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INDIANAPOLIS – With the annual Indy Pride Festival and Parade this weekend, the event holds a special place in one Hoosier’s heart.

Katie Haan of Indianapolis was at last year’s event just days after she told her parents she was bisexual.

“I was greeted with nothing but open arms and love and acceptance which I am so grateful for because not everyone gets that, which is why events like [The Indy Pride Festival&#93 are so important for people who don’t have an outlet at home,” says Haan.

Haan says she had seen more people attending the event over the past three years.

“I think that the Indy Pride movement took off exponentially after 2015 and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act that [then-Gov.&#93 Mike Pence had that instigated the ‘Indy Welcomes All’ movement,” says Haan.  “That was such a trigger for so many people because it was a tipping point in saying that we have to be here.”

Haan goes to college in New York City and won’t be attending the event this year in Indy.

“I just spent two weeks in Indy and just came back [to New York City&#93, but I will be celebrating New York City Pride with my Hoosier button on loud and proud,” says Haan.

Haan has advice for those who have not yet come out to their family and loved ones and may be fearful of the reaction they may receive.

“To any young people who have yet to have that conversation with your parents, just know that there is always someone out there who loves you and always someone you can talk to.  Even if it’s not your parents right now, find that person because it will feel so good to have someone to talk with.”

The event starts with the parade at 10 a.m. Saturday along Massachusetts Avenue from College Avenue to New York Street.   

Following the parade, the festival is at Military Park at New York and West Streets from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.

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Photo credit: C.J. Miller / Emmis Communications