Queer Things to Do: Attend Royal Oak Pride, Become a Queer Scout, Learn about Canadian Queer History

Sarah Bricker Hunt

As you sashay toward the final third of 2023, don't miss the season's final Pride events. Both Ann Arbor and Royal Oak will roll out the rainbow rug for Pridegoers during the first weekend of August. Beyond fashionably late Pride fests, you'll find opportunities to have unique, queer-imbued adventures like a "queer scouting" event in Lansing, a chance to learn about Canadian Queer History right across the Detroit River, a sexy pool party and a workshop for young adult trans folks.

1. Attend Royal Oak Pride

Alyssa Edwards. Photo: Facebook

Keep your Pride alive all summer long at a late-in-the-season event like Royal Oak Pride on Aug. 4 and 5. The 2023 event features performances by "RuPaul's Drag Race" stars Alyssa Edwards and Brooke Lynn Hytes and gay singer-songwriter Vincint. Puddles Pity Party will also be on hand to perform his unique brand of satirical musical comedy. Other highlights include a Donna Summer tribute, a Metro Detroit drag show and a Michael Jackson cover show performed by Bobby Miller. The family-friendly event will also offer vendors, food and entertainment throughout the two-day festival. Get the whole lineup at

Aug. 4, 3-11 p.m. and Aug. 5, 11 a.m.-11 p.m. Downtown Royal Oak.

2. Become a Queer Scout

It's not too late to become a scout, even if you missed (or avoided) the opportunity as a kid. Queer Scouts, a series of workshops for LGBTQ+ people of all ages to learn various outdoor, handicraft and applied skills, meets regularly at Lansing's Salus Center. Scouts earn badges as they acquire skills and can participate in a wide range of activities, including an upcoming American folk dance workshop on Aug. 6 and a camping trip to Manistee in September. Troop Leader Izzi will lead participants through the three main types of "formation dances" (lines, squares and English Country) and an introductory lesson on waltzing. "Folk dancing isn't just historical or monocultural," Izzi writes in press materials for the event, "it's modern and diverse and has radically changed as I've grown up, with people from all over not just this country, but the world, bringing their own flavors and perspectives to it. I want to help reassure some who only know folk dancing as something hokey, gender-locked, heterosexual and for old white people that it really, really isn't."

Aug. 6, 4-6 p.m., Salus Center (408 S. Washington Square, Lansing). Learn more at

3. Hit the Pool

Soak up that summer sun while it's still shining down on all the scantily-clad partygoers at the last two Parasol Pool Parties of the year on Aug. 13 and 27 at Common Pub's pool in Detroit's Midtown neighborhood. The music will be thumping at both events, which will feature DJs, drag appearances, go-go dancers, drink specials and surprises for all. Pre-registration is required — grab your tickets at

Aug. 13 and Aug. 27, 1-7 p.m., Common Pub (5440 Cass Ave., Detroit).

4. Join a Queer Canadian History Tour

Ever been curious about queer Canadian history? Head across the mighty Ambassador Bridge (or shimmy through the tunnel if you're into that) for a queer history driving tour of the Windsor-Essex region on Aug. 6. This two-hour guided bus toward explores local 2SLGBTQAI+ history, supplemented by a smartphone app featuring historical photos and informational text. The tour kicks off at Windsor Market Square, and you'll need to reserve space ahead of time at Don't forget your passport!

Aug. 6, 11 a.m., Windsor Market Square (2109 Ottawa St., Windsor, Ontario, Canada). Reserve tickets and learn more at

5. Learn How to Do Life with Stand with Trans

Stand with Trans' How to Do Life series helps young adults (ages 12-24) develop practical life skills. The upcoming installment, a self-care workshop at Welcome Home Yoga and Wellness Aug. 13, touches on topics like Vinyasa yoga, guided meditation and sleep hygiene. "Many trans youth don't have the support they need at home and are at a higher risk of parental abandonment, abuse and neglect," explains Logan TJ Harding, a research librarian for Stand with Trans' Lifeline Library. "Because trans youth may not have a supportive adult in their life to teach them what they need to know, we're hoping to help fill in those knowledge gaps."

Upcoming workshops include Adulting (October) and Financial Literacy (December). Lunch is provided at each workshop and participants will receive certificates of completion and a gift card.

Register at or email [email protected] for more information.