Why Teen Pride?

by Chris Lacefield


The first and foremost goal of the Teen Pride program is to create a safe place for the LGBTQ+ teens and their allies in our community.  

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Michigan State Board of Education Approves Protocols to Improve LGBTQ Student Safety

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On September 14th, the Michigan State Board of Education approved of new voluntary guidelines for creating safe school environments for LGBTQ students. The Board voted 6-2 in favor of the the new guidance protocol.

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Lake Effect Pride 2016: A Night To Remember


On July 29th, our Lake Effect Pride event lit up the riverside as LGBTQ+ folks and their allies celebrated moving together toward a more equal Southwest Michigan. An annual fundraiser (or should we say… “friend-raiser”), Lake Effect Pride has rocked Benton Harbor for at least the last five summers. This year, the event set a new record with a great number of attendees, as well as pulling in almost double the usual amount of money raised for the OutCenter’s programming. This was also the first year in which we hosted a 50/50 raffle, raising $10,000 for the OutCenter and another $10,000 for ARS Arts & Cultural Center, the lucky winner. Anna Russo-Sieber, head of ARS, has been a long-time member of the arts and culture community in the area. She said after winning the raffle that the $10,000 was going to the kids, a great message to everyone, and in line with our goals for the event: to honor, to educate, and to celebrate.

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Join Whole Lives, Healthy Lives For LGBTQ+ Community and Support


Just a few days ago, Whole Lives, Healthy Lives (WLHL) hosted their last meeting of August. If you weren't able to make it, mark your calendars, because upcoming meeting dates have been announced!

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Thank You To The Lambda Car Club!


On July 16th, partners Mark Wasil and Joe Stramich, members of the local Lambda Car Club chapter, hosted an event at their home in Southwest Michigan to promote the OutCenter. They sold tickets with the intention of raising funds to support the OutCenter. By the end of the night, the group had raised $310, of which half would be given to the OutCenter and half to a lucky person in attendance. John Eggert was announced as the winner, but he generously decided to donate his winnings to the OutCenter as well, amounting to a total of $310 in donations for us! We at the OutCenter are very thankful for this gift and would like to express our gratitude to the local chapter of the Lambda Car Club for supporting us -- and therefore supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Southwest Michigan.

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