We Fight Spotlight: Up North Pride

Up North Pride is a volunteer-run, Traverse City-based 2SLGBTQIA+ advocacy and events organization. They’re behind Traverse City’s annual Pride Celebration, including the Pride March, which attracted over 6,000 people in 2019! Up North Pride is the premier destination pride celebration in Michigan, with the 2022 celebration planned for this fall — September 28-October 2.

Year-round, Up North Pride works to celebrate and provide a safe space for the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, through events and advocacy. Including the monthly Queer Tales book club in partnership with the Traverse Area District Library and Queer Climbers Meetups at ELEV8 Climbing Gym, Up North Pride creates welcoming, inclusive spaces.

We Fight chatted with Kendall Kotcher, Up North Pride Social Media Co-Manager, to learn more about Up North Pride’s goals, mission, and current events.

How would you describe your organization to a stranger?

We are Northern Michigan’s premier 2SLBTQIA+ advocacy and events organization. We focus on creating safe spaces, year round, for the community to gather, express, and find each other.

What would you love to overhear someone say about your organization?

Up North Pride made me feel seen, made me feel like I could express myself. I found safety, family, community, and pride at UNP.

What are you most proud of about your organization?

The stories, visibility, and community we are creating and continue to create.

What are some misconceptions about your organization?

That we have staff…child, we don’t! It’s all us, and we’re all volunteers.

What are some resources you offer that are underutilized, or lesser-known?

Community-led events! Just launched this year––we’re giving the community a chance to curate their own events that we will share on our channels. Want to hike with a bunch of queers? Host a book club? We will get the word out for you! Apply here.

If you had a blank check, what would you fund?

Staffing and a physical queer space for our community.

How can people help you?

  • Serve on our Board (we need a Finance Chair!)
  • Be a sponsor! Taste the Rainbow (see graphic below).
  • Volunteer at our events. Our next event, Taste the Rainbow on April 23rd needs volunteers to help run our Merch Table! Sign up here.
  • Donate
  • Join us at events. 
  • Buy Pride merch at My Secret Stash.

Please join in celebrating and building awareness for Up North Pride. There are lots of ways — big and small — We Fight members can help, including the following:

  • Sharing the Spotlight on social media
  • Forwarding this newsletter to a friend
  • Writing a review on Facebook or Google
  • Making a donation
  • Telling a friend or neighbor about them
  • Writing a supportive letter to the editor to support Up North Pride
  • Contacting Up North Pride and asking what they need

We Fight members can nominate organizations/initiatives to spotlight using this form.

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