Pride Picnic This Sunday In Saline Rec Center

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Saline’s LGBTQ community is inviting anyone and everyone to wrap up Pride Month at Telft Park, this Sunday. People are encouraged to bring their own food at 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the outdoor event.

“It’s really for people to get together, sit down and have a picnic and have a little bit of light entertainment; especially since we haven’t been able to do that in a while. And it’s just nice for people to come together, whether they are form the LGBTQ community or not,” Saline City Councilor Camero-Sulak said. “Every [event] I’ve ever been to, like Ann Arbor Pride, [has been] amazing. It’s amazing the people that get together and the fun that there is.”

The community will be meeting at a pavilion behind the Saline Recreation Center, as a community building social opportunity. While attendees are expected to bring their own food, there will be entertainment provided through a professional clown, who is himself a part of the community. This is the finale for a series of e vents done by Saline’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion task force and Saline Supports; both of which are run by Saline Support’s President, Kerstin Woodside. 

“I think it’s very important to the community in Saline. Saline unfortunately does have a reputation for not being welcoming to folks. I think that there’s incidents that have happened that have been brought to people’s attention that makes people feel uncomfortable,” Saline Supports President Kerstin Woodside said. “The point of Saline Supports and the DEI is to being awareness and education out there to the folks in the community. It’s important for people to know that there are safe people and a safe spot. There are negative people, but they’re few and there are a lot more voices that are supportive. To be able to come out and see that makes you feel special and welcome. Feeling welcome is really important and not everybody understands that.”

Lawn games and bubbles will be provided to help break the ice between strangers. Prizes and giveaways – like T-shirts with a Saline Pride logo on it – will be made available.

Another staple of Pride events will also be present in the form of Free Mom Hugs of Michigan. Arleta Greer will be representing the non-profit of LGBTQ allied parents, who support members of the LGBTQ community by providing education resources, connecting LGBTQ people in crisis with social services; and by showing up to events like this. Members of the LGBTQ community often face outright rejection and isolation from their family after coming out, so services like Free Mom Hugs will show up to LGBTQ themed events to provide a hug; if not from their mother, then from a mother.

“Even though it is a sometimes momentary contact that we have … the fact that there’s’ always free parental units out showing love and acceptance means a lot,” Arleta Greer, a member of the Michigan Free Mom Hugs chapter said.

Greer will be at the picnic. Both Saline Supports and Mom Hugs will have tables at the picnic where literature will be made available to let people learn more about the two organizations.

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