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Northwoods Pride Festival celebrates LGBTQ community in the Northwoods

Jack Flint
Rainbow Hodags Facebook

Many members of the LGBTQ community in the Northwoods have reported feeling lonely in our area.

The 8th annual Northwoods Pride Festival hopes to change that.

Being out in the Northwoods can be difficult.

This is Di Wu, co-advisor for Rainbow Hodags at Nicolet College and committee president of the Northwoods Pride Festival.

“I think as a LGBTQ community member myself living in the Northwoods, sometimes I feel isolated. I feel like there's also a lot of discrimination or stereotypes towards our community,” he explained.

This weekend, Governor Evers raised a rainbow flag to mark LGBTQ Pride Month.

In the Northwoods, LGBTQ people have said that a lot more needs to be done in terms of acceptance and progress.

The Northwoods Pride Festival takes place at Hodag Park on Saturday, June 15th.

It’s an event to promote understanding and acceptance for LGBTQ people in the Northwoods.

It’ll be all day long, complete with food, music, family and kids activities, and a family-friendly drag show.

Wu hopes the event serves as a bridge and reaches more people so that they can know more about the community.

“This event is really focusing on promoting understanding and acceptance for the LGBTQ community in the Northwoods. So we’re really making a lot of efforts to make it inclusive to everybody,” said Wu.

Wu also hopes that the event reaches people who aren’t members of the LGBTQ community but who may want to know more.

“I hope this event can serve as a bridge to reach more people so that they can know more about this community. And to understand us, we are just the same people as they are,” he explained.

“We are also belong to the community. And by, you know, allowing people coming together and working on the issues and the challenges we all face right now, I think we can build a better and welcoming and inclusive community for everyone,” said Wu.

He said that local LGBTQ folks reported lacking community groups and events, so this event is really designed to provide more social opportunities for people.

“Everybody can, like, make meaningful connections and also feel like, okay, we do have some groups in the North Woods. And if people just want to reach out and ask for help, there's a ton of resources in here,” said Wu.

Tomorrow, on June 7th at 5pm at the Nicolet College Theater, the Rainbow Hodags are screening PBS’s documentary Wisconsin Pride for free.

The film highlights hidden stories of LGBTQ Wisconsinites and reconsiders our state’s history.

After the documentary, the Rainbow Hodags are holding a facilitated community discussion, with popcorn.

WXPR is a sponsor of the Rhinelander Pride Festival.

If you want to donate or become a volunteer, you can check out their website at http://www.northwoodspride.com/.

Hannah Davis-Reid is a WXPR Reporter.
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