Gay Pride Weekend in Covington Means Celebration, Change for Organization
NKY Pride will celebrate another year in Covington, but also a transition to a new name and a new direction. While the annual pride event will remain the largest fundraiser for the gay organization, it will be more publicly known as NKY Fairness, an affiliate of the statewide organization pushing for gay equality in Kentucky.
The group announced those plans in March.
Covington is already one of seven cities in the Commonwealth with a so-called Fairness Ordinance, one that extends protections to people based on sexuality and gender identity. It is also home to a more grassroots pride celebration as opposed to the ones in largers cities, including Cincinnati, that land huge corporate sponsors.
"We're about the community and being together as a community and doing work together as a community. I think that's reflective of the Pride Weekend we have," said Bonnie Meyer, president of NKY Fairness. "It includes the people who care about health and wellness, and also people love their dogs here, so the pet zone is going to be bigger this year. It was one of the most successful things of last year's festival. The importance of it being a family-friendly and ally-friendly environment. You'll never get anywhere if you don't have allies and we have incredible allies here and our festival is reflective of that."
The theme of this year's festival is "Building Our Communities". As NKY Fairness mobilizes, it will look to spread its message of equality to the rest of Northern Kentucky.
Urban cities like Bellevue and Newport are likely targets for fairness conversations as is Highland Heights, home of Northern Kentucky University where Meyer is director of LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer) Programs and Services.
Already, NKY Fairness is hosting meetings outside of Covington. "We've tried very hard to move meetings all over Northern Kentucky. We've met in Newport, Bellevue, and we are talking about expanding even farther south," Meyer said. "We want to be inclusive of all Northern Kentucky communities and then also as we move into the fall, the importance of the fairness ordinances, we'll be meeting regularly with the Fairness Campaign on the first Wednesday of every month about how we can get additional ordinances passed."