(Between The Lines, Originally printed 10/11/2012 Issue 2041)
With West Nine Mile Road blocked off and lined with vendors for the annual Live Green Fair, it created a perfect opportunity for the organizers of Hungry4Equality to call forth a rainbow-clad group of dancers for a flash mob.
A core group of about 20 people got together several times over the past two months to practice a dance routine meant to surprise unsuspecting people in a public venue. The fair took place along West Nine Mile, including in front of Affirmations LGBT Community Center.
When two people seemed to randomly break out in a dance routine, people started to gather around. Music pumped out through speakers from Affirmations and suddenly people in solid red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple shirts emerged from the clusters of onlookers and began dancing as well.
Vendors and shoppers seemed delighted as they whipped out their cell phones to film the flash mob action. Towards the end of the song others joined them carrying signs supporting LGBT activities. One gave the http://www.GoAffirmations.org website. Another reminded folks to “go down on the ballot.” Another said “Come out allies.”
Affirmations Program Coordinator Megh Hollowell worked with Kristi Faulkner of Kristi Faulkner Dance Studios to come up with a routine that would wow onlookers and give people of all talent levels the ability to participate. The flash mob is one of several ways Hollowell and others at Affirmations are promoting the 100 day successive hunger strike known as Hungry4Equality. The strike has people going without food for 24 hour stints in order to raise awareness about inequality, and it ends on election night.
“We organized this flash mob to draw attention to the hostile anti-LGBT discrimination that we face in this state of Michigan,” Hollowell said. “We really want to educate voters to vote on pro-equality issues. We can’t adopt. We can be fired for being gay. We can’t legally get married. Get out and vote Nov. 6, and think of the LGBT community as you do it.”