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.
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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.
“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.