GREAT LAKES BEACON

‘Stonewall for Revolution’ Seeks To Fill LGBTQ Advocacy Void

Stonewall for Revolution, a non-profit advocacy organization seeking to push elected officials to make LGBTQ-friendly policies and provide a place for those who identify as such to have support in running for elected office, is quickly growing across Michigan since its inception just earlier this year.

The group has established chapters in Lansing and Jackson, with others in Grand Rapids and metro Detroit in formative stages, Lansing chapter Chair Danielle Griffes said in an interview.

“I found myself there after marching in the Women’s March in D.C. and was ready to find something to get involved in,” Griffes said. “Around the same time, I was thinking a lot about how discussing my bisexuality might help somebody else. There’s a surprising amount of people who identify as bisexual, and so putting those together … was what struck my interest.”

Stonewall for Revolution was originally started by Robert Van Kirk, she said, a West Michigan man actually seeking the 77th House District seat currently held by Republican Rep. Tommy Brann of Wyoming. Brann is currently serving his first term in the state House.

Stonewall has been trying to expand its reach by helping sponsor several events since its inception. Most recently, that includes a Democratic gubernatorial candidate debate and the Medicare for All March, both in Lansing. It has also worked with transgender advocacy group TG Detroit to host a “Rally for the Troops” in Royal Oak shortly after President Donald Trump tweeted a statement that transgender individuals would no longer be able to serve or have their transition services paid for in the military.

The Jackson chapter was also “really involved” in helping pass that city’s Non-Discrimination Ordinance, Griffes said, passed by the City Council in February.

And the group is continuing its work on being known statewide, with more events upcoming, Griffes said.

“We’re working on an official statement to support Equality Michigan’s request of an interpretive statement from the Michigan Civil Rights Council and will be reaching out to the LGBTQ community to help inform of the public comment timeframe,” she said.

Stonewall for Revolution is also hoping to increase membership by hosting community events throughout the fall, including a possible Rocky Horror Picture Show screening in October.

The Lansing chapter’s next meeting will be on Monday, August 14 at 7 p.m. at the 24 Hour Biggby in East Lansing, 270 W. Grand River Ave.

Danielle Emerson

Danielle Emerson