FULL OF PRIDE
Ruling on same-sex marriage barely phases Pride Parade revelers
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.
People arrive at the East Chicago South Shore station early Sunday.
People wait for the train to Chicago at the East Chicago South Shore station early Sunday.