A small Michigan city has celebrated its very first Pride festival despite fears of backlash.
Locals said they felt ‘super proud’ to celebrate the LGBTQ+ community.
Around 4,000 people took to the streets of Grand Haven to mark Pride month together.
A drag show, featuring performer Veronica Scott, dance party and several stalls were all on offer for attendees.
Grand Haven, on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan, has a population of 11,000 people.
Pride Month 2023
Pride Month is here, with members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrating their identities, accomplishments, and reflecting on the struggle for equality throughout June.
This year, Metro.co.uk is exploring the theme of family, and what it means to the LGBTQ+ community.
Find our daily highlights below, and for our latest LGBTQ+coverage, visit our dedicated Pride page.
Having such a high turnout of people for the event was a welcome surprise for organisers.
Grand Haven City Council had shrugged off backlash to the plans and granted permission for the Pride event – which seemingly went by without disruption.
Felecia Smedley, a resident of the city, said: ‘I never thought there would be a Pride right here in Grand Haven, I thought I would have to go to Grand Rapids or Chicago to go to a Pride festival.
‘I’m proud, I want my children to grow up and be proud, we have many gay people in my family, many trans people in my family and we need to support everybody.
‘Love is love.’
Fellow local Sarina Bee added: ‘I currently live in Grand Haven, so I’m with my wife and she grew up here so we moved back recently and I teach locally.
‘She’s just super proud to be able to walk around with her wife and hold her hand in the city she grew up.’
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