Summer 2014 has been a stand-out for Indiana’s gay community. An estimated 92,000 Hoosiers showed their pride and support at this year’s Circle City IN Pride Festival, smashing last year’s attendance record of 70,000.
But the Pride Festival wasn’t all fun and games (not for this reporter, at least). Each year, dozens of festival-goes dress to impress… or something like that. Here’s the dirty on the most brazen and most blazin’ looks of the day.
Photos and story by Alec Steinmetz
The celebration continues this Saturday as Circle City IN Pride concludes their week of events with the Cadillac Barbie Parade and Circle City IN Pride Festival. These events continue a long tradition of supporting the LGBT community in the Central Indiana area. Prepare yourself for bigger and better events as Pride continues to grow with each passing year.
Cadillac Barbie Parade Saturday June 14th
See parade route below
The first Indy Pride parade was a small event, consisting of one float, some classic cars, and a couple of walking groups, including the Bag Ladies. That was in 2005, now nine years later the parade is a bit more involved than that.
The name was changed to the Cadillac Barbie Parade in honor of one of it’s founding members Gary Brackett’s drag queen persona (for football fans, not that Gary Brackett). The parade this year will feature over 100 different groups ranging from floats to walkers to other vehicles. Some notable groups from last year include; the Indy Gay Pride Color Guard who received an award for the best walking group, the winner of the best float the Indianapolis Men’s Chorus, and the Men’s Motorcycle Club who took the award for best vehicle group.
The parade this year will also feature not one, not two, not three, but FOUR Grand Marshalls. To list them out kind of sounds like it could be the start of a joke: a drag queen, a professional basketball player and two political activists walk into a bar. However, their commitment and dedication to the LGBT community is definitely not a joke.
The originator of the name Bag Ladies, Coby Palmer is a long time supporter of the LGBT community and HIV/AIDS education and awareness. He has been instrumental in guiding the Bag Ladies into the tremendous force that they are, having raised over $1 million dollars over the past 34 years.
Indiana Fever Guard Layshia Clarendon is just a few games into her second year as a member of the team. However she already has an established career with Team USA winning a gold in the 2009 U19 World Championship. She comes to the team hopeful to make an impact on the court and in the community.
The final two Grand Marshalls were instrumental in the successful fight against HJR-3 this past year. Megan Robertson is the Founder and campaign manager for Freedom Indiana, a bipartisan coalition of businesses, faith leaders, civil rights and community organizations, and individuals who united against HJR-3.
Rick Sutton is the Executive Director of Indiana Equality Action a coalition of statewide and regional advocacy and lobbying groups, focused on amending Indiana’s Civil Rights law. They continue to fight not only for marriage equality, but freedom from discrimination based on sexuality or gender identity, as well as many other LGBT issues.
The parade starts at 10 am and it is heavily suggested you get there early and spread out across the entire parade route. But, don’t forget the parade is only the start of all the fun.
Check out our previous coverage of the events that led up to the parade and festival:
Pride Week 2014 Nitty Gritty part 1 by Alec Steinmentz
Pride Week 2014 Nitty Gritty part 2 by Colin Caffee