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Greenwood Pride Festival draws thousands to Woodmen Park

GREENWOOD, Ind. (WISH) — Thousands enjoyed an afternoon of music, food, and fun at the 3rd annual Greenwood Pride festival Saturday.

“Pride is being able to be who you are, being proud of who you are, and knowing that there are other people like you in the community,” said Suzanne Fortenbury, executive director of Greenwood Pride.

The festival also featured a drag show, which contrary to what critics of the LGBTQ+ community say, is not sexual in nature.

“I was in theatre in high school, and I was in band, so it’s kind of like a cross between theatre and band with the makeup and everything. It makes me feel young,” said Kim Saylor, who performs under the name “Hoosier Daddy.”

Fortenbury said the event is tailored to people of all ages, and it’s more than just about dressing in drag. Same-sex couples were able to get married here, shop local vendors, and enjoy local music.

“A lot of the problem with the attacks on gay people and LGBTQ youth is people just don’t understand what it is,” said Fortenbury.

When the festival isn’t going on, Greenwood Pride helps run skate and bowling parties for kids, and offer grief counseling.

“I’ve had two friends on the other side of the aisle. I ran for office, so I got to meet a lot of great people, and they came here today and saw what it was about, so it’s nice to have that open conversation to let people know exactly what this is and what it’s not,” said Fortenbury.

Kim understands why some people may be afraid to come out as who they really are.

“It took years of therapy to be ok with being me, and now I’m ok with being me,” she said.

Greenwood Pride is a non-profit organization. Funds raised from the event go to help LGBTQ+ youth and other causes throughout Johnson County.