Duluth Superior Pride Festival Focuses on Youth

By KBJR News 1

August 31, 2013 Updated Aug 31, 2013 at 7:04 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) --More than ten thousand people are expected to walk through the gates of Bayfront Festival Park for the 27th annual Duluth/ Superior Pride Fest this weekend.

The festival offered many activities for everyone and resources for the LGBT community.

Part of the focus at the Pride Festival was the organization's new youth committee to give LGBT youth more involved in the community.

"We are trying to get more volunteers. Just kids involved with their high school clubs at the many college and university clubs to get out there, get their voice out," said Nathan Westerberg who is part of the new Youth Committee.

However, for some LGBT youth, having their voice be heard is a challenge.

"Over the last year I've had some issues with depression and feeling suicidal. Actually, teens are four times more likely than non GLBT teens to commit suicide, or want to. So I think going to a group like this is really great to get the support that you need and the resources," said Savanna Johnson, a 17 year old Hermantown High School Senior.

Johnson is part of 'Together for Youth,' a group created through Lutheran social services. Pride also wants to have their own support group for teens.

"We want to let people know that there are many people their age that are going through the exact same thing and we want to be there to help show them it's ok to voice their opinion show who you are without being ashamed of that," said Westerberg.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the festival, couples were exercising their new rights.

"We have officiates on hand to perform marriages, the only thing that we ask of our couples is that they have marriage license in hand and that its been a five day waiting period which is Minnesota law," said Lynn Youngblom, a volunteer.

For more information about the rest of the festivities for the weekend click here