The small city of Pikeville will be hosting its first ever Pride event.
The city, found in the deeply conservative state of Kentucky, is celebrating its first Pride event this weekend (20 October), with hundreds already hoping to attend.
The organizers hope to combat LGBTI discrimination in the area, while creating a visible and fun event.
The Facebook event states it wants to promote ‘self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.’
Like all Prides, it’ll be a party
Throughout the day, the Pride will showcase music, drag entertainment, face painting, and a Free Hugs booth.
Restaurant Bank 253 are hosting the after party.
Co-organizer Kyle May hails from Pikeville – and even admitted he wanted to leave the city initially. The 29-year-old, who is gay, felt uncomfortable with his sexuality in the town.
He told the Lexington Herald Leader: ‘For years I tried to get out. I tried to move. I tried to get jobs elsewhere. I tried interviewing relentlessly.’
Co-organizer Gina Bryant agreed: ‘Most of us felt like we would have to move out of this area to really feel accepted and to really find a community.
‘So I think this is something, for most of us, that we’ve been wanting our entire lives.’
For all the LGBTI kids in Kentucky
She added: ‘I feel like if we can do this here, we can really give these kids who are like us hope. I feel like making a more inclusive community will go a long way toward making these younger people want to stay here.’
The event is already bringing hope to LGBTI people caught in rural areas. One person commented on their page: ‘I am from Virgie and went n to be a successful business woman. I am Trans and Im [sic.] in tears of happiness to see something like this happening in my hometown.’
Pikeville only has a population of approximately 7,106.
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