Hazel Park Shows Rainbow Colors, Declares June Pride Month

Hazel Park Shows Rainbow Colors, Declares June Pride Month

(Crystal A. Proxmire, May 22, 2018)

Hazel Park, MI- As Hazel Park City Manager Ed Klobucher taped a rainbow flag in front of the City Council benches, the public heard from members of the LGBTQ community about why the city’s proclamation of June as Pride Month was important to them.

“A proclamation like this should not be taken lightly,” said Char Davenport who is a transgender activist and a member of the Planning Commission.  “It clearly delivers the message to the embers of the community who happen to be LGBT or QIA… that they are not invisible, that they don’t have to hide, that we see you.  And that’s a huge thing, especially in the transgender community… For our children that tell them ‘you can succeed. You can be wonderful and a valuable part of this community.’ So thank you so much.”

The Pride Month Proclamation, which was read into the record by Councilperson Amy Aubry, says that Hazel Park “supports the rights of every citizen to be free from discrimination,” and that “We as a society at large are embracing new definitions of sexuality and gender, and also acknowledges the need for education and awareness to end discrimination and prejudice.”

Mike McFall championed the proclamation and promoted it on social media so that council chambers had rows full of people in support.  “I believe this shows that the City of Hazel Park is a welcoming community.  My husband and I have found it to be since we moved here.”

Jeffrey Oliver is also a Hazel Park resident.  He is active in LGBT-related support groups and activities, including at Affirmations community center in Ferndale and Renaissance Unity church in Warren.  “In our LGBT community we still have a rise in hate crimes and murders and things like that, that are still going on today,” Oliver said. “But I can tell you Hazel Park has been a very safe and warm, welcoming city.”

“You don’t have to be afraid to be who you are,” Oliver said.  He also presented the city with the rainbow Pride flag.

The proclamation is a first for Hazel Park, although there is a history of activism within the community, including being home to the same sex couple whose fight for marriage and adoption equality went to the Supreme Court.

One city west is Ferndale, home of Affirmations and the Ferndale Pride festival which takes place June 2.

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