From the Visibility March to bike rides, film shorts and brunches, Traverse City celebrates its Up North Pride this week.
The event commemorates its fifth year in 2019, and has substantially grown from its 2014 grassroots’ beginnings to drawing 5,000 people to events geared for education and LGBTQ+ advocacy.
Our state’s Attorney General Dana Nessel will Grand Marshal our parade this year.
We were disheartened to see the online vitriol that greeted the rainbow street stickers at crosswalks this month. We like frank talk about practical matters like cost and funding, but hateful name-calling obliviates constructive conversation.
Then social media spittle flies, a twisted tornado is energized, and our community is left wondering if our neighbors harbor more ill will than we thought.
We remember the smattering of opposition letters we got in the mailbox when Up North Pride first started — people angered about flying rainbow flags. Social media gives voice to what has been there all along, and we believe in people’s rights to their opinions.
But we also believe that social media’s immediacy and ease puts opinions atop runaway horses heading in one direction, whether it’s right, left, up, down or otherwise — the extremes of everywhere.
Every awful thing is tolerated over those cliffs — except tolerance. And usually, incovenient truths.
The result of this year’s online anger are heightened security concerns for an event that is already woven into the tapestry of Traverse City summer.
We are pulling for another safe and loving Up North Pride event, and urge our town to continue its reign as the consummate host city where people — of all stripes — want to be.
— Traverse City’s Up North Pride celebration started Monday and runs through Sunday.
— We are proud to celebrate our community — and disappointed at the recent uptick in social media backlash.