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Molly Pinta is working on filling a significant gap in her Illinois town at a very young age. The 12-year-old attended her first gay pride in Aurora last month with her mom and left feeling so amazed and inspired.

“I imagined having that in my hometown would be so cool and seeing the town supporting the community,” Pinta told NBC News.

Her first experience with pride is a very personal one; soon after attending the Aurora Pride Parade, Pinta found the strength to come out as a lesbian to her fellow Gay-Straight Alliance members and her parents.

“People at the parade were so open and showing their true colors,” she said. “I felt like I didn’t want to hide anymore, I wanted to show my true self.”

This is when she got the idea to create the first pride event for her town in Buffalo Grove. She reached out to the community advocacy group who created the pride she attended, named Indivisible Aurora. The group was very impressed and supportive, saying they were thrilled to help her. The first step they recommended was creating a GoFundMe, which as of Tuesday, has over $8,400 of the $10,000 goal.

She posted a video to the GoFundMe and Facebook in order to explain her efforts.

“I would love to see a pride celebration in my town,” Molly said in the video. “I recently went to Aurora’s parade, and it was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen. It was inspiring to see a parade that’s main focus was acceptance and equality.”

Pinta has also already received the support of town officials and set up meetings with the Buffalo Grove Police Department to set up the parade route.

“Molly Pinta wants to make a difference and have a parade with a purpose,” Beverley Sussman, a Buffalo Grove elected official told NBC News via email. “Molly wants everyone to respect and accept each other. She hopes this 2019 Pride Parade will educate and bring awareness to the community. This is amazing coming from a 12-year-old girl.”

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