Celebrating Pride: Kim Langridge
Kim Langridge, co-president of BC Pride, believes in creating spaces where everyone belongs. This Battle Creek powerhouse has four years of invaluable experience as a BC Pride board member and is now in her third year as co-president. Langridge’s passion for change and inclusivity is impacting Battle Creek’s LBGTQ+ community in powerful ways.
COURAGE AND MENTORSHIP
Guided by the support and mentorship of her therapist, Davison Nicholas, Langridge found the courage to come out when she was 62. Davison urged Langridge to break free from her basement sanctuary in pursuit of finding a community. Due to this encouragement, Langridge found BC Pride, and it was within this community that Kim Langridge’s life transformed forever.
In her quest for connection, Langridge crossed paths with Deana Spencer (You can find her Pride Month feature here!), who she now works with as co-president of BC Pride. Spencer’s friendship helped propel Langridge toward a life of authenticity. Reflecting on her journey, Langridge shares, “I never could have done it alone. No one should have to navigate those waters without support.”
Under Langridge’s leadership, BC Pride has undergone its own transformation. What started solely as meetings at local bars and churches in 2010 has since grown into a space uniquely their own. BC Pride is now housed in its own building near downtown Battle Creek. This new space has empowered them to amplify their message and increase their visibility in the community.
Langridge devotes her time to BC Pride’s youth group, Constellations: a vibrant gathering place for LGBTQ+ middle and high school students. Here, under Langridge and Spencer’s guidance, a strong sense of belonging is fostered. The group engages in activities, heartfelt discussions, and even craft projects, like creating pronoun pins for the attendees. Constellations serves as a powerful beacon of support for local youth.
YOU’RE GOING TO BE OKAY.
If Langridge could travel back in time, she would offer these words of reassurance to her younger self: “You’re going to be okay. Stick with it.” Discovering her true identity at the tender age of four, Langridge’s journey was ignited by the sight of transgender icon Christine Jorgensen on the news. While her family was loving and accepting, the subject remained veiled in secrecy. At the age of 62, Langridge finally embraced her authentic self, shedding the weight of secrets she had carried for far too long.
Langridge is tireless in her pursuit of community-building. She writes BC Pride’s monthly newsletter, serves as the unofficial staff photographer, and creates and sends over 300 birthday, sympathy, and thank you cards every year. She is also a regular attendee of BC Pride Dines Out, a monthly gathering over dinner that creates an environment of warmth and acceptance, inviting individuals from all walks of life to share stories, laughter, and delicious meals.
BC Pride also hosts game nights every other Thursday, where people come together, immerse themselves in playful competition, and forge new friendships. Additionally, the Trans-Spectrum Social Hour serves as a sanctuary for transgender individuals to gather, share their experiences, and support one another on their unique journeys.
When asked about why she feels it’s important to give back to the community, Langridge humbly admits that her involvement stems from a place of personal need. She initially sought companionship and support but soon realized that she had an obligation to repay the kindness she had received. Kim Langridge aims to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community feels seen, heard, and welcomed with open arms.
Langridge’s deepest aspiration is to impact others by nurturing a world where authenticity thrives. Through BC Pride’s unwavering efforts, she hopes to empower individuals to embrace their true selves, fostering a culture of acceptance and understanding. Witnessing the transformative power of self-acceptance and community support brings her immense joy and fulfillment.
In terms of self-care, Langridge finds joy in following sports and expressing herself through writing. Attending therapy and supporting her favorite teams– the Detroit Tigers and Red Wings- brings a sense of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Kim Langridge never set out with the intention of leaving a lasting impact on others. She acknowledges that her journey has shaped her into an advocate and catalyst for change. Langridge’s legacy is one of self-discovery, acceptance, and the unwavering belief that everyone deserves a place to belong.