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The Speak Equal Concert series a success

Underwriting support from:
Brooke Murphy, founder of Speak Equal

Brooke Murphy, founder of Speak Equal

On Saturday, January 16, Speak Equal held the first of its benefit concert series at Rumors Nightclub. Speak Equal is a nonprofit that advocates for the equality and rights of the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex) community whose directed by Brooke Murphy.

The concert comprised two musical acts. The show opened with Whitney Dawn. Her style of folk music mixed with a beautiful voice is always a crowd pleaser. Whitney is a local artist who writes, plays, and sings her own songs for a hobby. She is a long time friend of Brooke Murphy’s, who was very appreciative of Whitney’s performance. 

The headlining act, Nervous but Excited, is very popular among the LGBTQI community. They are a folk duo from Ann Arbor. The band is made up by the talented Sara Cleaver and Kate Peterson. Brooke had seen them perform at Womyn’s Fest. She wanted to book them for Rock out 2 Come Out, another event Speak Equal held in October to raise awareness about LGBTQI rights. At the time, they were on tour and unable to attend. They contacted Brooke at the end of their tour and agreed to perform at a benefit concert.

Speak Equal had hoped for 85 attendees. On Saturday, 156 people showed up to the event. I asked Brooke what this meant to the local LGBTQI community. She told me that people of that community want well-advertised, safe and honest events. Speak Equal provides this through concerts and other similar events. 

I asked Brooke if there was something that the citizens of Grand Rapids should know. She explains that the LGBTQI community is a part of the whole community. They are our brothers, sisters, aunts, or uncles. They are hard working, caring, and good natured human beings like everyone else. They do not enjoy the same rights and protections that all the citizens of West Michigan have. People of the community need to understand how this feels. 

“Next time the citizens of West Michigan are at the polls voting on such legislations like a marriage act or anti-bulling laws they need to realize what there really voting on and the people it is affecting.” Brooke said.

The next event Speak Equal will be hosting is the Valentine’s Day Skate Jam at the Kentwood Fun Spot on February 7th from 6-9pm. Brooke wants to encourage everybody to come out and support Speak Equal.

If people are looking to volunteer or donate to Speak Equal they can find out how by look them up on any of the major social networking websites or at

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