Carlow’s Grand Marshal for their first ever Pride Parade has been announced.
19-year-old Nicole Carroll, who as well as being a strong supporter of Pride, is also a poet and has spina bifida, has been chosen to lead the way on July 21st.
Parade organiser, John Paul Payne called to her house recently to surprise her with the news and posted a video of it online.
They presented her with a framed certificate which reads:
“Carlow Pride Festival Committee bestow the title of Grand Marshal on Nicole Carroll on the 21st of July 2019.
“Nicole will lead the way to be the first person ever to complete the route of Carlow’s inaugural pride parade.
“This title holds historical significance for LGBT+ people and it is therefore awarded to Nicole because of her incredible outlook on life and her inspirational attitude.”
Nicole, who was visibly moved by the gesture, said she would be honoured.
She also accepted an invitation to open the Pride Festival in Carlow with some of her spoken-word poetry.
Nicole says, “it shows that it’s OK to be different and never shy away from certain situations… It doesn’t matter how big of the group is doing something, or how small of the group is doing something, if you want to do something you do it.”
When asked by John Paul what she would say to someone who is finding themselves struggling with some of the same things she has struggled with, Nicole answered, “It can get better. It always does… Be confident in who you are. Confidence is the main thing. You have to find yourself first and be confident and stay with that confidence.”
The inaugural Carlow Pride Parade will take place on July 21st this year, beginning at St Patrick’s Carlow College at 1.30pm.
Here’s the full video, created by SUNFA Films: