In Your NeighborhoodMason - Leslie - Dansville - Stockbridge


3rd annual Mason Pride Picnic provides resources to LGBTQ+ youth and families

Love Rainbow Sign
Posted at 9:56 AM, Jun 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-26 09:56:11-04

MASON, Mich. — The third annual Mason Pride Picnic kicked off Sunday, June 25. The event was full of families and tables geared towards providing LGBTQ+ resources.

One of the resources in attendance was Wild Ferns Wellness, who center their focus on helping minority groups.

"Really centering the under served is something that is part of our mission, and so it means a lot to not only be in the community but be of the community in that we are constantly evolving to meet the needs," said El Baker.

Some of the needs they meet include mental healthy therapy, electrology, hair classes for parents learning how to take care of naturally curly hair and voice coaching for people that are transitioning.

"Even like help with language, and how to have an open conversation in schools and households with family and business. I've heard we are being contacted a lot more for ways to open those conversations and we love that," said Baker.

Rainbow Face Painting

Many families in attendance were seeking information about how to open a dialogue with their children about the struggles of feeling different. Justine Nicolette drove all to Mason from Kalamazoo to support and lend a helping hand.

"This whole event is targeted, well not targeted to, but designed for families, I mean people of all ages you know. People have there dogs, they're bringing their kids of all ages, and there's a lot of things to learn in every environment but these kids are just learning to understand that, you know, we're all deserving of love, and you're not alone in anything you do. And I think that a big part of this too is that we are kind of pushing back some of that stigma, you know, it's like we're not, this communities not, we're not scary, we're not grooming anyone, we just want everyone to be involved, and we also have kids and families of our own that are apart," said Nicolette.

A large goal of the event was to provide a sense of community to local LGBTQ+ members.

GAAY Sports League Trophy

"It's heart warming, it makes you feel good to see our community come together like this. You know, even in a small town like Mason, everyone is just always in a good mood at any sort of Pride event I've been at, but coming to the small town ones where everyone knows each other, and there's been a great turn out, lots of amazing organizations here in town, so it's always a good experience and really just makes you feel seen and hear," said Nicolette.

If you weren't able to attend the Pride Picnic, you can search for resources through The Equity Taskforce's website.

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Hannah McIlree

5:13 PM, Nov 14, 2022

Mason, Leslie

Neighborhood Reporter

Hannah McIlree