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The 9th Annual Chelsea Pride March and Picnic will be held on Saturday, June 1, starting at 11:00 a.m. at the Pierce Park small pavilion. All are welcome to participate. The event begins with the March from Pierce Park, to Middle Street and back to the park. On the way, the March will pass Palmer Commons, where the Progress Flag* will be flown beneath the U.S. Flag during Pride Month*, which is the month of June. 

At 12:00-1:00, a potluck picnic and hamburger barbecue hosted by St. Paul United Church of Christ will be held from 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.at the Pierce Park small pavilion. 

A big highlight of the Pride Picnic is Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, who will address the participants at 1:00 p.m., along with City Manager Martin Colburn, Chelsea Human Rights Commission Chair Mary Keaton, a representative of One World One Family, and Sharon Pedersen, Jackson Pride. 

Equality Chelsea MI, a key organizer of this year’s Pride March and Picnic, is a new social action group dedicated to providing positive action and affirmation on behalf of our community by leading social actions and collaborative projects that promote and foster welcoming communities. Read more about the organization at www.equalitychelsea.org. Open to all LGBTQ+ people and allies, Equality Chelsea believes in treating everyone with dignity and respect. 

There are many people and organizations to thank for their collaborative support of this event. Chelsea citizen Anthony Shakestaff has been a tireless organizer for many years in the past, along with St. Barnabas Episcopal Church which continues to co-sponsor this event. Reverend Eric Stricklin, St. Paul United Church of Christ, shares meeting space to make planning possible. Special acknowledgement goes to City Manager Martin Colburn’s leadership for his technical support and facilitation of the City’s guest flag policy*, Chelsea City Council’s official Proclamation honoring Pride Month, the support by the Chelsea Human Rights Commission, One World One Family, and the visibility offered by the Washtenaw County Democrats. 

*Governor Gretchen Whitmer has proclaimed June as Pride Month, recognizing the 54th anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising in NYC: a catalyst for the LGBTQ+ Civil Rights Movement, and has, in the past, ordered Pride flags to fly on the George W. Romney Building to help celebrate June as Pride Month in Michigan. The Whitmer administration recognizes the annual Transgender Remembrance Day on Nov. 20. 

*The Progress Flag has a white, pink, and light blue stripe representing the Transgender rights community. The black and brown stripes represent communities of color. Other rainbow colors represent all LGBTQ+ people and allies. The flag is recognized by Equality Michigan. 

*LGBTQ is an acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer. The Q generally stands for queer when LGBTQ organizations, leaders, and media use the acronym. In settings offering support for youth, it can also stand for questioning.  

*The City of Chelsea guest flag policy is accessible on the City’s website, www.city-chelsea.org. 

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