As communities around the world join together for the month of June to celebrate and support Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer equality, a group of community members have come together to do the same in Owosso. The grassroots group was founded with a mission to support their friends, family and neighbors of the LGBTQ+ community in Owosso and beyond.
The inaugural Owosso Pride festival will kick off on Sunday, June 21 and run through Saturday, June 27 with a focus on representation in the community. The group is encouraging residents and businesses in the community to join in on sharing the message of love, acceptance and inclusion. “Our goal with creating Owosso Pride was so that we could drive through the community we choose to live in, and see the businesses and people we interact with each and every day show support for these members of out LGBTQ+ community and allies,” said Travis Yaklin, co-founder of Owosso Pride.
Participating in Owosso Pride is as easy as hanging a rainbow pride flag or poster that says ‘We’re an Ally’ at each participating business. The group sourced seed money through personal donations to purchase nearly 100 flags, rainbow stickers and hundreds of posters to demonstrate the ally relationship. Businesses and individuals looking to hang a poster or flag can reach out to the group through Facebook. “We have lots of great items that can demonstrate support for these members of our community,” said Yaklin.
The week, which is hosted by the group, Owosso Pride, promotes self-affirmation, dignity, equality and increased visibility of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Queer, Asexual, etc people as a social group. “Our group wants to ensure that people that identify as LGBTQ+ feel welcome and included here in Owosso,” said Nick Terrick, co-founder of Owosso Pride. “This first year is to show our support, and we have seen a tremendous outpouring of support already, and we are excited to see what the future holds.”
While the community continues to navigate the pandemic, there will not be an in-person gathering, but Owosso Pride intends to have a presence at the Downtown Owosso Farmer’s Market on Saturday, June 20 to distribute free Owosso Pride stickers, temporary tattoos and mini-flags for people of all ages.
For those desiring to learn how they can help show support, please follow Owosso Pride on Facebook and Instagram. The pages will offer content to share with your network on social media. The group has additionally partnered with Hankerd Sportswear in Owosso to sell localized pride merchandise. Individuals looking to purchase merchandise can find the online store at stores.inksoft.com/owosso_pride/shop/home.