DETROIT (WXYZ) — The City of Detroit is kicking off LGBT Pride month with their annual raising of the rainbow flag over Spirit Plaza.
Police Chief James Craig, city officials and Detroit LGBT leaders led the flag raising ceremony in support of Detroit's LGBT community. This first event of the month is an effort to highlight Detroit's inclusive legacy and the ongoing support that the city has to offer.
"In Detroit, it shouldn't matter if you're gay or straight, cisgender or transgender, we are a welcoming city where everyone is valued and deserves access to real opportunity" says Mayor Mike Duggan. "We are proud to be building a diverse city that includes our LGBT residents and celebrates the contributions they make to our city every day."
Throughout the month of June, the city will celebrate Detroit's rich LGBT history and culture, its long-standing anti-discrimination laws and steps taken in recent years to improve the LGBT community relations. One step the city is making is creating the Detroit Police Department's LGBT Liaison.
"For years, Detroit has been a leader in protecting our LGBT employees and residents. We were one of the first major cities to put protections in place for sexual orientation in the 1970s, and again for gender identity in the 2000s." said Charity Dean, director of Detroit's Office of Civil Rights, Inclusion and Opportunity.
The City will also be celebrating the month by hosting the annual Motor City Pride festival and by continuing to highlighting the everyday stories of LGBT Detroiters.
The Motor City Pride festival will be held at Hart Plaza on Saturday, June 8 from 1:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday, June 9 from noon until 7:00 p.m. The festival will include the annual Pride parade, a family area, several vendors, and many fabulous performances.
Using #pridetroit, the city will also spotlight LGBT leaders, community and safe places through their story platform, The Neighborhoods.
"There is more work to do, but I am proud to celebrate our history and our progress during Pride Month, and I am eager to continue this progress in the years to come" says Dean.
Motor City Pride festival schedules and information can be found at www.motorcitypride.org. Any of the #pridetroit can be found on TheNeighborhoods.org, Comcast Channel 21, a City of Detoit cable channel, and the City's YouTube channel.