In 2015, the board of Holland Is Ready and the officers of Pride voted to form a new organization called Out On The Lakeshore. This organization (OOTL) was initially introduced to the Holland community at PRIDE in June of that year. An initial goal of Out On The Lakeshore was to establish and manage a LGBTQ Resource Center. The Center, in conjunction with PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore provides ongoing and new support programs and a safe location for community members to meet. Out On The Lakeshore is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation.
What We Do
RELATE: Relationships are the heart of OOTL. Nobody needs to be alone as they navigate life as an LGBTQ person, family member, or ally. We host support groups like GenderSAFE, book groups, game nights, movie nights, and programs like Out in Faith. Equality Michigan meets here providing services and support for those who are victims. OOTL also offers programming specifically for LGBTQ youth who are wrestling with their own identities and who need safe, supportive community.
CELEBRATE: Holland Pride is OOTL’s biggest event! It’s one big, huge, annual party that raises money for our Community Center and brings together supportive businesses, organizations, and thousands of people for entertainment, raising awareness, and building community. Through Holland Pride and other events at OOTL, we celebrate and encourage those who are LGBTQ and their supporters.
EDUCATE: OOTL provides people, programs and other resources that build self-understanding and acceptance for those who are LGBTQ. We also have educational resources for allies and others who seek to grow in their understanding of LGBTQ family members, colleagues, students, and friends. OOTL representatives are available to speak to organizations, businesses and in other settings too. The Center has a library of educational literature and our website provides links to other helpful sources.
ADVOCATE: OOTL formed as a collaboration of local LGBTQ groups including Holland Is Ready. While OOTL itself is a strong voice for change, HIR continues as a non-profit group to advocate for legislative action at the local, state and national levels. OOTL is committed to advancing LGBTQ safety, human rights, and inclusion.
COLLABORATE: OOTL collaborates with and provides support to PFLAGHolland/Lakeshore. PFLAG Holland/Lakeshore is the local chapter of the national organization PFLAG, which is a group of parents, family and friends of the LGBTQ community. OOTL also collaborates and continues to build relationships with area businesses, churches, human service agencies, law enforcement, schools, social justice organizations, and foundations.