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June is
National Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride month, and many
people in Indianapolis celebrate Pride in a big way. On Saturday, June 10, more
than 100,000 people will brave the heat to share in the excitement of the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade and the Circle City IN
Pride Festival
as our
city celebrates its 28th annual Pride week.

 

Although the
climate nationwide is becoming more welcome for LGBT Americans, many young people
still find themselves in situations where they do not feel safe and supported
to live openly. One of our greatest community services for LGBT youth is Indiana Youth Group (IYG). IYG connects teens to a network of
services to ensure they find success on their journey to adulthood. Throughout
the organizations 29-year history, students from IPS and across central Indiana
have found support through the resources IYG has to offer. 

 

IYG provides a
safe space for young people to hang out after school and on the weekends, along
with fun events and links to vital support services. IYG also provides
resources for families of LGBT youth including monthly meet-ups, one-on-one
support sessions, group workshops and more. A dedicated staff member at IYG
supports Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) groups at Indiana school districts,
including IPS.

 

Most pride
festivals nationally take place in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots, a
turning point in the fight for gay rights. The Stonewall Inn, now a National
Historic Landmark, is a gay club in Manhattan which was regularly raided by
police in the late 1960s. On June 28, 1969, the patrons of Stonewall fought
back when the police showed up, and the following riot sparked a protest which
grew into the start of the gay rights movement. 

 

In 1970, the
Christopher Street Liberation Day march was held in Manhattan on the
anniversary of the Stonewall riots – this is widely considered the first-ever
pride parade. In the following months and years other major cities began
holding commemorative marches in support of gay citizens. These opportunities
for public activism eventually grew into the celebratory pride parades we see
in most major American cities today, although some cities still use the term
“march” to commemorate the historic significance of the events that started it
all.

 

In our city’s
Pride parade, you’ll see a variety of groups representing LGBT Hoosiers and
allies: music and theatre groups, faith-based organizations, major businesses… even
IMPD participates in the festivities! The festival following the parade covers
the American Legion Mall, Indiana War Memorial Plaza and University Park.
Several stages will feature local and national performers, including En Vogue!
Vendors including local businesses and health and social services will have
booths across the festival to share their offerings to our community. 

 

We are grateful
for the support our LGBT students, staff and neighbors receive from our
community. Happy Pride, Indy!