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Go Paddling on the Rogue River, Deliver Stand-Up at a Queer-Friendly Open Mic, Join a Call for Peace in Gaza

Sarah Bricker Hunt

It somehow feels like 2024 is still just getting started, but here we are, racing toward the halfway point. The good news is that there are still many adventures to come, from Pride season to the roller coaster of another presidential election cycle.

It’s the ideal time for joining up with your local queer community for adventures like a paddling trip on the Rogue River with a queer outdoor enthusiasts group, working up your courage to join a comedy open-mic in Ypsilanti, seeing the latest Out Loud Chorus show or joining like-minded activists working to fight for a ceasefire in Gaza. It’s also time to start making a plan to visit as many Michigan Pride fests as possible — good luck, there are more than ever. 

1. Take a Pride Paddle Trip on the Lower Rogue River

Paddling Resize

Join up with Friends of the Rogue and The Queer Outdoors, a local queer social club for outdoor enthusiasts, to paddle down the Lower Rogue River on May 18. The Pride Paddle route runs from Dearborn Hills Golf Course to Ford Field Park. Fees include safety equipment, paddles and your choice of kayak or canoe. The Queer Outdoors offers friendly, queer-affirming group outings in Southeast Michigan throughout the year, including hiking, camping and foraging adventures, all geared toward a range of experience levels. Learn more at meetup.com/the-queer-outdoors.

May
18, 9:30 a.m.-12 p.m., Dearborn Hills Golf Course (1300 S. Telegraph Road, Dearborn). Sign up in advance at motorcitycanoerental.com/fotr-events.php.



2. Inclusive Open Mic Comedy Nights in Depot Town

Ypsilanti. Photo: Facebook/@depottowncomedy
Ypsilanti. Photo: Facebook/@depottowncomedy

Depot Town Comedy offers a safe, queer-affirming space for stand-up comedians and other performers working on comedic entertainment hosted by local Ypsilanti comic Lisa Green each Wednesday night at 734 Brewing Company in Ypsilanti’s Depot Town neighborhood. Past shows have included special appearances by local drag queen Zooey Gaychanel, who recently launched her stand-up comedy career, and a long list of brave, hilarious local comedians eager to hone their craft. Check out the line-up of pre-selected comics on Facebook and Instagram @depottowncomedy and add your name at the door.

Wednesdays, 734 Brewing Company (15 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti), 7:30 p.m. Visit annarbor.org/events for more info. 

3. Watch Out Loud Chorus Perform ‘Queers! Queers! Queers!’ 

Ann Arbor’s Out Loud Chorus, a mixed-gender LGBTQ+ and ally ensemble that has been dazzling audiences since 1995, will offer what is perhaps its queerest show ever on May 17 and 18 at the intimate Arthur Miller Theatre in Ann Arbor. A livestream is available on May 17. Appropriately titled “Queers! Queers! Queers!,” selections include music created by queer performers, composers and lyricists like Lil Nas X, Samuel Barber, Janelle Monáe, Franz Schubert, George Michael and Michigan composer Brandon Ulrich, whom the chorus commissioned for the concert. 

May 17-18, various times (livestream on May 17 at 8 p.m.), Arthur Miller Theatre (1226 Murfin Ave., Ann Arbor). Find tickets at olconline.org/events.

4. Start Planning Your Summer of Pride

Pride Collage 1

The countdown is in full swing, with the first Pride fests in Michigan just a few weeks away. Don’t miss big events like Ferndale Pride (June 1), Motor City Pride (June 8-9) and Grand Rapids Pride (June 22) and small Pride fests all over Michigan (including the U.P.). Our 2024 Pride Calendar has all the details. Visit bit.ly/4bf253y. Follow PrideSource.com for Michigan Pride-related content you won’t find anywhere else!

5. Get Involved in a Queer-Led Ceasefire Effort

Michigan Ceasefire Pride, a newly established queer organization, invites the Michigan queer community to join efforts calling for a stop to ongoing, escalating violence in the Gaza Strip between Israel and Palestine. One such effort centers on gathering signatures for the Michigan Ceasefire Pride Petition, available at bit.ly/3yeW3Bs. Learn more about how to get involved at instagram.com/MICeasefirePride.



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