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 Black and 3 Black trans and queer individuals––were arrested. They have become known as the #BlackPride4.
Despite hosting the parade at which this altercation occurred and claiming to be an advocacy organization “for all” LGBTQIA+ people in Central Ohio, Stonewall Columbus not only failed to aid the #BlackPride4 after their arrest, they refused communication with them and their supporters, resisted public calls for change and resignations, and, finally, testified for the prosecution in the #BlackPride4 trials of Wriply, Kendall, and Ashley.
2 years later…
There have been many community conversations that have occured between LGBTQIA leaders since the first Columbus Community Pride 2018. In these conversations, the majority of leaders expressed a need for Stonewall Columbus to publicly apologize for what happened to the #BlackPride4 in 2017, an acknowledgement that police brutality occured at their parade, and next steps on how their event will be more inclusive in the future with cultural competency training. Each conversation has ended with Stonewall Columbus stating they will apologize but they have yet to do so.
Stonewall Columbus’ gross failures to protect and support the #BlackPride4 and all queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC)––as well as their refusal to condemn CPD’s actions or police presence at Pride––makes it necessary to provide an alternative Pride celebration FOR the community BY the community.
In solidarity with the #BlackPride4’s initial message, Black Queer & Intersectional Collective and its partners are organizing a celebration which centers QTIPOC and those at other intersections of oppression, takes no corporate sponsorship, and outrightly fights against state-sanctioned violence.
WHAT COMMUNITY PRIDE LOOKS LIKE:
Columbus Community Pride 2019: Decades of Resistance, will take place from June 1st–15th, 2019. With celebratory and educational events ranging from dance parties and documentary showings to invited speakers and art shows, we hope to highlight the vibrant lives of QTIPOC and communities at other intersections of oppression. Community Pride will culminate in the Columbus Community Pride Festival on Saturday, June 15th, which will include performance and visual artists, arts & crafts, a community resource fair, workshops, childcare, free water and more! We are raising money so that every Community Pride event, including the Festival, will be FREE to attend.
We are committed to Community Pride being inclusive and safe for everyone. Community Pride will not be for police or corporate organizations. Rather, it will be a grassroots effort in support of the seeds of Pride: a community-based coalition which furthers the safety and liberty of the most marginalized in our communities. 50 years ago, Pride started as a riot. Let’s honor our fierce leaders who fought for us years ago by providing a safe and inclusive space without corporations or police! In order to grow the promise of liberation for QTIPOC in Central Ohio and beyond, we must create space outside of white, cis, ableist corporate Prides.
WHERE YOUR DONATIONS GO:
Any funds raised will be used to fund Community Pride: to pay artists and invited speakers, to rent venues, to rent/purchase equipment, to advertise to the communities we most need to reach, to cover any food costs, to invest in culturally competent safety measures, and any other expenses associated with building our weeks of Columbus Community Pride 2019. Any additional funds will fund Community Pride 2020 (15%) and go to local causes fighting for social justice (85%).
Again we want all events associated with Community Pride to be FREE to attend. We need your help to make this a reality!
Check out our website for details and updates at columbuscommunitypride.org.