Security Without a Police Presence!

As many know, Community Pride is not working with the police in any way. We have seen time and time again how the police treat queer and trans people of color and will not support any institution that does not support us. We care deeply about the safety of our siblings who will be attending the Columbus Community Pride 2018: Back to Our Roots Festivaland have hired private security instead.

Highland Security & Investigations, LLC is a Black trans-operated private security firm that we trust personally to keep attendees safe and secure. C.O.O. Ty Crenshaw (pictured) and his team will have a presence both at and surrounding the festival. They are armed and tactically and socially trained to keep us all safe.

Should you have any safety or security problems at the festival, H.S.I. officers will be wearing neon yellow shirts that say EVENT SECURITY.

Support us by getting some merch!

This just in: we have some amazing merch for sale!

After lots of interest from our comrades who live outside of central Ohio, we are happy to launch the online store for Community Pride!

We have three items available: the official t-shirt in black and in white and a tote bag (online exclusive!). Since base prices for online sales is more than the amount we are selling our in-person t-shirts for, prices are more expensive for our online t-shirts. We really apologize for that!

We hope those who want some Community Pride memorabilia are able to get it from afar! Let us know if you have any questions!


Many queer and trans people of color answer a resounding NO. Mainstream Pride festivals across the nation have widely been whitewashed and corporatized, in addition to their reliance on overwhelming police presence. Falling in line with that pattern of complicity and collusion with systemic oppression, Stonewall Columbus refused to condemn or hold the CPD accountable after the#BlackPride4 were brutally arrested at the SWC Pride Festival and Parade last June.

Stop motion collage: Bobby Luck
FIlming and editing: Cheyenne Garnes

Kelli Oliver: No! [Laughs] I don’t feel comfortable in most situations [laughs] particularly situations where there are large amounts of police or thousands and thousands of people and it’s, like, heavily surveilled. Situations like that, I certainly don’t feel safe or comfortable. The Pride that exists in Columbus as it is, it’s like when you walk in there it’s, like, very clear that it wasn’t meant for me.

Dkeama Alexis: I never feel comfortable in largely white spaces that are laden with police officers because again those are two things that make me incredibly vulnerable and [that are] dangerous for me as a queer person of color And that’s what mainstream pride is.

Amita Sharma/Ace Stamos: Basically right after the #BlackPride4 incident happened at the bridgem like pretty immediately after even like last year, we were like ,we have to have qa conversation about this
Figure out what’s going to go down. I think it was already in most of our minds at least that we weren’t going to be involved with Stonewall anymore, and I think that decision really came from, you know, making a conscious choice about who are we standing with and who’s important. Again, I think it’s very important in my life that I have to stand with people of color, i have to stand with queer people when it comes to making those types of decisions.

Dkeama Alexis: I especially don’t want to attend a celebration hosted by Stonewall Columbus because they are falling into that larger pattern of whitewashing and marginalizing people of color. But then their response — or rather lack thereof — to the violence that happened against the #BlackPride4 last summer just goes to show that there is a lack — a glaring lack — of accountability within that sphere, that nonprofit sphere that is run by white people — queer white people — but then it also goes to show that they aren’t really here to listen to our concerns after the fact because they didn’t do anything about police presence at Pride, and they haven’t done anything to protect or support the #BlackPride4 after the incident. Actually, they went so far as to testify against the #BlackPride4 after those bogus arrests went to trial.

Wriply Bennet: I have only ever attended mainstream Pride I’m going to say about 3 times in my, like, entire life in Columbus, and it was because it was always very, very White. It never felt safe for me, and I never feel comfortable around police, and it was always overpoliced.