More than 2,000 people attended the first Gay Pride festival on Saturday in Mike Pence’s hometown of Columbus, Indiana, organized by high school senior Erin Bailey (above).
Erin Bailey, the 18-year-old organizer of Columbus Pride, never expected to be fielding interview requests from the Human Rights Campaign and CNN. The slight redhead, who strolled the festival in rose-pink horn rims and a rainbow-emblazoned ringer tee, began organizing Columbus Pride to meet a graduation requirement at Columbus Signature Academy.
According to CSA’s website, all students must complete a project meant to “explore endeavors that fuel their passions and to act as a bridge between a student’s high school experience and his or her future goals” before they can collect their diplomas.
Bailey, who identifies as bisexual and hopes to work as an art therapist, saw an opportunity to help others like herself find comfort and community where they lived. A GoFundMe campaign helped her raise over $6,000 to make it happen.
“It’s been crazy, honestly,” she said Saturday. “It’s super exciting; I’m super glad with the turnout and everyone who came.”
Watch an interview with Bailey in the news report up top.