TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WAWV/WTWO) – As Pride Month began across the country, the City of Terre Haute has joined the festivities.
The Terre Haute Pride Center made history June 4th as the organization hosted the city’s first annual Pride Festival. The festival fell close to the Terre Haute Pride Center’s one-year anniversary.
Over 64 vendors and organizations filled Wabash Avenue to provide support and resources. Vendors and Organizers said the festival has allowed LGBTQ+ in the Terre Haute area to feel seen and heard.
“In Terre Haute we haven’t had anything like this before and we are really look to decrease isolation to bring our community together,” Pride Center President Nichelle Campbell-Miller said.
“I think it’s long over due that we have something like this here,” Board of Terre Haute Pride Center William Edwards said.
Edwards said it’s been special to see how far the city has come.
“Growing up as a gay person who didn’t have something like this here as a kid and it just means the world to me to now be apart of it,” Edwards said.
Nichelle Campbell-Miller said as a Vigo County Social Worker it was important to invite organizations that help all her students feel supported.
“When students have allies and they have people that are affirming and accepting it makes for a better living situation,” Campbell-Miller said. “Any chance that I get to affirm my students I’m going to take it.”
Organizations such as the Indiana Youth Group and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention say it’s better for communities to have LGBTQ+ support outlets starting at a young age.
“Last year suicide for LGBTQ+ youth was at about 42% who seriously contemplated it,” Indiana Youth Group Member Zoe O’haillin-Berne said. “One supportive adult can reduce that risk by 40%.”
“A lot of younger kids have lost their lives to suicide so we want to let them know that there is help and there’s support,” American Foundation for Suicide Prevention Member Kara Holloway said. “If they are struggling with their identity they can fully see that there’s a whole community that loves and supports them.”
Campbell-Miller said they plan to have many more pride festivals to come. For upcoming events you can visit the Terre Haute Pride Center’s website.