Kalamazoo to launch pride event

Chris Azzopardi
By | 2007-03-08T09:00:00-05:00 March 8th, 2007|News|

Adam Martin has only been to a couple of Gay Pride Events, and he’s never fully participated in one. Until now.
“I really just kind of fell into my role here (at Kalamazoo Pride), but I have found it quite empowering, and am grateful we’re in a small, progressive, up-and-coming community so that we can enable ourselves to try something new,” said Martin, operations coordinator, about Kalamazoo’s first-ever pride event set for June 9.
Unlike most pride events, there won’t be an elaborate parade.
“Kalamazoo isn’t a big parade town or, for that matter, that big of a town – but it is the little city that thinks it’s big,” said John Martin, finance coordinator.

On the similarities to other Pride Events

John: The biggest way that Kalamazoo Pride will be similar to other pride events is that it’s going to be similar in spirit. A big factor in Kalamazoo … is that the GLBT community here is very integrated, and some say conservative. I think that this is a product of a long maturing process in the wider GLBT community. As this movement grows up, so should its parties. This gives us a unique opportunity to do something a little different in celebrating the diversity of our community.

On the decision to launch a Pride Event

Adam: Well, this past October, PROJECT(!) (a social group for 18-29-year-old bi/gay men Adam facilitates) put on the Gay Group Get-Together. At this event, 18 different groups and organizations that directly serve the GLBT community in the Kalamazoo area had the opportunity to introduce themselves and their respective groups to one another. While there, we discussed the idea of getting together again and putting on another Pride event in Kalamazoo, as the Kalamazoo Gay/Lesbian Resource Center had held Show Pride Show at SmartShop (a metal working shop in Kalamazoo). While Show Pride Show was designed as a fundraising event, the consensus from the community was that they also wanted a celebration, and so Kalamazoo Pride was born.
As well, I think there was just a general thankfulness for being part of a progressive community amongst us. I mean, a good deal of us are proud of Kalamazoo because we feel that it’s important for us to add value to Kalamazoo given that, well, it values us. Sorry for the Hallmark moment there, but really …

On the types of entertainment

Adam: Oh, you know, a couple bands, some performances by members of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, local DJ Bryan Higgins, who really knows how to hodgepodge it. Possibly some jazz, and, hell, perhaps some roving jugglers and a fire-breather or two. Not to mention contortionists, for good measure. Who knows? You’ll have to stay tuned.

{TAGLINE For more information, visit www.kalamazoopride.com or e-mail contact@kalamazoopride.com. Kalamazoo Pride can also be reached through MySpace at www.myspace.com/kalamazoopride or groups.myspace.com/kalamazoopride, and through Facebook by searching for: “Kalamazoo Pride”}

About the Author:

Chris Azzopardi
As editor of Q Syndicate, the international LGBTQ wire service, Chris Azzopardi has interviewed a multitude of superstars, including Meryl Streep, Mariah Carey and Beyoncé. Reach him via his website at http://www.chris-azzopardi.com and on Twitter (@chrisazzopardi).