KEYC - Mankato Celebrates 16th Annual Pridefest

Mankato Celebrates 16th Annual Pridefest

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Mankato -

Taylor Kvam of Mankato says she identifies herself as androgynous. Her girlfriend, Katie Farmer, does not.

"I came out as pansexual," Farmer says.

Shortly after meeting each other over a year ago they quickly found one thing in common.

"We actually came out on the same day on October 11, 2011. We hadn't known each other then," Kvam says.

Today they're celebrating the 16th annual Mankato Pridefest. A full day of events that celebrates the LGBTQ community in South Central Minnesota.

"A lot of what we do today is helping change hearts and minds," executive director of South Central Minnesota Pride, Jessica Flatequal says. 

Flatequal says today isn't about taking a political tone.

"It's helping people get to know us and know that we're their neighbor, we're their teacher, we're their friends, we're their family, we're their colleagues and you know, we matter," she says.

Flatequal has helped organize the event for fifteen years. She says the support in the community has increased from hundreds to thousands in just a short matter of time.

"I admittedly get choked up and will have tears, tears of joy, pride and joy," Flatequal says. 

For a day to take pride in who you are and who you love.

"Just breaking it down to being human and celebrating the fact that we are alive and we can all share this space together," says Kvam. 

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