allow participants to float between participating bars all night long, each one within walking distance. To cater to the diverse crowd, each of the four venues will offer something a little different.
“It’s really a night where anyone can find what they’re looking for,” Horvath said.
The main base for White Party will be Marquee Lounge, where local favorite DJ Rodney Lamar Page will be stepping up to the turntables. He’ll also be picking up his violin to perform his signature live dubstep accompaniment.
For a more relaxed, adult vibe, visit Esquire, which offers pool tables and a space to converse. Sir Pizza/Grand Cafe has party-goers covered when it comes time to soak up the alcohol. They’ll also have hand-spun tunes from DJ Fudgie.
Spiral Dance Bar will probably be home to the craziest party of the night. The only 18-and-up venue of the bunch is offering up the hottest club beats and cheap drinks for those who want to dance the night away. They’re also giving people the opportunity to get wet and wild during their foam party.
Each venue will have their own dress code but, other than white being the color of the night, there’s very few other restrictions. Although participants do have to keep their outfits within the boundary of the law.
“People can come to the White Party and wear anything from formal wear to underwear,” Horvath said.
Like red during Gay Days at Disney World, white during White party is a show of solidarity and pride. It’s a chance to be on the streets and feel like part of a community that is usually invisible.
“It’s pretty amazing to see an entire neighborhood and business district filled with people dressed in white,” Horvath said. “That show of unity within the LGBT community, as well as the businesses around there – it’s pretty stunning.”
With a crowd that’s expected to swell to over 2,500, White Party is claiming the title of “Michigan’s Largest White Attire Event.”
“It’s one of those things where you really feel like you were part of something, you were there,” Horvath said.
Although the party promises to be an exciting time, it all serves a greater purpose.
“This is the one opportunity we have to make a concerted effort and show our community and our voting power at the state capitol,” Horvath said. “It is pretty awesome to stand on those steps and look out at a sea of people with the common goal of obtaining equal rights and equal recognition for our families.”