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The Windsor Local WE Pride Fest Is More Than A Festival

david lenz“As a gay man, I felt that as a person representing that community I should take part and help where I can,” said Lenz. (Photo by LN Creighton)

The Windsor Local
September 10, 2020

Name: David Lenz

Claim to Fame: Windsor-Essex Pride President, who has served the LBGT+ community for almost two decades.

The Backstory: Lenz has been volunteering with the LGBT+ community now for over 16 years. Originally from LaSalle, it took relocating to Windsor for him to formulate a sense of alliance.

“There wasn’t a huge community back then,” said Lenz. “So, when I moved to Windsor it was a change for me and I got to see people like me.”

When Pride was cancelled in 2004, it was Lenz who contributed to the reorganization of the festival. As the Sponsorship Coordinator, he created the first package that lead to more funding.

Through the years Lenz has served in multiple positions. In 2011, when the WE Pride Festival went corporate, he became the president of the organization.

The Highlights: Since the onset of volunteering, Lenz has advocated for the LGBT+ members of the community. From initializing the flag raising at local schools to annual programs, Lenz says WE Pride Fest has grown beyond just the festival.

With the continuing cancellation of 2020 in-person festivals, Lenz and the board decided they must go virtual.

“A lot of people were emailing saying we need to have it still, not only just for the annual event, but for all the things we do in the community,” said Lenz. “It shows support to those who are maybe not out and looking for that outlet to share their pride.”

The Impact: This is Lenz’s final year as WE Pride Fest president. He plans to remain active with the organization, but says he is stepping down to allow other people to take their part.

WE Pride has allowed Lenz to make a difference and improve the LGBT+ community.

“It’s a celebration of how far we’ve come, locally and throughout Canada,” said Lenz. “But, there is still things to be done.”

Lenz is confident in the organization’s commitment to make further change. What started as a festival, has grown into something much more.

“Overall our goal is to strengthen the sense of community,” said Lenz. “To contribute to the vibrancy, health and well-being of our LGBT+ individuals.”

By: Alysia Therrien, The Windsor Local