At Pride Festival in downtown Lexington, 'everyone is just being themselves'

mmeehan1@herald-leader.comJune 28, 2014 

There were rainbows aplenty — rainbow socks, rainbow tutus, rainbow hair, rainbow flags — as the Lexington Pride Festival took over the courthouse plaza downtown Saturday.

Kelsea Osborne and her girlfriend Brianna Sparks wore matching rainbow-colored tie-dyed shirts that read "We're Both the REAL Mom." Osborne held 6-month-old Kayler Sparks while 2-year-old Ryker relaxed in his stroller.

The festival was worth the drive from Corbin, Osborne said, "because everyone is just being themselves."

The best part of the day, aside from the vibe of acceptance in the air?

"The drag shows," she said.

Growing up in Irvine, Paul Curtis couldn't have imagined a day when he would be performing on the courthouse square as Aundrea Dean.

It was actually just six years ago that the Pride Festival came to downtown Lexington for the first time. For the 20 years before that, it had been held on a private farm, closed to the public.

But on Saturday there was a crush of traffic and a plaza filled with dancing festivalgoers as a nervous Curtis, dressed in a sparkly, purple, form-fitting stunner beneath a pile of teased locks that had him towering over the crowd, waited his turn on the stage.

"This is like performing in Las Vegas for me," said Curtis, who has been performing in drag for about two years.

Melissa Scott came from Nicholasville for the celebration in part to mark her upcoming birthday, but also to party with a bunch of folks who didn't bat a fake eyelash at her ensemble of tie-dyed tank top and matching tutu.

With the Pride Festival crowd, she said, anything goes if you are true to yourself.

"I could be wearing all black and they would still love me no matter what," she said.

Mary Meehan: (859) 231-3261. Twitter: @bgmoms. Blog:

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