Lowell Pride to host city’s first celebration event

Kent County

LOWELL, Mich. (WOOD) — Nicole Lintemuth takes pride in offering a wide variety of books written by and targeted at different minority groups at Bettie’s Pages, her bookstore in Lowell.

“If I had walked into a bookstore at any point in my life and seen books on the shelf that reflected my experience, it would’ve been life changing,” said Lintemuth, who identifies as queer.

Lintemuth is the president and founder of Lowell Pride, which is an organization dedicated to organizing LGBTQ events.

The organization will host Lowell’s first Pride event on Saturday near the city’s Riverwalk.

“I have a lot of parents who are like, ‘my kid is in community, don’t know how to support them,’” Lintemuth said. “(They’ve said) ‘I never grew up with this, what can I do?’ Getting to share this as a family with them is really exciting and special.”

One of the activities planned for the family-friendly event is Draq Queen Story Hour, in which drag queens will read children’s books. Lintemuth says the activity is drawing negative feedback.

“They stand by old favorites: ‘we’re going to hell,’ ‘we’re an abomination and terrible people,’ ‘we’re corrupting the youth,’” Lintemuth said. “They’re really freaked out about the idea of drag queens reading kids’ books. Has them all kind of up in arms.”

Despite the naysayers, Lintemuth think events like Saturday’s are important to have.

“If I had gotten to see events like this as a kid, I’d been blown away — like, ‘oh my God, I’m not a freak, I’m not alone, I’m normal, this is fine,’” Lintemuth said. “For kids to see this now because they’ve never been able to see this, especially in Lowell, is such a huge thing.”

The event will include an LGBTQ panel discussion. The daylong event will end with a showing of a documentary called “Real Boy” at dusk.

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