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June 15. 2012

Cincinnati’s grand marshals have changed their city

Cincinnati--Apparently Ohio’s Three Cs decided to do a count-up for grand marshals this year. Columbus, being the first Pride of the three cities has one marshal, Cleveland is next weekend with two, and Cincinnati, wrapping it up on June 30, busted out three very impressive grand marshals, each eminently worthy of the honor.

Lynne Lefebvre, vice president of the Cincinnati chapter of P-FLAG, is one of them, having spent over a decade with the organization, since her son Ross came out a decade ago. She has worked to repeal Article 12, demonstrated, lobbied, marched, shouted and cajoled and supported for over ten years.

Chris Seelbach, who also worked to end the anti-gay charter amendment, has the additional distinction of being the city’s first openly gay city council member. He founded Xavier University’s gay-straight alliance and has been on the boards of GLSEN and HRC Cincinnati. Since stepping into his role as city councilor in January, he has already help usher in domestic partner benefits for city employees and was named a “New Power Player” by Cincinnati magazine. All of that, and he’s still got at least two years before he can legally run for president.

The final grand marshal is in the running for the title of Most Over-Achieving Minor. Adam Hoover, in addition to founding an organization to provide household items for the needy, has organized pro-marriage rallies in Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. He’s garnered around a quarter million “Likes” on Facebook for his “Support Gay Marriage in Ohio” page.

The parade this year steps off at 11 am at Seventh and Sentinel Streets, west on Seventh, south on Vine, East on Fifth, south on Walnut, east on Freedom Way, south on Main Street and east on Mehring Way to Sawyer Point, where it hits the festival.

This year’s headliner is Grammy nominee Frenchie Davis from American Idol, who will join an entertainment line-up filled with talented acts.

Thee include the Ohio King All Stars, Italian by Design featuring Lawanda Jackson and Leah Halsten, Amaya Sexton and Friends from Club Masque, and Queens of the Queen City.

Among the musicians, the diversity in genre goes across the board, from pop-rock act Vito Emmanuel to hip hop acts Swagg & Hollywood and LAX & Hawt Commoditi. Tom Goss will bring the folk while Kevin Thornton will bring his musical comedy, while Jasper the Colossal will supply the punk.

As usual, Cincinnati Pride starts far earlier than the actual Pride parade and festival. The Cincinnati Men’s Chorus puts forward their Pride show, “It Gets Better,” on June 23 and 24, and on Tuesday, June 26, there will be a benefit performance by Amy and Freddy at the 20th Century Theater in Oakley, with special appearances by the CMC and the Queen City D-Dolls.

On June 27, St. John UCC will screen the documentary Thy Will Be Done, about Sara Herwig’s efforts to be ordained as a Presbyterian minister. Herwig is transgendered, and mainline Protestantism still has trouble dealing with issues of gender and sexual orientation.

On Sunday, July 1, head over to 7th and Bakewell in Covington for Northern Kentucky Pride to wrap up the week.

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