INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Former Roncalli High School guidance counselor Shelly Fitzgerald will be one of the four grand marshals for Saturday’s Indy Pride Parade.
Fitzgerald was forced to take a leave from the school when administrators learned she had married her partner. Just in the past few days, Fitzgerald learned Roncalli is not renewing her contract for next year, which she says is not a surprise.
Fitzgerald told our news-gathering partners at CBS4 that her federal lawsuit against the Catholic high school will go forward.
As for the pride parade, the counselor says she was asked this past February if she would lead the march down Mass Ave to the Indy Pride Festival.
If asked to speak, Fitzgerald says she intends to tell the crowd how her experience has made her more grateful and that it’s now her job to step up.
“I really feel like this is my opportunity to step up,” said Fitzgerald. “I’ve always been an advocate for my students, always been an ally regardless of what it was for, so this has given me the opportunity to gain confidence that I can stand up for people who can’t.”
Fitzgerald also says she thinks it’s good that Indianapolis mayoral candidate Jim Merritt has decided not to walk in the parade, but like many, she does expect him to evolve and change regarding LGBTQ+ issues.