I wanted to say thank you to all the wonderful people who have come by Just 4 Us to say good-bye to me since the BTL story hit the streets last week. For those of you who do not know me, I just want to let you know that there are some really wonderful people in this community who do care, who desire a better community, a better Detroit and most importantly a better tomorrow.ÊYou see, I released myself as owner of the downtown Ferndale store, Just 4 Us, to a wonderful set of people who are as passionate about community as I have been.
I opened the store in 1997 but became involved in volunteer work 10 years earlier.ÊIt was then that I became aware that there was a small community of people in metro Detroit who wanted to create a better place for, what was then, a very closeted community.ÊIt, of course, did not take long for me to volunteer for the Detroit Area Gay/Lesbian Council. Two years later, I founded South East Michigan Pride (SEMP), organized the annual PrideFest Celebration, along with The Michigan Lesbian & Gay ComedyFest, The Michigan Lesbian & Gay Film Festival and other cultural entertainment events for our community.
I have never regretted the experience of creating, organizing and, most importantly, sharing life with so many wonderful people. Yes, I am the first to address and admit to the bumps that also were along the way, but never did I let the struggles get in the way of knowing that caring, giving and sharing is first and foremost the value of life memories.ÊMy only real sorrow is having dealt with, at times, small-minded, politically motivated jerks in our community who try to take credit for other people’s sweat, work and tears.ÊOur history is important and it should always be defended for the future members of our community to know truth.ÊThis being said, take care of yourselves and each other.ÊGive of your time selfishly, with a passion to make this world a better place for the future queers of America!
In Pride and Love,
Michael C. Lary