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Stand Up Against Book Banning, See the 'Reality Gays' Podcast Tour, Attend a Gender-Affirming Beauty Workshop

Sarah Bricker Hunt

It's time for some spring cleaning. Whether that means weeding out the negative Nancys clogging up your social media feed, literally cleaning up your homestead after a long winter’s hibernation or just clearing the cobwebs of your mind, these events will help you hit the reset button. Check out an event focused on batting down rampant Republican-led book banning efforts, donate spring cleaning supplies to a homeless youth organization, attend a gender-affirming beauty workshop, see the Reality Gays Podcast Live! on tour or learn about the mysterious art of the tarot deck in a queer-affirming local space. 

1. Join the Movement to Stop Right-Wing Book Censorship

Book Ban

Right-wing activists have made it a priority to ban books with LGBTQ+ content from public and school libraries nationwide and right here in Michigan. Join the conversation April 25 at an Oakland County Democratic Party event, Beyond Book Banning: The Current State of Intellectual Freedom in Libraries. Panelists include public library and school librarians and library board members who will discuss what libraries face today, including First Amendment issues and the right to read, how libraries select books and why representation matters. Register at mobilize.us/oaklandcountydems/event/615944.



April 25, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Bloomfield Township Public Library (1099 Lone Pine Road).

2. Contribute to the Ozone House Spring Cleaning Drive

Ozone House in Ypsilanti provides free shelter and support services to homeless youth and their families, including LGBTQ+ youth, who are overrepresented among the homeless population. The non-profit invites the community to contribute to its annual Spring Cleaning Drive, focused on cleaning products and other household basics. Drop off new, unopened items and household basics directly to Ozone House or purchase items from an Amazon wish list. Specific needs include things like paper goods, dish soap, detergent, trash bags and bathroom and kitchen cleaning supplies. Find a complete list at OzoneHouse.org.

Drop off items Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at Ozone House (1600 N. Huron River Drive, Ypsilanti). 

3. Attend a Gender-Affirming Beauty Workshop

Beauty Workshop

Are you trans or gender non-conforming and ready for a new spring look? Head over to Affirmations, Ferndale’s LGBTQ+ community center, April 27 for a gender-affirming beauty workshop. Hair and beauty professionals with an expertise in helping LGBTQ+ clients will be on hand to dispense tips on enhancing your already fabulous self. Affirmations Community Engagement Manager Justin Bettcher told Pride Source, “We are partnering with Kortney Castro, a competitor for the Trans USA National Pageant and hairstylist, to create an event that centers the trans community in an industry that often leaves them out. At Affirmations, we seek opportunities in which our trans community is uplifted and the Gender-Affirming Beauty Workshop is the perfect collaboration to do that.”

April 27, 12-3 p.m., Affirmations (290 W. Nine Mile Road, Ferndale). 

4. Catch the Reality Gays Podcast Live! Tour

If you’re not listening to the "Reality Gays with Mattie and Poodle" podcast, you’re missing out, and that’s true even if you’re not as obsessed with reality TV culture as hosts Jake Anthony and Matt Marr. The duo provides hilarious recaps about drama-filled episodes of shows like “90 Day Fiancé,” “Love Is Blind” and “Too Hot to Handle” that are often more entertaining than the shows themselves. Jake and Matt will bring their unique energy to the stage April 20 when the Reality Gays Podcast Live! tour arrives at the Majestic Theatre. As the guys say, “At the end of the day, aren't we all just lonely hearts, looking for love in all the wrong places?”

April 20, 7 p.m., Majestic Theatre (4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit). Tickets at majesticdetroit.com/event/13467253/reality-gays-podcast.

5. Embrace Your Witchy Side at a Queer Tarot Class

Get in touch with your witchy side at NOW Studios’ weekly queer tarot study group on April 20 and 27. The studio invites both seasoned readers and those new to the mystery of the tarot to learn about the symbolism, history and personal interpretations of the ancient deck in a queer-affirming space. “Let’s come together to learn, grow and connect with our intuition in a supportive community of life-minded souls,” NOW Studios writes in press materials. 

April 20 and 27, 1-4 p.m. NOW Studios (715 N. University Ave., basement, Ann Arbor)



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