INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An estimated 35,000 people flooded the streets of downtown Indianapolis for the 15th annual Indy Pride Festival.
The all-day celebration Saturday featured live music in Military Park, the Cadillac Barbie Pride Parade and increased focus on diversity within the LGBTQ community.
Festival attendees represented a “rainbow” of various orientations, gender identities, races, ages and backgrounds, event organizers said.
“Today is about inclusion and diversity,” said Craig Thomas, the vice president of Indiana Pride of Color. “We’re creating a safe haven… whether you’re African American, Burmese [or] Hispanic.”
Inclusivity-minded attendees also applauded the festival’s inaugural “Bi Pride” and “Pan Pride” events, as well as the second annual #TransGlam party.
“Until recently, ‘LGBTQ’ has been all about the ‘G,'” said Payton Wilson, a first-time Indy Pride attendee visiting from Australia. “The more marginalized groups get overlooked. Here, I feel like they’re a lot more present, which is great… LGBTQ isn’t just about gay white men anymore.”
Angela Collins, an Indianapolis grandmother who doesn’t identify with any letters in LGBTQ, said she “loved” the energy every year at Indy Pride.
She brought her 7-year-old granddaughter, Addyson Norman, to Military Park Saturday afternoon for her first pride celebration.
“She’s in grade school now but you’ve got middle school, high school [and] college coming,” Collins said. “To expose her at this point [to different people and ideas], I think is good exposure for her. God loves us all.”
Norman, wearing a pink shirt adorned with a sequined rainbow, didn’t miss a beat when asked what she thought about “being different.”
“Everybody’s not always the same,” she told News 8. “And it’s a good thing.”