Saturday marked the 10th annual Lexington Pride Festival, which was celebrated with music, vendors and a new speed dating tent.
Events included two drag shows and musical performances throughout the day, including entertainment Saturday night from Ginger Minj, a Season 7 finalist from RuPaul’s “Drag Race.” More than a hundred vendors sold food and apparel, and there were booths representing services throughout Lexington.
Paul Brown, the Pride Festival chair, said the festival was a place where “every person can be proud of who they are.”
“Straight people, gay people, bi people — we all make up that rainbow that is our national symbol,” Brown said. “Everybody should be proud. It’s a day where everybody can come and feel happy about who they are.”
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Brown said the support of the Lexington community and sponsors “meant a lot” to those who attended. Sponsors of the festival included Kroger, Toyota and UPS.
“All of these organizations are supportive and accepting, and that speaks volumes to a lot of people,” Brown said.
It’s a day where everybody can come and feel happy about who they are.
Paul Brown, Lexington Pride Festival chair
Brown and Wanda McCants, activities chair of the Lexington Pride Festival, said they expected more than 25,000 to attend throughout the day.
Mayor Jim Gray, who also attended the festival, proclaimed the day to be Pride Day. Brown accepted the proclamation plaque and thanked Gray for his support.
“Cities across the USA, their mayors would shy away, and ours never has,” Brown said. “He never has ... you will always know that Lexington is a place for every color of the rainbow.”
Winners of the Mr. and Miss LexPride Pageant performed. Mr. LexPride, Kendryk Heart, said the title “means the world to me.”
“It means so much to show my adopted siblings that they can be who they want to be, do what they want to do, and love who they want to love,” Heart said.
Tuesday Meadows, logistics chair for the festival, said she attended her first Pride Festival in 2013 and has volunteered at each one since. She said that attending that first festival was what helped her “get involved” with the Lexington LGBTQ community, and added that the Pride Festival is like a “family reunion.”
Meadows said the Pride Festival is a time when members of the LGBTQ community can come together and see “people who are like them.”
“It really gives you the feeling inside that you’re not alone,” Meadows said. “I think that’s always a thing a lot of us feel, not just LGBTQ people, but all of us feel sometimes.”
Monica Kast: 859-231-1320, @monicakastwku