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Top Stories This Week in the Chronicle.
June 1, 2007

Pride Holiday has a month of events in Columbus

Columbus--June is going to be a busy month in Columbus, with Pride Holiday filling it up from beginning to end.

The highlight of the month will, of course, be the Pride parade and festival, returning once again to Bicentennial Park.

The parade will step off from Goodale Park at 1 pm, wending its way through downtown Columbus until it lets out at the gorgeous riverside venue.

Once there, dozens of vendor and community group booths will provide hours of distraction for attendees, while the main stage entertainment will keep the crowd rocking “to the point of no return.”

That’s right, Exposé will headline the entertainment, along with lesbian comedian Marga Gomez, Ariel Angels, Eric Himan and more.

Local performers include the incomparable Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus, Flaggots Ohio, the Capital Pride Band, the Columbus Stompers and Habeeba’s Belly Dancers.

Of course, while the Pride Parade and Festival are undoubtedly the largest events in Columbus for Pride Holiday, they are by no means the whole enchilada.

Pride kicks off on June 2 with a trio of events: Cruisin’ in the Park, a classic auto show at Goodale Park from 2-4 pm, the Center on High Turns South Beach party at Stonewall Columbus from 6-11 pm featuring DJs and belly dancers, and the Stoney Shorts Festival presentation of Band Fags by Frank Anthony Polito and In the Business by Lori Cannon, also at Stonewall at 7 and 8 pm. Tickets for the plays are $5, and attendees can get into the South Beach party for free with their ticket stubs. Otherwise, it will cost $2 to get into the party.

Barbara Wahru Cleveland will also be building a drum chorus to perform at the Pride Festival. Meeting each Monday at 6:30 pm from June 4 to 18, the series costs $60 in advance or $75 at the door.

Wednesdays in June are Gay History Days. Four weeks of panel discussions and films will illustrate what life was like for LGBT people in the “good old days,” which weren’t always good.

On June 6, Debra Moddelmog will moderate and participate in the “Show and Tell” panel discussion, along with Heather Mitchell, Suzie Simpson and Jan Brittan. Panelists and audience members will bring in their own personal items to tell part of the story of the Central Ohio lesbian community. What you bring is up to you, but definitely plan to attend.

On June 13, the panel will be “In the Life: Black and Gay Back in the Day,” with moderator Wanda Ellis and panelists Chynia Dickerson, Sile Singleton and Kathy Wilson. The history of the LGBT community has a tendency to whitewash itself, so come and hear another aspect of the story.

On June 20, things turn a little saucy with “Cruising: Male Dating and Sex Before AIDS and the Internet.” Rob Berger, who organized the month of panel discussions, will moderate, while Russ Goodwin, Douglas Whaley and Jerry Gordon will comprise the panel. Come to this intriguing discussion to hear about how men connected, emotionally and physically, in the homophobic days before Gay.com, Woofs and Axis.

The last program is not a simple discussion, but rather a screening of three videos, including a movie underwritten by Stonewall Columbus about city council’s abortive attempts to grant LGBT antidiscrimination protections in the early ’80s, a video about 1982’s inaugural Columbus Pride Parade and selections from Stonewall Columbus’ public access show in the 1980s.

There are a handful of fundraisers for Pride and Stonewall Columbus along the course of the month, too, ranging from the June 10 Columbus Crew soccer game, for which $20 tickets to the lower sideline reserved group seats benefit the community center, to the 5K Run for Pride at 9:30 am at Goodale Park on June 17.

June 9 is the date for this year’s Pride Poker Run. Sign-up is at 11 am at Club Diversity, and bikes leave at noon. The fee is $20 per rider and $15 for each passenger.

On June 14, the film 20 Straws: Growing Up Gay will debut at the Drexel Gateway, with showings at 7 and 9 pm. There will be a questions and answer session immediately after each showing, a ticketholders for either screening are invited to an 8 pm party with the cast.

Continuing with the artistic element of Pride is the June 21 An Exhibit of Pride at Garfield Place, 36 South Garfield. At 5 pm, there will be a champagne reception, followed by public admission at 8 pm. The reception is $25, and general admission is only $5.

Rocking in the Streets and Dancin’ in the Streets on June 22 and 23, respectively, contribute even more music to Pride Holiday weekend. Both events will be in the East Village parking lot at 630 North High Street, while Qasis Pride kicks off this year with a three-day festival from June 22 to 24 at Q Bar.

The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus has their annual Pride concert on June 22 and 23, this year with a New Orleans theme and the title, “The Big Easy.”

The month wraps up with the Pride Jazz Brunch on June 24 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. The brunch is from 11 am to 1 pm.

More information about all the Pride-related events is available at http://columbuspride.org.

 

 

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