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A guide to Circle City IN Pride 2012



IN Pride Parade 2010

Indy Pride is a year-round organization to be sure; for instance, the Bag Ladies hnave their day just before Halloween, and the Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival, now operated under the auspices of Indy Pride, is scheduled for early November. But Circle City IN Pride, the week-long celebration of Indy's LGBT community, remains the organization's cornerstone event, culminating with Saturday's parade and festival.

Even if you're holding a copy of NUVO fresh off the press, a few days of InPride have already expired, but plenty remains on the schedule. Wednesday from 5:30-7 p.m. is an open house for the Chris Gonzalez Library and Archives, a 7,000-plus title collection including books, photos, film, art and periodicals which was recently relocated to the lower level of the Health Foundation of Greater Indianapolis (429 E. Vermont St., also home to the offices of Indy Pride Inc.) Check out back issues of the city's first gay papers - The Mirror and The New Works News - while you're there; both started publishing around the time of the first local Pride event, a behind closed doors dinner at the Old Essex Hotel held in 1981.

Thursday is a time for Girl Pride - a party strong enough for a man, but made for a woman. Doors open at 8 p.m. at Talbott Street, with a motley crew of drag kings hitting the stage first, followed by Show Me Burlesque. Headlining is Madison, Wisc.-born hip-hop duo God-Des and She (as seen on The L Word), with DJ Redbone is on the decks all night; tickets are $8 through and $10 at the door. But there's competition Thursday night: A few blocks over, the Bag Ladies (NUVO Cultural Vision Award winners, natch) will be on the Greg's dance floor (or circling the bar) for a dress rehearsal for Saturday's parade; a $5 suggested donation and performer tips will benefit Indy Pride.

On Friday, we rest, for Saturday is both the Cadillac Barbie IN Pride Parade (line up at 8:30 a.m.; step off at 10 a.m.), which runs from the corner of Mass Ave and College Avenue to St. Clair Avenue in front of the Indianapolis Public Library; and the Circle City IN Pride Festival, running from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on the American Legion Mall and Veterans Memorial Plaza. Look for over 100 "units" in the parade (meaning walking groups, vehicles groups, floats and decorated vehicles); float sponsors/designers include both corporate interests (Absolut Vodka, Cummins, Walgreens), community groups (Bag Ladies, IUPUI Advocates for Sexual Equality) and gay-friendly businesses (Talbott Street, Zonie's Closet, Greg's/English Ivy's). Jordan Windle, who at age 12 became the youngest diver to qualify for the USA Diving Olympic Trials, is the parade's grand marshall; both athlete and author, he and his father, Jerry Windle, co-wrote a children's book concerning how Jerry came to adopt the then-orphaned Jordan from Cambodia.

The festival has two, count em, two headliners this year: buxom R&B diva Deborah Cox, followed by muscled, closely-shaven hip-hop goofball Cazwell. Cox has a string of R&B singles to her name, not to mention plenty of musical theater muscle; she recently starred in Aida, and later this year will play Josephine Baker in a new Broadway musical. Cazwell scored his first million-view YouTube video with "I Seen Beyonce at the Burger King," a green-screen wonder that's dumb and neon in all the right ways, and paints Beyonce as a moocher who eats entirely too much in one sitting. Other hits have followed, including "Ice Cream Truck," a lighthearted study in phallicism.

Those two headliners won't hit the stage until the end of the afternoon; both stages are packed all afternoon before then, with the IndyMojo Stage hosting a full menu of DJs, including Rudy Kizer and Action Jackson, and the main stage featuring everything from the Indianapolis Men's Chorus to a Girls Rock! Indy band, No Direction. And, of course, there will be vendors aplenty, with space to spread out on the American Legion Mall; stop by NUVO's booth if you're so inclined, or check out the over 240 other vendors while milling about with a crowd that numbered 70,000 attendees last year.


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