COLUMBUS, Ohio — It's the start of Pride month and events across Greater Columbus are kicking off this week.
The Stonewall Columbus Pride March returns for the first time in two years since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Roughly 17,000 marchers registered to participate in the event.
The march will step off at 10:30 a.m. Saturday at Broad and High streets. The procession will travel north on High Street toward Goodale Park.
As of 7 a.m. Friday, the following areas are closed for the march:
- Dennison Avenue at Goodale Boulevard north to Buttles
- Collins Avenue at Dennison Avenue west to Hunter Avenue
- Poplar Avenue at Dennison Avenue west to Hunter Avenue
- Hunter Avenue at Goodale north to Buttles
- Highland Avenue at Buttles north to Collins
You can read all of the road closure information here.
Many other events are coming back in person for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic — and some central Ohio communities are hosting their first official Pride celebrations.
List of Pride events this weekend
Friday, June 17
Saturday, June 18
Stonewall Columbus Pride March – 10:30 a.m.
Saturday, June 25
Pride in Grove City – 10 a.m.
Reynoldsburg Pride -- 4 p.m.
About Pride Month
While there are celebrations and other gatherings all year in support of the LGBTQ+ community, there typically are many pride-themed events during June. How did that come to be?
It’s in recognition of the Stonewall riots in New York City, which happened on June 28, 1969. On that day, police raided the Stonewall Inn, a popular hangout in Greenwich Village for many in the queer community. The rough treatment of patrons from police led to days of protests and riots and was a significant catalyst for the gay rights movement in the U.S.
When did June officially become designated as Pride Month? According to the Library of Congress, this tracks back to June 11, 1999, when President Bill Clinton declared a formal proclamation issuing June “Gay & Lesbian Pride Month.”
In June 2009, President Barack Obama also issued a proclamation for Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month, which celebrated the contributions made by LGBTQ+ Americans and acknowledged broader initiatives like the HIV pandemic.
But celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community are not just limited to June, according to Emily O’Hara, a spokesperson for GLAAD.
“So, traditionally, pride was a big parade in June at the end of the month to celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising,” O’Hara explained. “But now it’s been over 50 years and we see pride tend to take on more of an all-year-long quality, where you see celebrations in different places at different times of the year.”