Working for LGBT Detroit has allowed me to learn more about the queer community in Detroit. I’m a Detroit native so being from the city is why I wanted to participate in DCERP. I wanted to give back to the community that raised me. But I had no idea that there was a large, vibrant queer community in this city. I’ve gotten to work with so many pillars of the community such as Robert Tate, who helped build up Detroit’s black pride event Hotter Than July and continue to support the community. I’ve also gotten involved in not just queer-related events but also voting. LGBT Detroit partners with Michigan Voices, an organization that helps build civic engagement capacity in progressive non-profits. This has linked me with other organizations and made me aware of this broader coalition of organizations. I even got to give a presentation on pronouns and how to use pronouns correctly to about 50 people, each representing a different organization. They will take this information back to the members of their organization to share. I got to learn how big of a community I am servicing and participating in.
The pandemic has changed how LGBT Detroit Operates strangely. Events are done primarily online, but not every event. For example, on Saturday, I am assisting with a voter registration event in Palmer Park which is in person, but the pronoun presentation was online through zoom. It honestly depends on what’s being done and the logistics of doing it safely. Everyone works from the office because they’ve fully vaccinated, so I’m kind of the odd person out.
I’ve gotten to speak to other community organization leaders, but I think I will get a chance to talk with people at the voter registration event on Saturday. It’s only 3 hours, but I hope we have a big turnout so people can get registered to vote despite the new legislation passed this week, which makes it more difficult for Michigan residents to vote. I am looking forward to helping people out and getting to know the members of the community I am helping.