Organizers of the Grosse Pointe Pride March encouraged families to attend and show support for young people in the community. This year’s second annual Grosse Pointe Pride March will take place June 9.

Organizers of the Grosse Pointe Pride March encouraged families to attend and show support for young people in the community. This year’s second annual Grosse Pointe Pride March will take place June 9.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Pointes to show support for LGBTQA community with 2nd annual Pride March

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published June 5, 2018

GROSSE POINTES — The Grosse Pointes are again demonstrating their acceptance of everyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, by holding the second annual Grosse Pointe Pride March starting at 9:30 a.m. June 9 from Grosse Pointe South High School’s J parking lot on Fisher Road.

Organized by the community group Welcoming Everyone Grosse Pointe — better known as We GP — the march coincides with National Pride Month. Organizers say the family-friendly event is an effort to draw awareness and show support of the LGBTQA community in the Grosse Pointe area.

From South, participants will take Fisher to Kercheval Avenue and travel Kercheval through the Village to Maire Elementary School in Grosse Pointe City. A brief rally will follow the march around 11 a.m.

“Last year’s march was really amazing,” said We GP President Shannon Byrne. “It was a huge outpouring of support from Grosse Pointe and the surrounding community. It said our community is committed to making our (area) welcoming and safe.”

Attendance last year topped all expectations, with an estimated crowd of about 2,000. That was one of the many reasons organizers decided to host it again this year.

“We were so thrilled with the turnout last year and the positive impact it had on our community, it was not even a question of whether we would make this an annual Grosse Pointe tradition,” Andrea Joy, We GP LGBTQA Task Force leader, said in a press release. “Once again, we have a diverse and far-reaching committee of volunteers, including students from the local schools, who have been working to organize the event, and we are looking forward to seeing another great show of support from the Grosse Pointe community. It will be a very positive, fun and family-friendly day for everyone.”

One of the most important takeaways from last year, said Byrne, was that parents of LGBTQ children said that seeing the warm reception from the community made them feel more comfortable about the safety of their youths.

“To us, we hope (this year’s march) is as successful as last year, (but) it’s not necessarily about numbers,” Byrne said. “For us, it’s about the lasting impact.”

There will be face-painting and food trucks, as well as a community choir concert, following the march. At press time, there were 34 sponsors for this year’s march, and there will be a fundraising Paint and Sip party at 4 p.m. June 9 at Posterity Gallery in Grosse Pointe City. On June 1, Full Lotus Yoga in Grosse Pointe Woods hosted a Pride yoga class.

“This year, we had three times as many sponsors,” Byrne said. “We had people calling us (asking how they could get involved).”

Although there’s no charge to participate in this event, money raised from the march and related events will be donated to the Ruth Ellis Center in Highland Park, which offers short-term and long-term residential space and support services to homeless, runaway and at-risk LGBTQ youths.

“We are still living in a world where almost half of all LGBT youth do not feel safe in their communities and where LGBT youth are twice as likely to be physically assaulted in school,” Mark Erwin-McCormick, director of development and advancement for the Ruth Ellis Center, said in a press release. “An organization such as the Ruth Ellis Center is such an important refuge for our at-risk youth, and its guiding principles and mission are perfectly in line with Welcoming Everyone Grosse Pointe. We are so pleased to be able to support them with this event.”

Erwin-McCormick is slated to address participants at the rally.

Byrne said participants will be able to sign a poster, and there will be activities for kids at the rally. She said adults will be able to pick up information, and Posterity will be offering Day of Pride selfies.

Unlike last year, this year’s Grosse Pointe Pride March doesn’t precede the Motor City Pride March, the downtown Detroit event. The Motor City Pride March is scheduled for noon June 10 at Hart Plaza.

Anyone interested in taking part in the Grosse Pointe Pride March is invited to show up Saturday morning at South; no advance registration is needed. For more information, visit the We GP website at we-gp.org or facebook.com/wegrossepointe, or email contact.we.gp@gmail.com.