The Heart of Pride: Marching into a new history at Stonewall
This past June and yet still in October more than anything we wanted to gather in solidarity and celebration. As we see numbers of COVID19 cases once again begin to climb, here in Central Ohio and the country and after close conversation with members in the extended community around the state we cannot in good conscience plan a gathering on October 3, 2020 – for the health and safety of our community.
This was no easy decision to make.
June 2020 was fraught with revelation and revolution across our country and within the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ serving organizations have been asked to hold ourselves accountable to the entire LGBTQ+ community we aim to serve; accountability coupled with energy behind the resurgence of the Heart of Pride. We hear our communities asking the proverbial “us” to rethink Pride and how we celebrate.
Stonewall Columbus commits to continue doing the systemic change work needed to ensure we are embracing all of our community while centering and uplifting those who are most in need. As an organization we commit to doing the work needed to rethink Pride; in past weeks we’ve started that work. In the coming weeks we will work to engage the community in consideration of what a reimagined Columbus Pride looks like in 2021 and beyond. Our region has an opportunity to set an example for the future of Prides around the country – or even the world. As the 14th largest city in the nation and the 2nd largest Pride event in the Midwest – we know people are paying attention.
So, what’s happening on October 3rd?
We are working to release a virtual Pride Parade video – Columbus “Prides of History”
We will roll out an initiative moving Pride from a moment back to a movement; something we embrace all the time, not just one month a year!
And more virtual announcements!
While October is not the traditional month of Pride it is LGBTQ+ history month and we encourage the community to bring just as much pride in the celebration of LGBTQ+ history as they have in June celebrating our progress in the fight to this point. We hope to work with and encourage the community, private and public, to consider a month of LGBTQ+ moments celebrating our full story and uplifting all of our history.
It’s been a fast four weeks since being appointed interim and I’ve shared “it’s been positively rewarding and rightfully stress-producing.” I am so thankful for this community’s partnership, commitment, and understanding as Stonewall is an organization in transition; during this time, we ask for a little extra grace and space as we undergo an organizational upgrade.
I look forward to engaging soon and welcoming you all to the Center!
Stay healthy; be well.
Densil R. Porteous (he.him.his)
Interim Executive Director