Michigan's Cool Cities: LANSING/EAST LANSING

Lansing has long been home to one of the most developed and resourced lesbian communities in the country. The Capitol City is home to Lesbian Connection, the nation's oldest lesbian periodical still in print, and Goldenrod Music, which for decades has produced and distributed women artists.

Lansing's LGBT community is centered in the Old Town section, just north of the state Capitol building. The largest bar, Spiral, is there and the annual Old Town Festival of the Sun has a strong LGBT influence.

Each year, the Michigan Pride March and Rally goes to the steps of the Capitol to demonstrate for equal rights. The June march, rally and festival attracts thousands of LGBT people from all over the state.

The Michigan legislature, one of only three full-time state legislatures in the nation, has one openly gay representative, Chris Kolb (D) from Ann Arbor. Gov. Jennifer Granholm's chief of staff, John Burchett, is openly gay. The Governor was strongly supported by LGBT voters in the last election.

The Lansing Association for Human Rights is celebrating their 25th anniversary. Suits and the City, greater Lansing's new professional networking group, attracts more and more people to their monthly gatherings. East Lansing's Michigan State University Alliance for LGBT Students helps organize and support students and staff.

The Boarshead Theatre is a fine local, professional theater company and The Wharton Center at Michigan State University features Broadway shows and other touring companies.

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