Lexington celebrates first full-scale Pride Festival since 2019, attendees advocate for rights

As Lexington put on a full-scale Pride Festival for the first time since 2019, people took to the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza downtown in a much happier
Published: Jun. 25, 2022 at 10:26 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - As Lexington put on a full-scale Pride Festival for the first time since 2019, people took to the Robert F. Stephens Courthouse Plaza downtown in a much happier mood than just 24 hours prior.

”We all went through a lot the past couple years and it’s always good to lean on community and just have a good time and bring those positive vibes and energy back to the city,” said Ebbie Akbar, a musical artist who performed at the festival.

Festival goers and performers alike were getting in the groove with music and dancing. But to the attendees, it’s much more meaningful than just a day of fun festivities.

“It represents the fact that we’ve struggled so hard to be accepted as normal people,” said Timothy Robinson, who lives in Richmond. “To be given rights, to show who we are and stand tall and stand proud for being here.”

Those I spoke with say this festival is an opportunity not just to celebrate their pride, but also to advocate for their rights in the aftermath of Friday’s Supreme Court decision.

“It’s more than just abortion,” Robinson said. “It’s about rights, its about freedoms, it’s about liberties, it’s about being equal and being able to live your life without fear of persecution or being told you can’t do that.”

The music and energy filling the festival made for an uplifted mood on the courthouse grounds after Friday’s protests.But the topic lingered on the minds of festival goers

“To be honest, yesterday was a very sad day in American history,” said Ariq Skinner, who came to the festival from Berea with his family. “But if there’s something that I’ve learned in my short tenure on this planet - where there’s an injustice, there will be people that stand up to that injustice.”

Some took that chance to stand up and speak out on Saturday.

“Everyone deserves freedom. Just because you believe one thing, I still believe everybody can live in peace. You can have differing opinions, but I don’t think that gives you the right to control other people”

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