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Queer Things to Do: Attend a Motor City Pride Afterparty, Go to Tigers Pride Night

Sarah Bricker Hunt

Suddenly, Michigan is awash in all things Pride. While we all know there’s a distinct difference between performative LGBTQ+ support (looking at you, rainbow-themed antibacterial wipes on the Kroger end cap) and organizations that put in actual labor to support the community, the fact remains that June is ours. Like so many colors of the rainbow, there’s something out there to suit every Pride personality, including Pride Night with the Tigers, Motor City Pride’s Hart Plaza takeover, a concert by alt-pop darling Zolita and an educational event focused on improving the odds for LGBTQ+ youth experiencing housing insecurity.

1. Pride Fests on Tap for June 10 

Motor City Pride, Michigan’s largest Pride event, will kick off on Saturday, June 10, but the massive festival isn’t the only option for Pride seekers across the state. At a time when the LGBTQ+ community is in the crosshairs of far too many conservative politicians and organizations, visible Pride events hold special significance. Consider also giving some love to these smaller events on the roster for June 10: Grand Haven, Holly, Howell and Marquette.

2. Experience Queer Pop Sensation Zolita

Don’t miss viral alt-pop sensation Zolita when she appears at The Shelter June 14 on a break from opening for Bebe Rexha on her North American “Best F’n Night of My Life Tour.” The singer-songwriter and director/filmmaker boasts more than 300 million streams featuring her music, which frequently features LGBTQ+ storylines. Zolita’s latest release, the EP “Falling Out/Falling In,” for example, “unpacks the devastating, confusing, and joyful process of falling out of love, getting over someone, and falling in love with someone else through its narrative story of movie-quality videos,” according to a news release. Zolita’s unique approach to authentic LGBTQ+ storytelling with a cinematic twist helped her 2022 video, “Somebody I F*cked Once,” go viral.

June 14, 7 p.m., The Shelter (431 E. Congress St., Detroit). Tickets at bit.ly/43uqZIe.

3. Attend a Motor City Pride Afterparty

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Zolita. Photo: Facebook

Keep the party going long after Motor City Pride kicks you out of Hart Plaza. Geared for Life’s annual MOTORBALL event is set to take place as the festival wraps up for the night on June 10. Kicking off at 10 p.m., the high-energy celebration, themed “Shades of Pride,” will take over the Magic Stick and feature several performers. Adriel Fantastique will host an entertainment lineup that includes tribal house musician Ben Bakson, SanFranDisko, Stacey Hotwaxx Hale and Darryl G. If you’re still awake, head over to Olympus in the Menjo’s Complex for the after-after party featuring music by Joe Gauthreaux, King Kii and Tylr_B2B Kass B2B Rekt. XOXR is also hosting a Motor City Pride afterparty on June 10. Starting at 9 p.m. at The High Dive in Hamtramck, this event will deliver house, techno and drag. Featured performers include Joshua Orange, Sapphyre and Garrison XR.

MOTORBALL: June 10, 10 p.m.-4 a.m., Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit) and Olympus (950 W. McNicholas Road, Detroit). Tickets: gearedforlife.us. XOXR afterparty: June 10, 9 p.m.-2 a.m., The High Dive (11474 Joseph Campau Ave., Hamtramck). Tickets: ra.co/events/1709971.

4. Learn About LGBTQ+ Homelessness 

The LGBTQ+ community experiences homelessness and housing insecurity at a significantly higher rate versus other groups. A University of Chicago study estimates that LGBTQ+ youth are 120% more likely to experience homelessness than non-LGBTQ+ youth. Often, people facing these situations turn to couch-surfing to survive. This survival tactic is at the heart of the Every Soul Arts’ Sofa Stories project, a live theater experience featuring digital media, set to perform June 9 at Detroit Public Theatre. Sofa Stories focuses on LGBTQ+ youth in Detroit and is facilitated by Every Soul Arts, a collective of artists, care providers, housing activists and people who have experienced homelessness. Learn more about the project at sofastoriesdetroit.com.

June 9, 8 p.m., Detroit Public Theatre (3960 3rd Ave., Detroit). Admission is free, but advance reservations are available through this ticket link: bit.ly/43ydffs.

5. Hit Detroit Tigers Pride Night

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Head over to Comerica Park for Pride Night on June 13 to cheer on the Detroit Tigers as they take on the Atlanta Braves. The LGBTQ+ and allies event includes an exclusive Tigers Pride messenger bag with advance ticket purchases. While you’re at the game, be sure to send a selfie to the L.A. Dodgers, who keep dreaming up new ways to offend everyone by banning and unbanning the long-running LGBTQ-allied human rights org, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence. The Tigers aren’t about to back down from vocally supporting its Detroit LGBTQ+ fanbase.

June 13, 6:40 p.m., Comerica Park (2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Tickets at bit.ly/3X1NK4p.

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