Macomb County prepares to show its Pride

By: Kristyne E. Demske | C&G Newspapers | Published November 27, 2019

MOUNT CLEMENS — Organizers are hoping to grow something that began in conversations into something bigger as they undertake a new initiative to bring the LBGTQ community together in Macomb County.

Event organizer Phil Gilchrist said that work to bring together a Macomb County Pride event began in conversations with friends, during which they all acknowledged the lack of opportunities for the LBGTQ community to come together in the county.

“We’re trying to do something that’s going to be manageable for our first year, so we’re focusing on a parade and a resource fair,” Gilchrist said.

Mount Clemens Mayor Laura Kropp said that such an event is needed in Macomb County.

“There aren’t any Pride events in Macomb County, so we are happy to be the first,” she said. “I would hate for anyone to feel as though they’re excluded.”

Organizers are aiming to host a June 27 Macomb County Pride parade and resource fair in Mount Clemens. To do so, they are raising money through a New Year’s Eve event — DRAG-ing in the New Year — a professional drag queen show at the Emerald Theatre, 31 N. Walnut St., at 8 p.m. Dec. 31.

Gilchrist said that Macomb County does have an LBGTQ community and, while some believe the area is not the most welcoming or friendly to the gay community, he knows that to be different from his own experience.

To that end, he said he and other organizers hope that the event will make Macomb County “a place where the gay community is welcome.”

“It’s more about helping our community realize that there is a gay population that lives here,” he said. “Helping establish a visible presence.”

Gilchrist said they hope to include local partners with resources to help support the gay community at the resource fair, such as hospital systems, health and human services organizations, and the Macomb County Clerk’s Office.

Organizers are also looking for volunteers and sponsors who want to be involved in the initiative. More information is available at macombcountypride.com, and on Facebook and Instagram.

Kropp said that Mount Clemens is the right place to host such an event.

“We’re a very diverse community, and that is not just racially diverse, but that means in all ways diverse, and we want to be an inclusive community,” she said. “It’s really reaching out to everyone in the community and not excluding anyone.”

DRAG-ing in the New Year will showcase local drag performers and entertainment by DJ Marquis, as well as food, activities and specialty cocktails. Performers include Kourtney Breeze, Bentley James, Perry Dox, Kendyll Harding, Malibu and Jacqueline Frost.

Tickets cost $69 for general admission or $99 for VIP admission. General admission includes the show, non-alcoholic beverages, some snacks and late-night pizza, while VIP admission also includes a meet and greet with the performers and complimentary specialty cocktails.

Tickets are available at theemeraldtheatre.com.

“Everybody’s been supportive of the idea, and they’re looking forward to seeing something like that in Mount Clemens, so it’s been very encouraging,” Gilchrist said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing it come together.”