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An Illinois town’s first Pride parade is the work of a 12-year-old girl

Ella Braidwood July 12, 2018

A 12-year old girl is planning the first pride parade ever in her home town of Buffalo Grove, Illinois, in the USA.

Molly Pinta was inspired to organise the event after marching with her mum in the inaugural Aurora Pride Parade in Chicago’s suburbs earlier this summer.

“We … felt so amazed and wowed,” the 12-year old told NBC News. “I imagined having that in my hometown would be so cool and seeing the town supporting the community.”

Soon after Aurora Pride, Pinta came out as a lesbian to members of the Gay-Straight Alliance, a support group she’d founded at school, reports NBC News.

The school girl then reached out to Indivisible Aurora, the community group behind the Aurora Pride Parade, which backed her idea of founding the inaugural pride parade in Buffalo Grove.

Chuck Adams, founder and executive director of Indivisible Aurora, told NBC News: “Molly has such a self awareness for her age and we’re just thrilled to be a part of it in any role we can play.”

Acting on advice from Indivisible Aurora, Pinta starting fundraising for the event, which is being planned for June 2 2019.

She started a fundraiser on GoFundMe, which has so far raised nearly $9,000.

The GoFundMe page reads: “My name is Molly and I am 12 years old, gay, and proud.  Please help me raise the funds to have a Pride Parade in my hometown, Buffalo Grove, in 2019.”

Pinta and her mum, Carolyn Pinta, who is a teacher at her daughter’s school, also posted videos on Facebook and Twitter, raising awareness of the seventh-grade  student’s campaign, and asking their family and friends to contribute.

“I would love to see a pride celebration in my town,” the 12-year old says in one video. “I recently went to Aurora’s parade, and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was inspiring to see a parade that’s main focus was acceptance and equality.

Pinta has also got the support of officials in Buffalo Grove for the parade, and has scheduled meetings with Buffalo Grove Police Department to map out a route.

The 12 year-old’s mum has also been tweeting Ellen Degeneres in an attempt to get the comedian to give a call out to the 12-year old and her campaign on her talkshow.

Speaking to PinkNews, Carolyn Pinta said: “Both my husband and I have much love and respect for the gay community and we always have. It was always important for us to show that we are allies, as we are sickened by how unjustly people in the LGBTQ community have been treated, but now, we are even more determined to spread love and acceptance as Molly has turned out to be gay herself.

“Many time parents of gay children will wish that their child were straight just to avoid the social conflict that this lifestyle can create, but it is so important to us that our daughter know that we find her to be so unique and special just the way she is and that we will openly embrace her gay lifestyle as this is how she was born and who she is meant to be!”

Talking about the response to her daughter’s campaign, she added: “The reaction has been insane!! Molly has been lucky enough to appear in several newspapers and online articles…Molly would like to use any and all social media and media platforms to share her story because she is hoping to inspire others to come out at an early age, and to be loved and accepted for who they are at any earlier time in life.”

More: Illinois, US

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