Great Lakes Bay Pride celebrates "Pride at Home" with free yard sign distribution

The Great Lakes Bay Pride annual LGBTQ festival has been reimagined this year, inviting a display of engagement, equality and respect for all with its ‘celebrating pride at home 2021’ yard sign campaign. 

The organization will be distributing free yard signs on Friday, June 4 from 4-7 p.m. at Dow Diamond (825 E. Main St.) In conjunction with the distribution, Dow GLAD — a business resource group for LGBT+ employees and allies — also presents Pride Night at the Loons & Larkin Beer Garden and Pride Night at the Great Lakes Loons baseball game at 4 p.m. Signs were distributed in Bay County on June 2.

The month also includes an Indoor/Outdoor Decorating contest. The team invites the community to Celebrate Pride at Home by decorating a window, porch, entryway or other area with a Pride theme. Participants should post their photos on Facebook with #GreatLakesBayPride2021, which enters them into a random drawing at the end of June. The winner will receive a Great Lakes Bay Pride gift bag.

Great Lakes Bay Pride is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit with the mission to provide inclusive sexual orientation and gender identity/expression education, advocacy, networking, and resources to individuals and organizations in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Executive Director at Great Lakes Bay Pride, Scott Ellis, says last year’s successful distribution of yard signs across the Bay, Saginaw, Midland and Isabella counties led to a continuation of the program this year.

A new yard sign is being introduced this year. Across the Great Lakes Bay Region, 1,000 signs will be distributed.“We introduced a yard sign campaign called ‘Celebrating Pride at Home’ and we distributed 600 yard signs across all four counties in the Great Lakes Bay Region,” Ellis says of last year’s campaign. “This year, we had to make the decision in advance, so we made the decision to not host the festival and afterparty again for 2021. At the time, we didn’t know cases were going to start declining, vaccinations were going to be wildly available. 

A new, updated yard sign is being introduced this year. Across the Great Lakes Bay Region, 1,000 signs will be distributed.

Scott Ellis is the Executive Director for Great Lakes Bay Pride.“We were really happy to hear that the yard signs were so popular last year; we definitely could have given out even more than the 600 we had planned to do,” Ellis says. “Once people saw them popping up in their neighborhoods and around town, there was even more interest.”

The signs are available at no cost to anyone who picks them up, thanks to several sponsors including McLaren Bay Region, DuPont, St. John’s Episcopal Church of Midland, Warner Norcross + Judd, Central Michigan University, Hemlock Semiconductor, Poznak, Dyker, Kanar, Shefsky, and Thompson, and Ieuter Insurance Group + Auto Owners. 

While typical LGBTQ+ events include the annual pride festival, afterparty and a few special events throughout the year, Ellis says campaigns like this can really celebrate pride year-round instead of a specific day. 

“What the yard sign campaign does is really increase your exposure for our organization and also for the welcoming and inclusive communities we have here in the Great Lakes Bay Region,” he says. “That’s something that while we typically would do the one-day large event and afterparty, those are individual days whereas the yard sign campaign, those folks will leave them up all month long, and many will leave them up until snow flies. That really amplifies our message and exposure in the region.”

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