GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — June is National Pride Month, and in Grand Haven, people came together in solidarity for the LGBTQ+ community Saturday for the city’s inaugural Pride Festival. People of all ages flocked downtown to celebrate.

“I grew up here 20 years ago. I remember the day that I came out. I did not feel like I could hold my girlfriend’s hand. Now look at me,” said Jessica Robinson, festival co-chair. “Look at all of us feeling comfortable, proud and out.”

In May, the city council approved the festival’s permit and declared June Pride Month.

Grand Haven’s Pride Festival happened despite pushback from some members of the community.

Conservative group Ottawa Impact has opposed the concept of diversity, equity and inclusion, leading efforts to remove the DEI department of the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners.

“I feel compelled to remind folks that any society that values justice must also value diversity, equity and inclusion,” said Catherine McNally, mayor of Grand Haven. “These are not dangerous and subversive ideas.”

News 8 asked supporters at Saturday’s festival how they felt about recent controversies.

“This is not about religion,” said Joei Moon, a Grand Haven resident. “It’s about human rights as a human being and just supporting people.”

“I grew up in Grand Haven,” said Kendra Nyhof, a festivalgoer. “It was a pretty sheltered community, and I think it’s a huge deal for Grand Haven to embrace the Pride celebration and the LGBTQ community.”

People at the event also said they were pleased to see Grand Haven come together, regardless of recent political events.

“It’s just nice to see that we’ve overcome that obstacle,” said festivalgoer Kyle Bedient. “You know, obviously, there’s going to be pushback, no matter what. And we turned out. It still happened. I mean, we’re here. We’re still celebrating.”