Stonewall Columbus celebrated its 39th birthday today, marking nearly four decades of support for the city’s LGBT community.
“For 39 years, we’ve worked to uplift and enhance the community to ensure that we are seen as equal and contributing members of the central Ohio region. And that’s been a really, really great and exciting thing,” said Densil Porteous, interim executive director of Stonewall Columbus.
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Porteous said Stonewall Columbus has evolved to fit the changing landscape of the city in this time. Although it started with a primary focus on political action, he said it has since grown into a community center dedicated to providing resources and connection for LGBT folks across central Ohio.
Another major focus of the modern Stonewall Columbus is its annual Pride celebration. Porteous said it ranks as the second largest Pride parade in the Midwest, bringing over 800,000 attendees to the city from around the globe. In honor of LGBT History Month in October, the center will be posting Pride parades from throughout history online so members of the community can celebrate Pride whenever they like from the comfort of their home.
According to Porteous, Stonewall Columbus is preparing for a big year leading up to its 40th anniversary, starting in January when they roll out “Pride 365.” More information about this and other programs will be released next month.
“This is the evolution of our organization,” Porteous said. “We are not only celebrating Pride in June, but we’re celebrating our pride all year long.”
Community members who want to support Stonewall Columbus can donate online here.
“I’m ultimately really thankful to the Columbus community for being such great partners in the work that we’re doing and for holding us accountable to always strive to be better and do better,” Porteous said.
More information and online resources for members of the LGBT community can be found on Stonewall Columbus’s website here.