LGBTQ pride in one of the ‘Trumpiest’ counties in Iowa

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  • WHAT: Humboldt Diversity & Inclusion Pride Celebration
  • WHERE: The VFW Hall in Dakota City, Ia., pop. 843, town seat of Humboldt County, pop, 4,753, and a county that voted 73 percent in favor of Donald Trump in the 2020 Presidential Election
  • WHO: About 200 residents, mostly allies plus a handful of LGBTQ people. Coordinated by Mark Henderson, John Grause, and Humboldt County Pride and LGBTQ Awareness.
  • WHEN: June 25, 2021
  • PHOTOS BY: TRM Team
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Among the key organizers and speakers at the June 25 Humboldt Diversity & Inclusion Pride event (l to r): Humboldt High School teacher Emmett Warr; Bruce Wolfe, husband of Humboldt native and co-organizer Mark Henderson; John Grause, Humboldt native and co-organizer; Henderson; and Kent Mick, stage manager.
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Humboldt resident Imani Shufford and cousin Haley Thanupakorn, owner of HT Tattoos in Humboldt.
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A mom and child enjoy the celebration.
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A volunteer with Free Mom Hugs helps raise money for the Humboldt Gay Straight Alliance.
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Event organizer Mark Henderson introduces Haley Box and Megan Abens, who performed selections from “Rent” at the event.
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Speakers included teacher Toni Hood, left, and Matthew Shephard Scholarship winner Molly Richardson, both who were instrumental in starting the first-ever Gay-Straight Alliance in the schools in Humboldt/Webster counties and in the town of Norwalk, respectively.
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A packed crowd filled the VFW Hall in Dakota City, where Humboldt’s second annual Pride event took place because of rain that drove the group out of Bicknell Park.
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Co-organizer John Grause talks about supporting the Humboldt Gay Straight Alliance with proceeds from the event. The final tally for the evening was over $1,300.
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Singer Hailey Box helps distribute gifts during a raffle.
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Emcee Mark Henderson smiles with a young audience member who asked for his autograph.
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The evening featured a tall red ribbon in the corner of the room, where event attendees could write the names of friends and family they may have lost to AIDS..
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Kent Mick of Grinnell donated sound equipment and his time as stage manager and sang an original composition along with his daughter, Olivia.
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An audience member revels in her rainbow-colored leg adornments.
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Audience members record Mark Henderson, a former Humboldt resident who now lives in Miami, during the event, which was relocated because of rain to the VFW Hall in Dakota City, from Bicknell Park in Humboldt.
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Sam Frock applies face paint to her child at the Humboldt celebration.
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Note from Editor Christine Hawes: I was honored to both cover this event, and serve as a guest panelist. I am pictured above with Phil Monson, reporter with the local daily paper, the Humboldt Independent. (photo by Phil Monson)

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