Nicolet College to host virtual 2021 Northwoods Pride Festival

Nicolet College Northwoods Pride Festival
Nicolet College Northwoods Pride Festival(Nicolet College)
Published: Jun. 25, 2021 at 7:26 PM CDT
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RHINELANDER, Wis. (WSAW) - Saturday night people have the opportunity to celebrate and learn more about the LGBTQ+ community at the fifth annual Northwoods Pride Festival through Nicolet College.

The event will be virtual again this year and features a full lineup of events including pre-recorded drag shows, social hours, and educational webinars.

Event organizer and the college’s Rainbow Hodags Club advisor, Di Wu said the event is about celebrating diversity, building trusting relationships, and creating more acceptance in the Northwoods.

One of the biggest challenges he said the LGBTQ+ community faces currently starts young.

“The self-acceptance for individuals like LGBT youth who are still in schools, are still struggling with their identities and also sometimes they will get harassment or discrimination from their peers,” he said.

Wu identifies as a proud gay man, but he was not always willing to share that part of himself. He said he was born and raised in China and moved to Rhinelander about four years ago. He came out as being gay in his 20s.

“I stayed in the closet for (a) long time in my young adulthood because of, you know, being afraid to accept myself and also being afraid (that) my parents and my friends will-- don’t understand it,” he said. “So, that has been a long struggle journey.”

He has now told both of his parents, starting with his mom three years ago who he said has been very supportive of him. He came out to his dad last year, inspired by the pandemic, with the realization that life is short and he wanted to be honest with the people he cared about. He wrote his father a letter, who is in China, and while he said his father had to take some time to digest the information, their relationship is good.

Wu is hoping this event, which also includes providing community resources, will let youth and others become more comfortable with who they are and find support. For more details and to log into the event, click here.

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