A Complete Guide to Lesbian-Gay-Bisexual-Transgender Parades, Festivals and Events Throughout Ohio
The Chronicle’s annual Pride Guide special issue is on stands across the state starting Friday, June 8. It contains 80 pages of information about festivals and parades all over Ohio, performers at the events, and the people making them happen.
Below is a rundown of Pride celebrations in the order that they happen, excerpted from the Pride Guide. For a complete list, click on "Charlie’s Calendar" above, or pick up a Pride Guide.
by Sandra Sobieraj
Washington, D.C.—For the past few years, Pride Guides such as this one have carried a greeting from the president of the United States. But not this year.
President George W. Bush will not designate June as a time of recognition for gays and lesbians.
White House spokesman Scott McClellan said Bush will not, as President Bill Clinton did, issue a proclamation designating this month Gay Pride Month.
Nor, as another White House official put into writing this week, will the executive office of the president sponsor an observance.
"The president believes every person should be treated with dignity and respect but he does not believe in politicizing people's sexual orientation. That's a personal matter," McClellan said June 1.
In a staff memo circulated by the White House Office of Administration via e-mail, managers within the administration were advised:
"The executive office of the president will not sponsor an observance for Gay and Lesbian Pride Month. The executive office of the president will continue to observe, in some form or manner, the special emphasis programs that are traditionally recognized through the Affirmative Employment Program. Those programs recognize minorities and women that have been traditionally underrepresented in the work force."
David Smith, spokesman for the Human Rights Campaign, the country's largest gay and lesbian advocacy group, said that since Bush became president in January he has signed proclamations designating Black History Month, Women's History Month and Irish-American Heritage Month.
Bush has "reached out to other constituencies," Smith said. "His refusal to reach out to our community calls into question his promise to be president of all the people."
In previous years, Clinton signed proclamations for Gay Pride Month and his administration sponsored speakers' forums for the occasion.
This year, some executive branch offices, including the Interior and Transportation departments, are still planning their own observances regardless of White House endorsement. |
by Anthony Glassman
Cincinnati-Cincinnati Pride, invigorated with Olympic dreams and studies of the effects of Issue 3, has its main events on June 10 with a rally, a parade and a music festival in Hoffner Park.
The festivities, however, will start considerably earlier than 11 am that day. They will kick off a week earlier with the AIDS Volunteers of Cincinnati Drag Races.
The Drag Races, a wildly successful annual fundraiser for AVOC, consists of four-person teams donning dresses, purses, wigs and heels and running a relay race down Court Street for the honor of getting the Golden Pump Award. The race will start at 4 pm Sunday, June 3, with registration beginning an hour earlier.
The Drag Race will cap a street festival on Court Street beginning at 1 pm, which will include live bands, booths for local businesses and organizations, food and drink.
The festival, though, is only a small part of the weekend. Friday will see a drag show at Shooters, 927 Race St., and male exotic dancers at the Pipeline, 241 Court St. On Saturday, Shooters will have Country Western Night, while the Pipeline’s upstairs dance club Flux will feature DJ Wayne Shepard. Spurs, located at 326 E. 8th St., will have a cookout on Sunday at 4 pm. Shooters will host a benefit drag show at 8 pm, while in Flux a "Winner’s Circle" dance will feature host Miss Mona Lott along with Blak Cheri, DJ Chris Mercier, Larry Fought and DJ Gumbo.
Of course, that’s all leading up to the main event seven days later, the Cincinnati Pride Parade and Festival. At 11 am, a one-hour rally will lead up to the parade’s step-off from the Burnet Woods Gazebo in Clifton.
The keynote speaker will be Scott McLarty, a longtime Cincinnati-area activist. Since moving to Washington, D.C., he organized that city’s Green Party, and helped negotiate the merger between DC’s Green Party and the D.C. Statehood Party. He coordinated the Green Party’s platform on human rights, offering far-reaching LGBT protections, for the 2000 campaign. Before he left Cincinnati, he was one of the leading protestors of the 1990 obscenity case surrounding a Robert Mapplethorpe photo exhibit and of the Cracker Barrel restaurant chain’s homophobic employment policies.
Other speakers include Phebe Beiser and Vic Ramstetter of the Ohio Lesbian Archives, originally housed in Beiser’s home, now in the Cincinnati Women’s Building, home of Crazy Ladies Books; Cynthia Jeffries, director of outreach and public relations for Crossport, Cincinnati’s most prominent transgender support organization; Larry Wolf, long-time community activist and gay journalist, and Ed Hicks, also a longtime Cincinnati LGBT activist, currently on the staff of the Memphis Business Journal.
John Maddux will read a Pride proclamation during the rally, which will be hosted by Ken Colegrove, producer of Alternating Currents and organizer of this year’s events, Erica Riddick, Michael Chanak, Wendy Mataya and the parade’s grand marshal, 76-year-old Peaches LaVerne, Cincinnati’s oldest female impersonator.
The Pride parade will step off from the Burnet Woods Gazebo at noon, heading north on Clifton Ave., onto Ludlow Ave., and winding up at Hoffner Park at roughly 1 pm, where the Out 2 Hoffner Park Music Festival will take place.
A baker’s dozen acts will be featured in the festival: Tracy Walker, Black Magic Rhythm All Stars, the Gordon Freeman Trio, Happy Charles, the Tigerlilies, Just The Band, Jaime Fota, Vicki D’Salle, VocalPoint, Ronald Brooksbank, Bill Durham, Don Keaton and Don Nicastro.
After an absence of many years, Cincinnati showed its pride last year with a parade, which promises to be eclipsed by this year’s.
Toledo--Gays and Lesbians United, Inc. presents Decked Out 2001, its sixth annual dinner and dance as one of Toledo’s biggest Pride events on Saturday, June 9.
The event will once again be held aboard the Willis B. Boyer lake freighter museum ship, docked at International Park, across the Maumee River from downtown Toledo.
Music will be provided by Bretz and Mobile Music.
Boarding for dinner begins at 5:45 pm. Boarding for the dance and fair begins at 7:30 pm.
Tickets for the entire evening are $75, while tickets just for the dance and fair are $15 in advance or $20 at the gangplank.
Tickets are available by calling 419-292-1524, or at the Bowling Green State University Women’s Center, Common Language Bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Eagle’s Wing Christian Church, MCC Good Samaritan Parish, People Called Women, Pumpernickel’s Deli, R-House, Rainy Day Creations, and area bars. See http://www.toledoglu.org for more information.|
New parade route ends in downtown, a short walk from lakeshore festival site
by Anthony Glassman
Cleveland--Thirteen, they say, is an unlucky number. Just look at the unfortunate effect the Friday the 13th movies had on American cinema.
Thirteen, however, will be the luckiest number of all for Cleveland Pride, now in its thirteenth year.
A slew of diverse events will mark this year’s festivities, from an eight-night pool tournament to square dancing; dance parties to a Pride interfaith spiritual service.
For entertainment, no less stellar of personalities than Judy Tenuta, little flower and Goddess of Love, and Ultra Naté, dance diva extraordinare, will headline the Pride festival itself.
However, to start at the beginning, the first official Pride events involve the Eight-Ball Pool Tourney, which started June 5 at Rockies. The single-elimination tournament will go on June 9 at the Rec Room, June 11 at Muggs, June 12 at Victory’s, June 13 at the Grid, and the finals will be at Rockies, where the whole thing began. The winner will get $300, with a $50 prize for the runner-up.
Chevrei Tikva, Cleveland’s LGBT Jewish congregation, will have a Pride Shabbat service at the Unitarian Universalist Society, 2728 Lancashire in Cleveland Heights, just west of Coventry. The service will be at 8 pm on Friday, June 15.
The official Friday dance party of Cleveland Pride will be at the Grid, 1281 West 9th St. The word on the street is that the Grid will be moving, so this will be one of the last chances to burn up the dance floor at their current location.
Of course, on Saturday, June 16 the parade and festival will take the day. The rally will start assembling at 12:30 pm at East 18th St. and Euclid Ave., in front of Cleveland State University’s law school. A pre-parade rally begins there at 1 pm.
This year, the Cleveland Pride Parade honors six local activists as grand marshals, six people from diverse backgrounds, reflecting the cosmopolitan nature of Cleveland: Judy Montgomery, co-founder of the Cleveland chapter of the GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network; Larry Webb, co-founder and board member of BlackOut Unlimited; Patrick Shepherd, one of the founders of the Cleveland Stonewall Democrats; Ashley Simone, Ms. Black Gay Ohio; Marcia Lane, board member of BlackOut Unlimited, and Bruce Kriete of Cleveland’s P-FLAG, Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and Safe Schools Are For Everyone.
The parade follows a new route this year. Stepping off at 2 pm, marchers head west on Euclid to Public Square, go around the BP building onto Superior Ave., and finish at East 6th St. and Rockwell Ave.
From the end of the parade, marchers can follow sidewalks one block to East 9th St., then north to the festival on the lake shore.
The festival will run until 8 pm in Voinovich Park at the north end of East 9th St. behind the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It will have two stages of entertainment, the main stage and the dance/drag stage, as well as a beer garden.
Of course, the entertainment will be some of the most memorable of the day’s events.
Everybody knows Judy Tenuta. Comedian, actor, self-styled Love Goddess, Blesser of Bunions, Queen of Elvis Impersonators, the woman has her own religion, Judyism. In addition to being the first stand-up comedian to win Best Female Comedian at the American Comedy Awards, Tenuta is a longtime supporter of LGBT rights, often playing to predominantly gay audiences and huge ovations.
Ultra Naté is less well known, unless you like to dance. She hit the scene in 1989 with her single "It’s Over Now," which made a huge splash in dance clubs all over the world. Her later hit, "Free," climbed the dance charts domestically and topped them abroad before it became a big crossover success. Like many other dance music stars, Ultra Naté has given back to the community, playing at LGBT and AIDS fundraisers and Pride events around the world.
In addition to Ultra Naté and Judy Tenuta, singer, pianist and songwriter Skott Freedman will perform for festival-goers. Freedman, a native of New Jersey, has toured with such luminaries as Sister Sledge and CeCe Peniston. He started playing the piano as a small child, performing a mournful reworking of the Israeli national anthem for his dismayed parents.
Singer and guitarist Doug Wood will also bring his moody mastery of acoustic guitar to the festival. Born in Denver, Wood’s I Am Kiroc album is available at Amazon.com, and has gained attention for the artist, especially on college radio stations. Now solo after the 1997 breakup of his Boston-area band Watts Gnu, Wood’s music is introspective, thoughtful, and sincere, a welcome change from today’s music scene filled with artificially created boy bands and teen idols.
Kelly Zullo, sexy siren of alt-country, will also be on hand, spinning her minimalist webs of music. Described as a "fine example of how less can sometimes be more," Zullo uses simple basslines and guitars, along with her own grrl-rock vocals, to ensnare the audience. Her debut album, Thin Line, got her a lot of attention from alternative and college rock stations across the country.
Local folk-rockers Ann’s Decline are also slated to play, fresh from their May 18 concert at the Symposium with Alexis Antes. Rounding out the bill will be dancers Fire & Desire with their Diva Tribute act, originally commissioned for the Womyn’s Variety Show, a far cry from their usual ribald fare.
The fun does not end at 8 pm, however. Saturday’s dance party will be held at Club Faces, 1020 Euclid Ave.
Don’t stay up too late, though. At 8 am on Sunday, June 17, there will be a 5k Pride Fun Run on the beach at Edgewater Park on the shore of Lake Erie. The event will be coordinated by the Cleveland Frontrunners; more information is available by calling 216-623-9933 or 216-382-6715.
For those feeling spiritual after the run, Trinity Cathedral at East 22nd and Euclid—two blocks from where the march stepped off--will host a Pride Interfaith Worship Service at 3 pm, featuring clergy from a number of denominations, including Virginia Ramey Mollenkott, author of the new book Omnigender: a Trans-Religious Approach, advocating a more accepting, well-rounded view of gender roles.
Pride Weekend will wrap up with a Sunday night dance party at Funky Buddha, located at 1360 West 9th Street.
For more information on the Cleveland Pride parade, festival, or any of the other events, call 216-371-0214, or see their web site at www.clevelandpride.org.|
by Greg Summers
Cleveland-You think you have what it takes to be the best? If so, bring it on! Rack ’em and crack ’em is the battle cry heard throughout seven Cleveland bars since June 5, as the the Second Annual Cleveland Pride Eight-Ball Shoot-Off began.
The tournament is a single elimination tournament. Contestants will play at each individual bar for a prize of $25. The winner and runner- up of the bar will then go on to Rockies on Thursday, June 14, at 8 p.m. and play for a prize of $300 for the winner and $50 to the runner-up.
This is an annual event sponsored by Cleveland Pride, and a traveling trophy will also be awarded at the finals to the winning bar’s representative. This trophy--and bragging rights--will stay with that bar until next year’s playoff and the crowning of a new winner.
Come cheer on your favorite pool player or enter the tournament yourself for a chance at a very good prize. The preliminaries began on June 5 at Rockies, June 6 at the Leather Stallion and June 7 at the Tool Shed. The tournament continues June 9 at the Rec Room; June 11 at Muggs, June 12 at Victory’s, and finishes up June 13 at the Grid.
You can register at one or all of the bars for your chance to win this $300pot. Registration is $15 per person for each event that is entered. Pride committee members will be present at all preliminaries and at the Shoot-Off to answer any questions about Pride or to sign you up as a volunteer.
The official Imagine Pride tee shirt will be sold at all venues at a pre-event discount and some very nice prizes will be offered in a raffle to benefit Pride.
For questions or information you may call the Pride line at 216-371-0214 and leave a message for Greg, or e-mail directly to TriCGuy@aol.com.|
Greg Summers is the vice president of Cleveland Pride.
Dayton--There’s something going on throughout the streets of Dayton. You can see it everywhere. From the rainbow bumper stickers to the really cute guy down the street that washes his car wearing really short shorts. What do these have in common? They all have "Too Much Pride to Keep Inside," which is the theme for this year’s Pride celebration.
This June, all area GLBT folks and supportive friends are invited to attend the 15th anniversary of the Dayton Gay Pride Celebration. This year promises to be the best yet.
From June 2 to 17, there will be a GLBT Film Festival at the New Neon Movies, 130 E. Fifth St., Dayton. See below for films; for show times call 937-222-7469 (222-SHOW) or see www.neonmovies.com.
Join our contingent of proud Daytonians and support the Cincinnati Gay Pride event on Sunday, June 10.
On Saturday, June 16, celebrate Pride at the Dayton Convention Center, corner of 5th and Main. From 5 pm to 7 pm the Miami Valley’s 15th annual GLBT Business Exposition will include complimentary appetizers, music and a cash bar. Some exhibitors may have items for sale.
At 7 pm the Pride dinner and program will begin. The program will feature the Rubi Girls; the Strangely Attractive Players; Timothy McFeeley, political director for the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force; State Senator Rhine McLin, Dayton City Commissioner Mary Wiseman and special guest Ashley West. There will be special tributes to community leaders and much more. The MC for the evening will be Tom Simmons.
Tickets for this event can be ordered online at www.gaydayton.org/pride or at one of the ticket outlets: Q! Gift Shop, Books & Company, Earth Song Herbal, Stage Door and Club Diva.
The next day, Sunday, June 17, join GLBT friends and family for a day at Carillon Park, on Patterson Blvd. across from NCR. The event will be from 1 to 5 pm. It will be free to all. Join in the games, picnic and listen to great music.
A host of activities will include an artisan and business expo area, a children’s activities area, adult activities including a "Wacky Olympics" competition, a fast-pitch booth, a dunk tank, and a DJ spin-off. Food, beverages and beer will be available. For more information contact Randy Davis at 937-429-1728 or e-mail him at email@example.com.
On Saturday, June 23, Dayton will have a presence at the Columbus Pride event. Join our Float Team and show that Dayton is proud. To participate call Dale at 937-275-4438.
For more information about any of these events, call 937-275-3059 or e-mail DaytonPride2001@aol.com .
To reserve space at the expo, call Randy at 937-429-1728 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
To reserve an ad in the annual resource guide call Brown Creative Computing at 937-222-1003 or e-mail email@example.com .
Dayton--The Neon Movies, corner of 5th and Patterson, in conjunction with the Dayton Pride Partnership, announces the month-long Dayton Gay and Lesbian Film Festival. The month-long event will feature collections of shorts and features both in matinees and regular evening film times. For the complete listings, log onto www.neonmovies.com.
Tickets are $5.00 for matinees or $7.00 at regular movie times; $5.00 for seniors and children available at all viewings. Festival tickets are available for $30.00 each and contain ten punches, which can be used in any combination. One punch equals one movie admission for one individual, and multiple punches from one card can be used at any showtime. Tickets can be obtained at the box office of the Neon Movies, 130 East Fifth Street, adjacent to the Oregon District. For information call 937-222-8452.
Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, 1 pm
First Shorts Package, includes Scout’s Honor, Faggots are for Burning, No Regrets and Parole, sponsored by Faith UCC, Ron Jacobs and Larry Young, David Lauri, Jack Farris, the Community Coalition and the Pride Partnership; introduction by Larry Young.
Sunday June 10 at 5:30 pm and Monday June 11 at 7:30 pm
The Broken Hearts Club, sponsored by the Gryphons, introduction by David Spegele
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 12-13 7:30 pm
All Over the Guy, sponsored by Q Gifts, introduction by David Dailey.
Friday, June 15 and Sunday, June 17 at 7:30 pm
Lost & Delirious, sponsored by Club Diva, introduction by Jamie Hughel.
Tuesday and Wednesday, June 19 and 20, 7:30 pm
Late Bloomers, sponsored by the Women’s Forum and the Dayton Lesbian-Gay Center, introduction by Judy Goldsmith.
Saturday June 23 and Sunday June 24 at 1 pm:
Show Me Love, sponsored by Club Diva, introduced by Jamie Hughel
Tuesday June 26 and Wednesday June 27 at 7:30 pm
Second Shorts Package, including Lone Star Hate, Horse Dreams in BBQ Country, Affirmations, sponsored by Faith UCC, Ron Jacobs and Larry Young, David Lauri, Jack Farris, the Community Coalition and the Pride Partnership, introduction by Ron Jacobs.
Saturday June 30 and Sunday July 1 at 1 pm
Love is the Devil, sponsored by the Neon Movies.
The festival ends July 1.
Parade kickoff returns to Goodale Park, but at the western side, on Dennison Ave.
by Anthony Glassman
Columbus—"Twenty Years of Pride: Fairness, Safety, Equality" will be the theme of this year’s Columbus Pride Holiday celebration.
Celebrated continuously since 1981, this is Ohio’s longest-running Pride event. Stonewall Columbus, the event’s organizer, is determined to make this year’s festivities the best, connecting the past, present and future of LGBT Pride in one dynamic whole.
The events of Pride weekend will span the centuries, starting with "20 Years of Pride, 2,000 Years of Faith," and ecumenical Pride worship service at the Broad St. United Methodist Church, located at the corner of Broad St. and Washington, at 10 am Saturday June 23.
The parade kickoff will return to Goodale Park this year, but this time on the west side of the park along Dennison Ave. The ComFest fair is on the east side of the park.
The parade will line up starting at 11 am June 23. At noon, marchers will step off, head north to Buttles Ave., east to High St., then follow High to the festival, once again held at Bicentennial Park on the Scioto River downtown.
In addition to changing the location of the step-off, there will be another alteration to the parade from last year. Last year for the first time, the Columbus Pride Parade had grand marshals. This year, there will be over 20 of them.
A poll was taken for people who have made the most difference in Columbus’ LGBT community, and the top 20 people, or groups of people, will ride in cars in places of honor in the parade if they are able.
Among the honorees are Todd Anglin and Ed Tomsic, held in high regard for their longtime activism and involvement with a number of local organizations; Chris Cozad and Gloria McCauley, the heart and soul of BRAVO, the Buckeye region Anti-Violence Organization; Brad Koogler, founder of Kaleidoscope Youth Center; Dwight Moody, Martha Boadt and Josette Bodonyi, founders of Columbus P-FLAG, and Gloria Smith, former executive director of Columbus AIDS Task Force. This is, of course, a small sampling of the people who have shaped the last twenty years of gay life in Columbus; the complete list is below.
Pride will bring back the ever-popular dog tags to indicate that you have already made your donation when you enter the festival. This year, they will be orange. The tags will be $7, which includes the $5 donation for the festival. A limited number of Pride 2000 dog tags are also available through Stonewall Columbus. This year’s tags will also be available with Freedom Rings. The dog tag/Freedom Ring combination is $15. Dog tags must be purchased in advance.
Pride will also introduce a new fundraising effort, Pledge a Protester. Much like pledging for a charity walk, you simply pledge to donate a certain amount of money for each protester that shows up to spew bile at the parade. As the organizers note, either the protesters will stay away to keep from supporting Pride, or they will ensure that Pride continues to raise funds for the LGBT community.
Among the events at the festival itself, one of the most popular is the commitment ceremony. Last year, 55 couples were joined at Pride, the largest group in Columbus Pride’s history.
This year, the ceremony, officiated by Rev. Rickie Marecek, will be at 5 pm on the main stage after the last performance. Marecek will be available next to the entrance to the Family Area to sign couples up for the ceremony, or couples can call her at 740-345-4952 to pre-register, so she will have a certificate ready on the day of the event. The suggested donation for each certificate is $10.
Of course, Pride wouldn’t be complete without entertainment. This year, the performances will be emceed by the Cap City Divas, with Verna Dette, Vinnie Viagra, 2 Sides of Susan, 2001 Outie Award-winning Female Illusionist Mary Ann Brandt, the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, Legacy, HIS Kings and the Columbus Stompers are all scheduled to perform.
The festival will end at 6 pm this year, due to the large numbers of people leaving well before last year’s 7 pm closing time.
The end of the festival, however, does not mark the end of the festivities. In addition to numerous bar parties on Saturday night, Sunday morning brings Pride Brunch 2001, hosted by Suzanne Westenhoefer, at Lindey’s, 169 E. Beck St. Tickets for the 11:30 am event are $50. They had been $75, but support from Lindey’s enabled the price to be dropped.
Perhaps the most famous, or infamous, Pride event in Columbus will take place after the brunch. The Bat ’n’ Rouge drag softball game will have a Brady Bunch theme this year, featuring a contest for the best Tiger impersonator.
The game has been moved to Mohawk Middle School’s ball field, located at 300 E. Livingston Ave.
The event will benefit Stonewall Columbus, Camp Sunrise, Pater Noster House, the Ohio AIDS Coalition and the Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball Association.
At the end of the month, the final Pride event will end things on a bittersweet note. A candlelight vigil will be held on Thursday, June 28 at 9 pm on the steps of City Hall to remember those who have gone before, a fitting end to "Twenty Years of Pride-Fairness, Safety, Equality."
Twenty are honored for their impact on LGBT life
This year, the Columbus Pride Holiday committee has chosen to honor 20 people, couples or groups, who have greatly impacted and had major influence on LGBT life in Columbus.
Community suggestions, advisory panels, and input from many community leaders resulted in these Pride grand marshals for 2001.
Todd Anglin and Ed Tomsic, for longtime support of AIDS work, CATF, business owners and Stonewall Columbus.
Chris Cozad and Gloria McCauley, for advocacy work, founding the Lesbian Business Association, work on the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization and with Stonewall Columbus.
Elliot Fishman, for legal issues, political issues, community support and leadership, and as an initial Stonewall fundraiser.
Fred Holdridge and Howard Burns, for columns, support, and as longtime role models in German Village.
Lynn and Sue Greer, for political roles, support, family involvement, contributions to the community, and the Greer Foundation.
Edie Holler, ally, business owner and supporter.
Orin Huntington and David "Dolly" Zimmer, founders of the Berwick Ball and longtime community leaders.
Mary Jo Kilroy and Cindy Lazarus, representing the political leaders, allies and supporters over the years, Kilroy’s work on the school board, and since the first Pride, Lazarus’ work to pass an inclusive ethnic intimidation ordinance.
Brad Koogler, founder of Kaleidoscope and contributions to LGBT youth, and for his involvement in recreation sports leagues.
Phil Martin, a founder of the Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, OSU GLBT Student Services, Stonewall, and his column in Columbus Alive.
Sue Mayer, Human Rights Campaign dinner chair, community supporter, proponent and instigator of President Jennings at OSU doing so much LGBT work on policy.
Jill McDonald, longtime business owner, supporter of the community, largest women’s bar east of the Mississippi River.
Dwight Moody, Martha Boadt and Josette Bodonyi, founders and leaders of Columbus P-FLAG.
Corbett Reynolds, bar owner, Red Party coordinator, promoter of Columbus LGBT community.
Rhonda Rivera, for significant contributions on LGBT legal issues, political issues; an early leader of Stonewall.
Steve Shellabarger, for longtime community support, HRC national co-chair, Stonewall supporter.
Gloria J. T. Smith, executive director of the Columbus AIDS Task Force for 13 years, on the Stonewall board as an ally.
Doug Whaley, Craig Covey, Craig Huffman and Val Thogmartin, leaders and creators of Stonewall Columbus.
Alice Wing, first LGBT restaurant, longtime supporter and business owner.
H. L. Wright, MCC board member for nine years; Stonewall and CATF board member, community supporter.
First Lollapalooza, then Lilith… What if there was a festival of out gay performers?
by Anthony Glassman
Cleveland—Summer has, over the last decade or so, become the season of the concert festival tour. It started with Perry Farrell’s Lollapalooza, which brought together artists from various "alternative" genres ranging from punk to goth to rap; from there, it went to OzzFest, Ozzy Osbourne’s pet project, focusing on heavy metal, and the Lilith Fair, Sarah MacLachlan’s festival highlighting female performers.
This year, however, a new star dawns on the horizon of the music gala: Wotapalava.
You are wondering, what the heck does that mean? Lollapalooza was a weird enough name, but Wotapalava is just a little beyond the pale.
It’s a phonetic spelling of the phrase "What a palaver," which is British slang for "What a lot of fuss about nothing."
Wotapalava is the first major touring festival dedicated to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender patrons and artists, the brainchild of Neil Tennant of the Pet Shop Boys.
"Wouldn’t it be great to put together a bill of out gay performers?" Tennant asked Elton John a few years ago. "Who would agree to do it? Would the performers have anything in common apart from their sexuality in this sort of Lollapalooza-with-a-difference?"
Well, the performers have many things in common, not necessarily their sexual orientation.
"More important than the sexuality of the performers is their individuality, the way each of them has followed their own instincts to achieve their artistic goals," Tennant said in a May 31 statement. "In this respect, Wotapalava is a celebration of the freedom to be what you want to be and about having the power to live as you want without fear or discrimination."
"I think one really important thing about Wotapalava is the way the diversity of the artists contradicts any stereotyping: we are not defined solely by our sexuality," he continued. Being homosexual is an important part of life but not the whole point."
Much like its concert festival forebears, a number of stages will offer a variety of fare for the concertgoer. The main stage will feature the larger acts, like the Pet Shop Boys, Rufus Wainwright, Soft Cell and the Magnetic Fields. There will also be a stage given over to dance, with a rotating DJ line-up including Junior Vasquez, Danny Tenaglia and Paul Oakenfold.
Special guests will also appear at various stops on the tour, including the Village People and Gloria Gaynor.
The tour will hit Ohio at Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls between Akron and Cleveland on July 23, ten days after the start of the tour. In the festival area, DJs Lydia Primm and Susan Morabito will spin non-stop dance music throughout the day.
According to Jennifer Black, marketing director of Blossom Music Center, additional acts may be announced, and festival organizers are looking for a replacement for Sinead O’Connor, originally slated to play the main stage throughout the tour.
"They decided that she didn’t really fit in with the rest of the acts," Black said, relaying organizers’ concerns that O’Connor’s introspective, mellow sound wasn’t in keeping with the party-like atmosphere of the event. Unfortunately, advertising for the event had already been submitted before O’Connor was dropped, so the ads do not reflect that change, or any possible late additions to the line-up.
The cabaret stage is expected to feature such acts as the Weather Girls and Bjorn Again, an Abba tribute band. Rumors abound of an additional stage dedicated to drag performances rounding out the entertainment.
In addition to multiple stages, there will also be a vendor area, open to businesses with Ohio retail permits. Vendor space can be reserved by calling Blossom’s sales department.
While the festival itself is being sponsored by Gay.com, PlanetOut.com and the Human Rights Campaign, who will also benefit from it, the Gay People’s Chronicle is the media sponsor of the Blossom stop. In addition, Blossom will have a booth at the Cleveland Pride Festival to promote the festival, where there will be a sign-up to win a pair of front-row tickets to the event. Tickets will also be given away at the Grid nightclub in Cleveland during the Pride weekend festivities.
The AIDS Taskforce of Cleveland and the Cleveland Lesbian-Gay Center will both benefit from the tour’s local stop, with booths in the festival. The center will be signing people up for membership, and both booths will be giving out information to partiers.
Tickets will be available starting at noon on June 8, and are expected to sell quickly. The two next-nearest stops to Ohio for the festival are in Pittsburgh and Detroit, so don’t miss a chance to find out what the palaver over Wotapalava is about.|
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