Columbus Community Pride
Columbus’s alternative Pride celebration by and for LGBTQ+ BIPOC since 2018
Who We Are
Who We Are
Community Pride arose from the need to move queer and trans people of color from the margins to the center. It arose from the need to reject police from our spaces, because we know well how the police seek to punish and destroy people like us. It arose from the need to be treated like full, vibrant people instead of like a marketable demographic. If you’re looking for meaningless rainbow capitalism, Stonewall Columbus has plenty of that to offer. But if you’re looking to celebrate in a way that truly pays homage to our radical legacy and that prioritizes people over profit, then join us with Community Pride! We host a series of fun, free events throughout Pride month in June and a free outdoor festival in the fall. Support grassroots, QTPOC-led projects and come to Community Pride!
Why Community Pride
Why Community Pride
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 trans and queer individuals — were arrested. They have become known as the #BlackPride4. Read more about the #BlackPride4 on our About page.
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.
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, in 2018 Black Queer & Intersectional Collective launched Community Pride, a celebration that centers QTIPOC and those at other intersections of oppression, takes no corporate sponsorship, and fights openly and wholly against state-sanctioned violence.
Columbus Community Pride is focused on three central issues that inform and are informed by every aspect of Community Pride. We have compiled and consolidated these issues from conversations and meetings we had with community members prior to the first Community Pride celebration in 2018. The below points serve as guiding principles for Community Pride.
1. We center queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC) and other marginalized communities.
As made clear by Stonewall Columbus’ (SWC) lacking and tone-deaf responses to the #BlackPride4, SWC, the organization that puts on Columbus Pride, does not stand for marginalized groups in their community. Likewise, LGBTQIA+ organizations in Columbus lack an adequate amount of people of color on their boards and staff, leaving people of color unrepresented and overlooked. People of color have been shunned from the larger LGBTQIA+ community, leaving them without access to the resources that cisgender, white, upper-middle class LGBTQIA+ people have. Additionally, people who are immigrants, poor, disabled, sex workers, and of other marginalized groups face oppression from multiple angles.
By focusing on intersectionality by default, we bring to the forefront those who are often forgotten by one-dimensional movements. Community Pride puts the needs and wants of QTIPOC at the forefront in order to celebrate the lives of and provide services for QTIPOC in Central Ohio.
2. We condemn all aspects of state-sanctioned violence, including but not limited to police brutality, the prison industrial complex, job insecurity, food insecurity, unfair working conditions, and sexual assault.
The Columbus Division of Police is one of the most violent police forces in the U.S., ranking itself at the top of police departments in murdering Black people. CPD also has a history of responding with undue force to peaceful protesters. Trans people of color are killed at alarming rates in the U.S. and abroad, and too often their murderers walk away unscathed. At the same time, trans folks face housing discrimination and homelessness; one in five trans people have experienced homelessness at some point in their lives. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is actively forcing people out of the U.S. – primarily immigrants of color. We condemn forced deportations and support those struggling against them such as Edith Espinal, a woman who has been in sanctuary in Columbus for months to fight against unjust deportation.
Institutional forces such as those mentioned above have wreaked havoc on our communities both locally and nationally. We will not stand idly by while our siblings are harmed by the state. We will not collaborate with the Columbus Division of Police for Community Pride.
3. We support grassroots social justice work and community advocacy over money-hungry corporations.
Locally, we have seen that corporations that are meant to advocate for the community have continually failed us. SWC allowed the brutalization of QTIPOC by police at their Pride parade in 2017 and have done nothing to diminish the charges against the #BlackPride4. Columbus City Council, the legislative branch of the city, are meant to represent and support their constituents; However, through an appointment process that happens behind closed doors and away from public opinion, City Council evades its need to represent inhabitants of Columbus.
We have found time and time again that if we want change, it must come from the community, not organizations with corporate money and power. We will not take any corporate sponsorship for Community Pride; we solely take donations.
Community Pride In The News
“Community Pride Festival Highlights Queer People of Color With No Police Presence,” Columbus Navigator (2019).
“No Police Invited: Community Pride Promises Safe Space for Queer & Trans People of Color,” Columbus Underground (2018).