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PrideFest continues to serve community despite cancellation

Posted at 5:46 AM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 19:42:01-04

MILWAUKEE -- All of June, TMJ4 News is Celebrating Pride Month.

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There are incredible people making sure our community is inclusive.

Leaders with Milwaukee PrideFest are making a huge impact on helping people manage the pressure from a distance.

"Pridefest is a celebration of who we are and who we love," said Tony Snell, chairman of the Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission, adding that he loves how you can, "Have fun! Let loose! Be who you are."

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But for the second year in a row, the largest LGBTQ festival in Wisconsin has been called off.

Milwaukee Pride President Wes Shaver was left asking himself, "How can we keep the festival experience alive?"

He then remembered more than a quarter of the festival's footprint has to do with health and wellness.

Last month, they launched a health & wellness site.

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About 50,000 people come to Milwaukee PrideFest each year. Now all year round, they can find help from vetted organizations from anywhere at any time.

There are 12 different categories. This includes help with military veterans, youth, and seniors.

In a matter of a few clicks, the site can break down someone's needs by age, specific health issues, or find legal resources.

This includes organizations that are allies to the transgender community, "Putting that at the forefront of this initiative is really, really important," Shaver said.

Hear how Shaver hopes more people show support to the transgender community especially this year:

PrideFest continues to serve community despite cancellation

Tony Snell explains why finding vetted organizations is so important to the LGBTQ community, "Do you want to have to go through the process of explaining what gender identity is or sexual orientation is? That would be a stopping point for people."

The site will also connect you to organizations fighting for LGBTQ rights. Tony Snell is the chair of the Milwaukee Equal Rights Commission, "If someone experienced some kind of discrimination or hate or violence they could come to our link."

In a matter of a few clicks, you can call or email the city organization.

Hear Snell's personal story, and his hope for the next generation of our LGBTQ community:

PrideFest continues to serve community despite cancellation

Shaver is excited for this site to continue to grow he says because "Discrimination prejudices and negative behavior towards LGBT people happens every day and every hour."

More organizations are being added by the day with one goal: To create a safe and supportive community for everyone.

Hear how overwhelmed Shaver was by the amount of support he has already received from organizations in Southeast Wisconsin:

PrideFest continues to serve community despite cancellation

Click here to learn more about Milwaukee PrideFest's Health & Wellness Hub.

You can also click here to learn from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD on how to be an ally to the LGBTQ community.

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