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Many Pride events canceled as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted

Posted at 6:59 PM, Jun 12, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-12 18:59:52-04

LANSING, MI (WSYM) - — While life is slowly starting to get back to normal, some of the event cancellations won't be reversed.

Many Pride events are off even as Governor Gretchen Whitmer declares June Pride Month.

There won't be a big Pride parade or a big rally at the Capitol because of coronavirus concerns, but there will be protests similar to the ones that sparked the Pride movement more than 50 years ago.

"This year more than ever it's important to remember the origins of Pride," said Zekiye Salman, Michigan Pride co-chair.

Last year's Michigan Pride events brought in record crowds.

Saturday will be the first time in 31 years Pride isn't celebrated in the traditional ways.

Salman said it is standing with the protests against racial injustice happening across the country.

"We have to keep in mind the first pride at Stonewall in 1969 was an uprising lead by black and brown trans women," she said.

"They fought back against police brutality and it started a six-day riot. Ever since we've commemorated what happened at Stonewall Inn," said Ryan Seabolt, Ingham County Commissioner.

People are protesting across the country, including the steps of Michigan's Capitol after a Minneapolis police office killed George Floyd on Memorial Day.

Seabot said now's the time to reflect on the history of the gay rights movement.

"It's so frustrating to still be going through this. I understand the struggles are different, but we just continue to go through where marginalized communities have to continuously push back," he said.

Salman said today's movement against racism isn't just an issue in black and white.

"One of the great things about the LGBT community is we are everywhere. We are present in every demographic," said Salman.

Salman encourages people to still celebrating Pride by decorating their porches and cars.

Michigan Pride is hoping to have a parade and rally again next year.