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It’s that time of the year again: time to support your local grassroots Pride celebrations! There are many beautiful spaces across central Ohio and we hope that you will consider joining us for Columbus Community Pride 2023. This year we will have events running from May through September, and culminating in the Columbus Community Pride 2023 festival on September 23rd from 12-7PM at Mayme Moore Park. We hope that you will join us in supporting our sixth year of Columbus Community Pride as we proclaim that we are Here to Stay!
Columbus Community Pride 2023: Here to Stay celebrates the enduring legacy of resistance and survival in the face of unrelenting state violence. The theme reminds us that Black and Brown queer, trans, and intersex folks from all walks of life have always preserved by grounding ourselves in intentional community and building our own systems of care, safety, and healing outside of the influence of the state. We are rooted in these values and this is what allows Community Pride to continue to flourish.
“Here to Stay” also honors how our queer, trans, and intersex elders from communities of color have led countless movements toward liberation throughout history. We believe that working for the most marginalized among us will serve to benefit everyone, and our collective liberations as oppressed peoples are intertwined. We thus work for the liberation of all oppressed people, including but not limited to those in oppressed positions based on their gender, sexuality, race, socioeconomic status, employment, housing, citizenship, disability, religion, etc. We remain in solidarity with local and broader struggles against oppressive forces that disrupt our livelihoods and opporunity to live freely.
And of course, Community Pride itself is here to stay. Building upon our previous themes thus far, “Back to Our Roots” (2018), “Decades of Resistance” (2019), “FTP!” (2020/2021), and “The Future is Queer” (2022), we are happy to be bringing this grassroots festival celebration into its sixth year in central Ohio. As we navigate the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, white supremacists disrupting queer spaces, fascist legislation at the Ohio Statehouse, police targeting our people, and more, we maintain our commitment to resisting state violence in all its forms and building abolitionist futures.
We retain our commitment to Black trans elder Miss Major Griffin-Gracy words: “I’m still fucking here!” by striving to make the world a better place for future generations of queer, trans, and intersex folks. We know that to do this, we must also continue to cultivate our connection to those ancestors who previously did the same for us. Here to Stay declares that queer, trans, and intersex folks refuse to be eliminated and will continue to fight for our right to now only survive, but thrive, for many generations to come.
Columbus Community Pride 2023: Here to Stay will have summer events starting in May and running through June, then we’ll take a summer break and return for fall events in August, and September. We hope that you will support and celebrate with us in whatever way you choose, whether that be donating to our fundraising, attending an event, telling a loved one, or sharing on social media why Community Pride is important to you. The schedule of events is below; this list will continue to be updated with further details as they become available, as will our social media platforms.
Our fall Community Pride festival will be at Mayme Moore Park on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023, from 12-7PM. We hope to see you there!
At Stonewall Columbus’ 2017 Pride parade, several community members stepped out into the street with the intent of bringing public attention to the lack of safe spaces for Black and brown LGBTQIA+ folks within the larger LGBTQIA+ community. Within one minute of leaving the curb, the group was accosted by aggressive CPD officers, who assaulted them with bikes, pepper spray, and sheer force. During this altercation, four folks––all of whom were Black, and most of them trans and queer as well––were arrested. Since then, they have become known as the #BlackPride4.
Stonewall Columbus, despite hosting the parade at which this altercation occurred and claiming to be an advocacy organization “for all” LGBTQIA+ people in Central Ohio, thoroughly failed to aid the #BlackPride4 after their arrest; they refused communication with them and their supporters, resisted public calls for change and resignations, and, lastly and most egregiously, testified against Wriply, Kendall, and Ashley (three members of the #BlackPride4) in their respective trials.
Years later, in 2023, after all we’ve been through, things have not changed much. The Executive Director role at Stonewall functions as a rotating carousel of Black faces, each individual continuing the tradition of gaslighting and minimizing the harm done to the #BlackPride4, specifically, and QTIPOC, generally, through their lack of genuine community conversations and failed accountability processes. Even recently, since the last executive director was chosen, many people who were harmed by Stonewall were intentionally excluded from future accountability processes. For all of these reasons and many more, we believe that our community deserves a space to celebrate our queerness; a space that is free from the police, state violence, and rainbow capitalism.
Columbus Community Pride 2023: Here to Stay will take place in May, June, September and October 2023. We will have safe in-person events and virtual events this summer and fall that will build up toward the this year’s in-person festival on Saturday, September 23rd, 2023. Through events such as Queer Art Night and ], we hope to highlight the vibrant lives of QTIPOC individuals and communities at other interstices of oppression. The festivities will culminate in the Columbus Community Pride Festival on Saturday, September 23rd at Mayme Moore Park. The festival will include visual and performance artists, vendors, workshops, arts & crafts, various community resources, free water & snacks, and a designated childcare area! We are currently raising funds so that all Community Pride events, including the Festival, are FREE to attend. The only event known to cost will be our annual fundraising event, Queer Skate Night, at Skate Zone 71 in June.
This year, as every year, we maintain our commitment to making Community Pride a safe and inclusive space for everyone. With our grassroots celebration, we aim to reconnect with the radical, anti-capitalist origins of Pride and to further the safety and liberation of the most marginalized in our communities. Let us honor and continue the work of our fierce leaders and Queer and Trans Ancestors, such as Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, by providing a pride celebration that is free from corporations and police! In order to fulfill the promise of liberation for QTIPOC in Central Ohio and beyond, it is imperative that we create alternative spaces outside of white, cisgender, ableist, and capitalist pride celebrations.
Any funds raised will be used towards this year’s Columbus Community Pride. Specifically, funds will be used to rent venues, pay artists and panelists, rent/purchase equipment, assist in community advertising and outreach efforts, cover additional costs such as food, invest in culturally-competent safety measures, and to cover other expenses associated with hosting Columbus Community Pride 2023: Here to Stay. Any additional funds will be used towards Community Pride 2024.
We want to be able to make all Community Pride events FREE to attend, but we need your help to make this a reality!
Check out our website for details and updates at columbuscommunitypride.org.
Here are our May and June events!
Here are our September and October events!! Location and time TBA for our fall lineup.
Here are our trainings to skill up the community and convene our community safety team for the Community Pride festival and events!
This event list will be updated periodically with more information.
Thank you so much for your support,
The Columbus Community Pride 2023 Team