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Pride Calendar

Mitch Hooper

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Columbus might be viewed as a cornfield in the Midwest to the rest of the world, but what they might not know is we have the third-largest Pride celebration in America, giving major cities like San Francisco and New York a run for their money. In way of celebrating all the city is championing this month, this extended calendar is your guide to Pride with art exhibits, parades, festivals, and so much more for you to sink your teeth in.

Pride At The Wexner Center For The Arts

The Wexner Center For The Arts will be featuring two artists whose work touches on LGBTQ+ lives. Starting June 1 until September, Alicia McCarthy: No Straight Lines will be on showcase where her abstract takes on punk and queer subcultures is highlighted through various styles of media such as graffiti and found or recycled items. Additionally, Barbara Hammer’s work will also be on display with Sensual Bodies on June 13 which features her experimental abilities. Just a short week later, another variety of Hammer’s work, Political Bodies, will be shown. Of the different works in the 100-minute video compilation is Would You Like To Meet Your Neighbor?—an exploration through hidden queer histories.

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Loud and Proud Tour – Columbus 2019 Pride After Party
June 13 @ TRISM

Even before parade festivities kick off on Pride weekend, you can get the party started at one of campus’ most popular event spaces for a party raging from 9 p.m. Thursday night to 2 a.m. Friday morning. Join hosts Karin and Skyler and hit the dance floor for an LGBTQ+ DJ lineup that includes Kandy, Cristy Lawrence and Skyler Madison. Tickets are just $10, so get yours quick.

Photo by freemind-production for Shutterstock.

Columbus Pride Tea Dance
June 14 @ BrewDog in Franklinton

What other Pride event offers the opportunity to bump shoulders with a Grey’s Anatomy star? Join the hit show’s Ohio-born Jake Borelli on the breathtaking rooftop bar at Brewdog’s Franklinton location for drinks and dancing. The Tea Dance is a reference to secret afternoon speakeasy meetups among the LGBTQ+ community in the 1950s and 1960s, but make no mistake, this event is all about letting your pride be seen and heard from the highest reaches of downtown.

Unity Ball
June 15 @ Axis

At Axis’s 18th annual Unity Ball, you can have a blast celebrating Pride without feeling guilty about the money you blew through when you wake up hungover. The last 17 years of the event have raised over $1 million for local charities and LGBTQ+ civic groups. The $20 tickets also include admission to Dragapalooza, making this one of the hottest tickets in town over Pride weekend.

Columbus Pride Brunch 
June 16 @ Greater Columbus Convention Center

We know you’ll be getting hammered for Pride weekend, so why not start your Sunday recovery by getting some quality food in your system. Brunch will be served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Convention Center while Andrew Levitt, aka Nina West, will be honored. Levitt, a Columbus-native, placed sixth on season 11 of RuPaul’s Drag Race. What better way to wind down Pride than a hearty meal and the chance to meet a local celeb? •

Photo by aceshot1 for Shutterstock.

Pride Throughout The City

Of course, the big celebration that rivals NYC is Stonewall’s Parade on June 15 which steps off at Poplar Ave. and High St. Furthermore, you can join in on the fun on June 14 and 15 with Stonewall’s Pride Festival at Bicentennial and Genoa Park. But what’s a party without an afterparty? The official after-party for both days of Pride this year is hosted at Ms. Vikki’s Restaurant & Banquet Hall. There are VIP tickets available which secure you a table, allow you to skip the lines, and receive complimentary drinks for the night. However, Stonewall isn’t your only chance to celebrate Pride in Columbus. Community Pride will be hosting a variety of events such as a Spoken Word and Live Arts and Performances event at The Vanderelli Room on June 4. The schedule slate for Community Pride also includes a Queer Club Night on June 7 and a Documentary Screening and Panel Discussion on June 11. For more details about Community Pride’s events, speakers, and locations, stay tuned to their website at columbuscommunitypride.org.

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Stonewall makes statement on CPD, Pride celebration in October

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Editors' Note: An earlier publication of this article referred to the cancellation of both the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade. The Festival will not take place in 2020.

Originally rescheduled for Sat., Oct. 3, the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival and Parade will not take place in 2020. According to a statement made by Densil R. Porteous—Stonewall Columbus interim executive director—Stonewall Columbus will focus its efforts on committing to the Black Lives Matter movement and better serving black trans allies during an untraditional celebration of Pride in October.

"We are not quite ready to discuss what will happen on that date as we are still sharing information and getting feedback from various constituents across the community,” said Porteous. “While October is not the traditional month of Pride it is LGBTQ+ history month and we plan to bring and encourage just as much pride in the celebration of LGBTQ+ history as we do in June celebrating our progress in motion to this point."

Along with bringing up the need for the Stonewall Columbus community to be a stronger voice for black transgender people, Porteous talked about the legend of black trans activist Marsha P. Johnson, who was a firecracker at the Stonewall uprising of 1969. You can read about a (614) review of a documentary about her life and death here and catch it streaming on Netflix.

"I believe (the presence of police) causes ‘triggers’ of what has happened in the past, causes them to think of what can happen in that moment, and that makes people feel unease at times when their thoughts and experiences should be full of celebration and pride," said Porteous.

In the statement posted on Facebook, Porteous also mentioned that Stonewall Columbus would “no longer contract with or engage the CPD for security during Columbus PRIDE and other Stonewall events.” The Columbus Pride Festival and Parade's safety and security have been provided by volunteers, including some off-duty CPD.

https://www.facebook.com/stonewallcolumbus/posts/10160036609179899

"Like any vendor with which we contract, we have to ensure our constituents are satisfied with the service the vendor provides," Porteous said.

For a brief overview of where Stonewall Columbus got its namesake from, check out this (614) article here.

Porteous is hopeful for a future, though, where police and citizens can co-exist peacefully.

"We have a firm belief that Columbus has the opportunity to be an exemplar for what community, government, and police can do when we all come together and think intentionally about the work that needs to be done to move us forward," Porteous said.

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Pride Movie Month: How to Survive a Plague

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Tolls on the number of people infected and killed by a disease have been an unavoidable modern-day nightmare that has plagued screens across the world. Intermittently throughout the 2012 documentary How to Survive a Plague, the number of those taken by the AIDS epidemic that spiked in the late 1980s starts at just over half-a-million in 1987 and climbs to 1.2 million by 1989.

The numbers are catastrophic, and they really put into perspective what a deadly pandemic looks like. Or what it looks like when the government ignores your faction of life. 

Every faction of the gay community has its own battle. At times they’ve been divided over their different fights, but fighting back against authority has always been in the DNA of any LGBTQ+ movement. While the disease was “mysteriously” killing gay men, thousands took to the streets pleading for a cure. 

The loudest of these voices came from Act Up, a grassroots group that took it upon themselves to end the AIDS epidemic. The epicenter of this epidemic was Greenwich Village, New York City. This is where leaders of the LGBTQ+ community, like Larry Kramer and Peter Staley, fought word-for-word with New York politicians, demanding equality and progress toward a disease that was 100 percent fatal without a cure.

So much like today, in a time when people aren’t asking for ridiculous demands, peaceful protestors during the AIDS crisis would be dragged away by police into vans. While police brutality has continued under the eye of America, in the 1980s, the LGBTQ+ community was losing two wars: the one against the police and the one against AIDS.

With no one coming to their aid, gays became their own doctors, drug smugglers, physicians, drug dealers— a product of a society ignoring their needs.

The eerie score of cellist Arthur Russell throws the viewer into a helpless abyss. The most haunting example of this comes when protestors throw the ashes of their friends and AIDs victims over the fence guarding the White House. It has to be one of the most dynamic images of the neverending LGBTQ+ struggle.

Act Up does end up making a difference in the long battle against AIDS, but it’s not before the disease has taken over 8.2 million lives worldwide. 

These are the numbers you see when a government doesn’t step in.

How to Survive a Plague is available to stream on Amazon Prime.

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Photo Gallery: Juneteenth march from police headquarters to Maroon Arts Group complex

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Photo by Rebecca Tien.
Friday—the day that would have kicked off Pride weekend—was instead the day that a few hundred residents joined the LGBTQ community and its Black Lives Matters counterparts at 6 p.m. and marched the nearly two-mile stretch from the Columbus Police Department to the Maroon Arts Group complex to peacefully protest and make their voices heard.Libations followed by a resounding, Ashay, from the crowd. Messages of solidarity. The persistent beating of drums. A liberating walk through a historically black neighborhood. All done to celebrate these three things on Juneteenth 2020: heritage, Pride, and blackness.The Pride March to Commemorate Juneteenth, organized by Black, Out, & Proud, peacefully and powerfully exhibited the strength of the LGBTQ+ and black communities in Columbus and their continued fight against systematic racism.During a weekend that is typically dedicated to Pride, the LGBTQ and black communities came together to further amplify black voices at the frontline of protests.These voices of Black, Out, & Proud community leaders, including co-founder of Bake Me Happy Letha Pugh and local artist Charles Smith, addressed the needs of black LGBTQ members, radical change within the city’s police department, and an urgency to continue to push forward the cause for equality. After almost 30 minutes, protesters then assembled to begin a march to MPACC on Mount Vernon. For nearly an hour, protesters filled the streets, following a truck with a chorus of uplifting drumming and calls for peace, justice, and equality.Below is a gallery of images captured by (614) freelance photographer Rebecca Tien.Previous Next
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