19 Richmond Pride 2019

Richmond held its first Pride Festival on June 29th, 2019.  Severe storms on June 15th forced the event to reschedule.  The event also marked the return of Rainbow Richmond, the local LGBTQ  group that originally formed in 2006, but had been inactive the last several years. This page contains the interview of Benjamin Guard (transcript here), who pulled the Pride Festival together and who currently runs the Rainbow Richmond Facebook group. This page also contains screenshots from the Rainbow Richmond Facebook page, news articles, and a flier about the Pride event.

Image of Ben Guard. Caucasian male with brown hair and glasses, wearing white button down shirt, green tie, and brown vest.

Ben Guard Interview

About Rainbow Richmond

A message from one of the original members of Rainbow Richmond Great first Pride FESTIVAL to mark the return of Rainbow Richmond. For those of you not aware of its history, Rainbow Richmond came into being in 2006 when a small group of people living in the area got together and formed it. We chose the name, Rainbow Richmond, to align with IUE's club, Rainbow Alliance (now called alliance). On June 10, 2006, Rainbow Richmond held its first Pride event, a picnic in Glenn Miller Park. We held this annual pride picnic every year for seven years. Pal-Item showed up at the 2008 picnic (held at Middlefork Reservoir). During our regular meetings, we discussed many things: Outreach, pride parades, protecting vulnerable members who were afraid of losing their jobs if we became political or too visible. We set up a G-mail account (still active), created a website, had a Google phone number (which rang through to my home). We hosted a booth at 4th Street Fair, an outreach resource to the local community. One day, a student stopped by from RHS to ask us for advice on setting up a GSA. Parents and grandparents stopped by to ask for advice about their children who were coming out. We supported a local PFLAG group who had recently formed. Half of our group wanted to be political and fully out, wanting to rent a storefront downtown and be visible and politically active. We investigated establishing ourselves as a 501-C. The other half did not. We relied on word of mouth for most of our membership. By 2013, we had 55 people on our e-mail list. We had marched in two Indy Pride parades, where, along the entire parade route, we were treated to shouts from the crowd, "Richmond has a group!" Those were the good days when we believed that we were building a powerful organization. For that last picnic, however, only 10 people showed up. Meeting attendance had dwindled. Our monthly social events were sparsely attended. The committee still actively running it (myself included) decided to stop the picnics and other events. We stopped meeting. We gave our money to PFLAG and closed our doors. Fortunately, Ben discovered us. He wanted to hold a Richmond Pride Festival. And because we saw a way for a rebirth of Rainbow Richmond, we granted the use of its name. We urge the community to see RAINBOW RICHMOND as an organization with ENDURANCE with its rightful inception of 2006. It was quiet for 4 years, but still here.
June 30th, 2019. The beginning of Rainbow Richmond and it’s history.
We would like it to be known that Rainbow Richmond has a history that needs to be shared. Here is a quote from one of the original founders. "The statement that this is the first public event of Rainbow Richmond (RR) is not quite accurate. Rainbow Richmond formed in 2006. The original group—eight members—first met in a member’s apartment. Later, St. Paul Episcopal Church offered us meeting space. The group eventually grew to 55 members. Rainbow Richmond held its first pride picnic in 2008, and everyone was invited to attend. Denise Bullock, a committee member, was interviewed by Pal-Item and an article was published in the paper. 20 people attended. The group established an e-mail account, put up a website, and had a phone number that rang through to my home. We were a resource for LGBT people moving to Richmond. We had holiday parties and social events in the Church and one member hosted Crazy Bridge parties. In two separate years, Rainbow Richmond marched in the Indy Pride Parade. The last Pride Picnic was held in 2013. While it is accurate that group members were older, picnics were stopped due to lack of attendance. Many members were nervous about exposure (losing their jobs), and this meant that the group had restricted itself on the level of public advertising. At one point, RR members (more outreach motivated) wanted to open a resource center; however, we chose to protect vulnerable members instead. Rainbow Richmond did community outreach at the 4th Street Fair (resource booth) and we were the ones that consulted with a student from Richmond High School who wanted to form a SGA group at RHS." We want the truth to be known and we want history to be remembered. We sincerely apologize for any confusion or any errors we may have caused.
June 12th, 2019. Past Rainbow Richmond public events.

 

 

Pride Festival News

The lineup for Saturday is as follows: Music lineup is: Nathan Walters, Tracy Perkins, Christyn Brewer,Headlined by Paige Beller. Drag show featuring Ryne Stone, Layne Phoenix, AVA, Ty, Kar Kar, Avery Knight, Emma Snake, with special performance by Sweet-T.
Performers at Richmond Pride 2019
Rainbow Richmond Pride Festival, When: June 15th 3-6 pm. Where: Elstro Plaza, Richmond Indiana.
Rainbow Richmond Pride Flier

 

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Pal-Item_Rainbow_Richmond_Shapes_First_Pride_Event

Photos from Richmond’s First Pride event can be found on Rainbow Richmond’s Facebook page.

 

 

 

License

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IU East LGBTQ+ Archive by Beth South, Eng-W270 Spring 2019, Travis Rountree, and Abbie Sliger is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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