Columbus Community Pride 2018: Back to Our Roots
Columbus Community Pride 2018 was a series of five educational and social events, all culminating in a day-long festival. Community Pride focused on three main issues that informed all aspects of the events.
1. We center queer, trans, and intersex people of color (QTIPOC) and other marginalized communities.
By focusing on intersectionality by default, we bring to the forefront those who are often forgotten by one-dimensional movements. Community Pride 2018 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.
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, and we will hire Black-owned private security to keep our community safe from institutional forces.
3. We support grassroots social justice work and community advocacy over money-hungry corporations.
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.
Find out more about Community Pride on the website!
At Columbus Pride 2017, a group of Black queer and trans protesters and their allies gathered with the intent of silently blocking the parade for seven minutes to protest the recent acquittal of Philando Castile’s murderer and to hold space for Black and brown queer and trans people. Instead of allowing the protesters to exercise their First Amendment right undisturbed, Columbus Police Department (CPD) officers promptly rammed protesters with bikes, maced them, shoved them to the ground, chased them with horses, etc.
Of the protesters attacked by the violent police officers, four Black queer and trans folks now known as the #BlackPride4 were arrested and slammed with charges ranging from resisting arrest to disorderly conduct. One person was wrongfully charged with the felony of aggravated robbery.
To demonstrate our outrage at the police’s violence and the suppression of Black queer and trans resistance, we worked from June 2017 to March 2018 on the grassroots defense campaign to #FreeTheBlackPride4. Alongside other outraged individuals and supporting organizations, we held rallies, direct actions, fundraising initiatives, calling campaigns, and public awareness efforts to assist the #BlackPride4 through their struggles with the criminal injustice system. We also worked to hold Stonewall Columbus accountable for allowing their ingrained white supremacy to keep them silent and inactive after Black queer folks were brutalized by police at their own event.