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Indiana Pride Event Won't Let Parents Attend 'Youth Carnival' Event for Children As Young As 12

AP Photo/Armando Franca

The LGBT movement is increasingly looking to erode parental rights and involvement in a chilling way as June's Pride Month fast approaches. As The Daily Signal reported on Wednesday, Indiana Youth Group (IYG) advertised their June 7 event billed as a "Youth Carnival. The advertisement, posted to Instagram, goes to great lengths to stress it's for "YOUTH ONLY." Even though children as young as 12 are invited to participate, the event's advertisement makes clear that parents are not invited, as the right-hand part of the ad reads that "***PARENTS WILL BE INVITED TO PARTICIPATE IN OTHER ACTIVITIES OFFSITE OR ENCOURAGED TO EXPLORE THE CITY."

The Instagram post also mentions that "Programming and activities designed especially for parents and guardians of attending youth will be held at the neighboring Trinity Episcopal Church."

It is not specified why it is that parents are not allowed to attend with their children as young as 12-years-old, who will be around other "youth" who are legally adults, as those 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds are also invited to participate. "The event is totally free but registration is required and strictly limited to 200 youth to ensure comfort and safety for all," The Instagram post details. 

The Daily Signal's report also mentions that IYG told a parent who asked how children would be kept safe at the event that "All IYF events and programming are run with staff, volunteers, and trained security personnel. All of these individuals must undergo intensive, thorough background checks with the state and the Department of Child Services, as well as competency, safety, and crisis intervention trainings."

The event advertisement describes vague activities such as "GAMES!," "FOOD!," "VENDORS!," "FUN!," and "ENTERTAINMENT!" A sign-up form has more information, though it also raises more concerns, as it reads, with added emphasis:

This year Indiana Youth Group is excited to partner with Indy Pride during Pride Month to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ IYG youth ages 12-20. On Wednesday June 7th from 1-6 PM EST a Carnival will take place at Indiana Youth Group. IYG Youth will celebrate Pride month with their peers in a safe space as they enjoy Carnival food, snow cones, face painting, bounce houses, while playing a variety of Carnival games. Along with the opportunity to meet local Indy Drag Royalty! 

While the information provided claims to talk about "a safe space," there is no indication as to why children need to be subject to such activities without parental involvement. 

The sign-up form also asks for the attending youth's pronouns. Not only are "she" or "he" not the only ones, they're not the first. The first option is "They/Them/Theirs," followed by "She/Her/Hers" and "He/Him/His." There's then the more outlandish options of "Ze/Zir/Zem/Zeir" and "Xe/Xir/Xem/Xeir" and one that's described as "Any with respect." If that's not enough, there's an option for "Other," where another option can be filled in. 

The Daily Signal report also has some concerning information about the groups involved, particularly when it comes to how they feel about parental rights, raising even more red flags as to why they explicitly refuse to let parents attend:

Indiana Youth Group describes itself as an organization that “serves young people ages 12-24 who self-identify as LGBTQ+, as well as their ally peers.” On its website, the group says it “strives to provide safer spaces to build self-confidence, explore individualism, and develop friendships within the LGBTQ+ community.”


Discordantly, Indiana Youth Group claims on its website to “advocate for LGBTQ+ youth … through family support services,” although families aren’t invited to the June 7 event.

Indiana Youth Group’s Instagram post describes the carnival as a “youth” event, but the allowed age range includes adults ages 18 through 20.

The organization did not comment on this discrepancy when The Daily Signal reached out for an explanation.

Parental rights advocates have expressed serious concerns over the sexual content at so-called Pride festivals and events over the last decade. Parents say they have been shocked and horrified over overt sexual displays by drag queens performing and mimicking sexual acts in front of children at self-described “family-friendly” events.

In 2020, Indiana Youth Group launched Project Prism, which it describes as a “rapid rehousing project … focused specifically on serving LGBTQ+ young adults.” The group says its program rehouses LGBTQ+ young adults from “unsupportive” homes and parents. 

Indiana Youth Group CEO Chris Paulsen told The Indianapolis Star that “many of these youth are homeless due to family rejection,” adding: “After coming out to their families, youth are often thrown out of their homes or left feeling like they have no choice but to leave.”

The Daily Signal's report also noted that the Indiana Youth Group actually receives funds via the state Bureau of Motor Vehicles for IYG vanity plate subscriptions as one of their "organization plates." The bureau's website indicates that there's a $25 "Group Fee" involved and that those fees "are distributed back to the sponsoring organization, who determines what the funds will be used for."

Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN), who represents the state's 3rd district in the northeastern part of the state and is running for U.S. Senate, weighed in with a statement for Townhall expressing his concerns. "I find it very disturbing that a taxpayer-funded institution would be sponsoring an event that explicitly tries to keep parents from their young children. There is no explanation for this other than the fact they know parents would object to whatever message it is they’re selling," he said.

It's not merely LGBT groups involved in the event, though. The Instagram post mentions involvement from the Indianapolis Airport Authority (IAA). "Planning is underway for the IYG x @indypride Youth Carnival presented by Indianapolis Airport Authority!," the post begins by reading.

Indianapolis Airport Authority officials provided Townhall with a statement upon being asked "if the IAA has any concerns with how this event specifically excludes parents from attending with children." 

"The Indianapolis Airport Authority is not a host of this event; rather we are one of many Indy Pride Inc. sponsors. As part of the Indianapolis Airport Authority’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, we sponsor several organizations, like Indy Pride Inc. For questions about the Indiana Youth Group event, please reach out to the hosting organizations," the statement read. 

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