FULL OF PRIDE

Rul­ing on same-sex mar­riage barely phases Pride Pa­rade rev­el­ers

Post-Tribune - - Front Page - BY MICHELLE L. QUINN Post-Tri­bune cor­re­spon­dent

EAST CHICAGO — The State of In­di­ana may have acted quickly to ex­e­cute a stay on same-sex mar­riage, but hardly a damper was left on many head­ing to the Chicago Gay Pride Pa­rade Sun­day.

They packed the west­bound trains early, don­ning pas­tel- hued tie - dyes and tu­tus. Some, l i ke Madi­son Car­nagey and Me­gan Ray, put brightly col­ored tem­po­rary tat­toos and j ewels on their faces; while oth­ers, l i ke Leah Adams and Melissa Dilling­ham, l ooked l i ke any other cou­ple ready to en­joy a day at a park with their kids. But ev­ery­one was ready to cel­e­brate one thing and one thing only: Love.

Alexan­dria Ramo, 18, of East Chicago, has been at­tend­ing Pride since she was 13. She wore the sky- high, beige heels she wears when per­form­ing at drag shows but made sure to have her fl ats i n her bag.

Ramo said she l ooks for­ward to Pride, where she can “cel­e­brate with all our peo­ple.” While too young to think of mar­riage, she said she’s not con­cerned over the stay.

“It’s go­ing to hap­pen sooner or l ater,” she said.

Joey Gar­cia, of Crown Point, brought friends Ste­vie Rus­sell, Shan­non Fla­herty and Brit­tany Men­doza to ex­pe­ri­ence their fi rst pa­rade. Nor­mally, the young women have ei­ther been work­ing or were too young to go, ac­cordi ng to their par­ents. But this year, they made sure they could go.

“This year i s sup­posed to be the big­gest pa­rade ever be­cause same sex mar­riage is le­gal in Illi­nois. They’re ex­pect­ing 100,000- plus peo­ple,” Rus­sell said. “I’m ( up­set) that they put the stay i n, but I am very stoked for the peo­ple who got to get mar­ried when they could. ( The stay) i s an­noy­ing, but we’ll get there. We got this.

“I love love.”

Dilling­ham and Adams have been to­gether only eight months, so mar­riage i sn’t on their radar right now. But bring­ing Dilling­ham’s fam­ily mem­bers — Caleb, Bran­don, Brit­tany and Ari­ana Dilling­ham; Amanda Moore and Ash­ley Clark — felt l i ke fam­ily none­the­less.

“The fi rst time I went to Pride I went with my sis­ter,” Dilling­ham said. “You usu­ally can’t get Caleb out of bed, but he was ready today be­cause he l i kes the pa­rade. He was scared at fi rst, though.”

Car­nagey and Ray, of Scher­erville and High­land, re­spec­tively, aren’t gay but have al­ways heard what a blast Pride i s. The co­work­ers de­cided to make their own rain­bow tu­tus and head on up a week ago.

“Ev­ery­one should be equal,” Car­nagey said. “We have a l ot of friends who are gay, so we want to cel­e­brate them.

“We’ve heard i t’s su­per-fun and that we’re go­ing to see things we’ve never seen be­fore,” Ray added.

| MICHELLE L. QUINN~FOR SUN-TIMES ME­DIA

Peo­ple ar­rive at the East Chicago South Shore sta­tion early Sun­day.

| MICHELLE L. QUINN~FOR SUN-TIMES ME­DIA

Peo­ple wait for the train to Chicago at the East Chicago South Shore sta­tion early Sun­day.

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