HALLOWELL — When there’s a celebration in this small city on the Kennebec River, Sparky Lindsey isn’t one for the sidelines.

Last Halloween, she was creating a witch costume to wear in the annual parade and pub crawl when she accidentally sliced a tendon in her left index finger.

“I spent three hours in the ER,” she recalled. “I got out and still walked in the parade.”

Still, the Alabama native might outdo herself this weekend, when the city holds its first ever celebration of LGBTQ Pride. Those letters stand for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning.

Lindsey, 59, is one of the organizers of the three-day event, which begins Friday evening and ends Sunday afternoon.

She described herself as a “lipstick lesbian” — meaning a gay woman with a more traditionally feminine style — and said that’s she gunning for the best-dressed award. She’s put together an outfit that includes a sequins gown and a hat adorned with flamingo-shaped lights, which she showed off during a recent interview.

“It’s amazing what you can do with tutus and hula hoops,” Lindsey said, referring to some of the ingredients in her headwear.

For years, Hallowell has been seen as a welcoming place to people of all sexual orientations, genders and other identities.

So it seemed like a natural setting when, last year, a group of area residents decided that central Maine needed its own Pride parade, to match those in Portland, Bangor and other communities.

However, because of an ongoing construction project that has gutted Water Street, the organizers decided to wait until next year to hold a parade.

In its maiden year, the Hallowell celebration will include a drag contest, an art exhibit for LGBTQ youth, an educational presentation on LGBTQ terminology, and other events, all at restaurants, bars and businesses around downtown Hallowell. More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page.

June has been named LGBT Pride month to honor the Stonewall riots of 1969, which took place in New York and are seen as the tipping point in the gay liberation movement, according to the Library of Congress.

In Hallowell, this weekend’s events will be both a toast to the gains that have been made in the LGBTQ community and a chance for groups that still don’t have equal access to many resources to feel safe and welcomed.

On a recent afternoon, Lindsey described the celebration during an interview at the Quarry Tap Room, the bar that will host the drag show on Saturday night and other parts of the celebration.

She bumped into a group of her friends who had just finished playing golf that afternoon and, like her, are lesbians.

Some of those women have married their partners. One such married couple, Maggie Black and Judy Milan, of Fairfield, said they married three years ago but have been a couple for about 35 years. Now, they enjoy the securities that arrangement has brought, such as access to shared benefits such as those from the federal Social Security program.

But they also said that they fear the administration of President Donald Trump could roll back protections for same-sex couples.

This weekend, they said, will be a good opportunity to celebrate people like them and also to be celebrated by their allies.

“Gay, straight or purple, you’re accepted here,” Lindsey said of the event.

Another organizer, Victor Trepanier, is an 18-year-old from Augusta who identifies as a queer, transgender man.

Trepanier, who came out as transgender just before his 16th birthday, will be leading the presentation on Saturday afternoon about terminology in the LGBTQ community.

He has also pushed for LGBTQ rights at the State House, which is partly why the advocacy group Equality Maine gave him its young leader award this year.

The challenges facing the transgender commmunity are many. They include day-to-day discrimination from people who don’t take their identities seriously, as well as more logistical challenges, Trepanier said.

But after traveling to Pride celebrations in Portland, the young man said that he’s encouraged the capital area will now have one of its own.

“Pride Month is a really empowering time of the year,” he said. “My identity isn’t always taken seriously. Some people choose to overlook it, and that’s superhurtful, obviously. But it’s nice to have a whole month to embrace my identity and not have to be scared. There’s plenty of places to go now.”

Charles Eichacker — 621-5642

[email protected]

Twitter: @ceichacker

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