Queer Families of Livingston Hosting “Pride Prom” on June 23
In the heart of Livingston County, a beacon of inclusivity and support has emerged for the local LGBTQIA+ community. Queer Families of Livingston (QFL), a fledgling organization, is working hard to create a community for non-traditional families.
One such effort is the upcoming Pride Prom at the Howell Opera House on June 23, during Pride Month. It invites not only those who identify as queer but also allies. "It's an event that really celebrates being part of this community," said Chelsea Steinhauser, organizer of the event and co-founder of QFL.
With a focus on inclusivity, QFL partnered with The Connections Youth Service, a nonprofit organization for homeless and at-risk youth. This collaborative effort resulted in the conception of the exciting new event—Pride Prom.
Designed to foster a sense of acceptance, community, and support among teenagers, the Pride Prom was born out of discussions with local high school Alliance clubs. "We asked these teens what they need, what we could bring to this community to make them feel more involved and welcomed," Chelsea explained. “The event is a celebration of the queer community, where teens can express themselves without conforming to any traditional stereotypes.”
QFL began as a realization during a Pride event that families within the queer community needed a social platform. "We wanted to create an organization for families like ours to get together, socialize, and for our kids to see other families that look like theirs," explained Chelsea.
Since its inception a year ago, QFL has been actively organizing monthly events, enabling queer families and individuals to connect and support each other. "We've had a lot of engagement from families with younger children," Chelsea said, describing how their events often involve activities like crafts suitable for their most engaged demographic—parents with young children.
Chelsea sees Washtenaw County as a strong ally in their efforts. With robust LGBTQIA+ support systems already established, Washtenaw County can be an inspiration and potential source of support for its neighbors.
"If people in Washtenaw County have friends that live in Livingston County or family members that might be interested in our events, they could get involved too," Chelsea suggested.
Despite the progress made so far, the road to inclusivity is long and winding. Yet organizations like QFL, fostering change within the community, represent promising steps forward. Chelsea concluded, "We are always appreciative of anybody willing to get the word out. The biggest part of this is advertising and letting people know what we're doing."
Photos courtesy of Sara Steinhauser.