Indy Pride

Indy Pride

Indy Pride is an annual Indianapolis Gay Pride festival that has been held for over a decade. In recent years, more than 20,000 gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered and heterosexual people have attended Indy Pride, and in 2007 the numbers broke 30,000. [http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070610/LOCAL/706100460] Indy Pride is held early June in honor of the Stonewall Riots and in accordance with other United States pride festivals. Indy Pride is Indiana's largest Pride festival followed by Fort Wayne Pride [http://www.fortwaynepride.org/] .

"The festival and events are to celebrate gay pride and bring the community together. We're trying to bring visibility to the greater Indianapolis community of how many gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people there are here." -Indy Pride President, Gary Brackett.

Pride Parade

An annual pride parade tradionally kicks off the day since its induction in 2002. The parade runs from Massachusetts Avenue, an unofficial Indianapolis gay district, to University Park in the heart of downtown. Parade Grand Marshalls have included celebrities and politicians, including congresswoman Julia Carson. The parade grew to more than 80 floats and participants in 2007.

Grand Marshalls

*2006: Congresswoman Julia Carson
*2007: writer and producer Del Shores

Attractions

The Indy Pride event consists of several attractions for the community, both gay and non-gay, to browse and watch. There are several booths sponsored by local LGBT groups catering to the community as a whole, as well as special interest groups. Other booths throughout the park are sponsored by local businesses that support the LGBT community. Surrounding the park, food vendors, car dealerships and other businesses also have displays set up to show support and market to the community. The centerpiece of the event is the main stage that is erected on the south steps of the Indiana World War Memorial overlooking the event. Here local and national talents perform, providing entertainment for the crowd. Performances include the Pride of Indy Band, singers, national recording artists, drag performances, DJs and speeches. Performances can range from pure entertainment, such as RuPaul who performed at the close of the festival in 2006, to informational speeches, such as that from Candace Gingrich, who in 2007, gave a speech for the Human Rights Campaign on same-sex marriage issues.

Opposition

Although the event is generally welcomed by the city, with vocal support having come from both Indianapolis ex-mayor Bart Peterson and Indiana congresswoman Julia Carson, it is not without its opposition. Each year, the Indy Pride event, including the parade, draws a small number of protestors who voice their opposition to the event. Their opposition is expressed both verbally and on hand-made signs, and is often based on their religious beliefs. Although this group can often be very good at making themselves known, their presence seldom affects the mood of the event.

Attendance

Numbers begin with the year 2005:
*2005: 20,000
*2006: 25,000 [http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070609/LOCAL/706090516/1195/LOCAL18]
*2007: 32,000 [http://www.gayindy.org/index.php?id=news&item=69]
*2008: 35,000-40,000 [http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080615/LOCAL18/806150404]

History

*Indy Pride began in 1996 as a week-long celebration of events. [http://www.glaad.org/publications/archive_detail.php?id=1189&PHPSESSID=f]
*The first Indy Pride Parade stepped off in 2002. The first parade was small with only eight participants and lasted 15 minutes. It has since grown into an hour-long event. [http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070609/LOCAL/706090516/1195/LOCAL18]

ee also

*Gay Pride
*List of LGBT events
*Gay pride parade
*Rainbow flag
*Pride Library
*Stonewall riots
*Pride of Indy Band and Color Guard
*Indianapolis, Indiana
*Midwest

External links

*http://www.gayindy.org/
*http://www.indyprideinc.com/
*http://www.prideofindy.org/
*http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2007706090516
*http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070610/LOCAL/706100460
*http://www.indianaequality.org/
*http://www.indianayouthgroup.org/
*http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/
*http://www.indypflag.org/


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