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Hometown Pride!

I never thought I would live to see the day.

The day when my hometown -- Kokomo, Indiana -- would host it's own LGBTQI Pride Event.

I was thrilled to make it home for the 2nd annual Kokomo Pride Festival, sponsored by Sun King Breweries.

Posing with some of Kokomo Pride's organizers
Posing with some of Kokomo Pride's organizers

I was even more thrilled to see so many straight families in attendance, and in support -- despite the sweltering 90+ degree heat.

The "City of Firsts" has come a long, long way since I was a kid -- when one risked serious blowback if they acted "too" gay.

The cherry on top? I got to say a few words, to thank all those brave souls back home, who live out, open & proud lives instead of fleeing to the relative safety of the big cities!

It's folks like them who will bring LGBTQI acceptance coast to coast.

Leon Acord speaks at Kokomo Pride Festival 2023
Totally cool, despite the 90+ degree heat!

I even got to do a short live reading of the chapter "I Didn't Choose to be Gay, But ..." from my new book Expletives Not Deleted.

I was a bit terrified, but my husband Laurence and my nieces Charlotte Hall & Leigha Marie were there to cheer me on!

Laurence Whiting & Leon Acord at Kokomo Pride Festival 2023
Happiness is being able to hug your husband in your small Indiana hometown!
Leigha Marie, Leon Acord & Charlotte Hall at Kokomo Pride Festival 2023
With Leigha Marie & Charlotte Hall, my nieces who feel like sisters -- I wish they were my daughters!

Thank you, Kokomo, & Kokomo Pride (and Laurence, Leigha & Charlotte!). I can't wait for next year's event!

Leon Acord backstage at Kokomo Pride Festival 2023
Taste the Rainbow -- Waiting backstage before my speech

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