Cincinnati Pride or Privilege?

Cincinnati Pride is approaching, and this year issues have gone beyond the usual problems with Pride. Pride is a cluster of issues, visibility, consumerism and corporatization, access, politics… but this I guess it was bored of the old problems and wanted something new. One issue vexing Cincinnati Pride this year is location. Pride has moved from its ‘gayborhood’ home to Cincinnati’s downtown center, a change which has sparked some controversy. But there is another issue that is less obvious, and far more serious.

The project of Pride has been picked up by the Gay Chamber of Commerce, an organization focused on gay business success and representation in Cincinnati. “Doing pride fits right in our mission to promote the city and support our businesses.” stated George Crawford, 45 year old local gay business owner, member of the Gay Chamber Commerce and the Chairman of Pride. Support our businesses? But what about our community? The queer community is not made up of businesses and their owners, its made up of everyday people. He confirmed that the Gay Chamber of Commerce was using a project called Equinox Cincinnati to run Pride. Equinox formed last year to host a party for the purpose of, in Crawford’s words “to show the changing climate” of Cincinnati as a gay friendly city. (From where the rest of the community stood, it was a gay VIP rich folk only event.) I was surprised to learn Cincinnati had changed into an equality focused queer friendly city because as a visibly queer trans person working in the activist community, I figure I would have noticed if Cincinnati magically transformed into a mini-San Fran. When I asked about those who still did not feel safe, Crawford’s thoughts were that it was the queer community’s fault that they didn’t feel safe in Cincinnati. “We have the chip on our shoulder and scars… we need our community to get on board…” Get on board for what? He made a decent point in saying “We can’t continue to hide in a safe neighborhood like Northside [gayborhood]… we need to get out on the main streets.” I can’t help but agree with the on the streets part, but I’d like to know what I’m “getting on board” for, with who, and why. Crawford repeated words like “image,” “profit,” “income” and “reputation” – something very relevant to a business making money, but not very relevant to a community in need of resources.

According to Crawford, the goal is to make an “image” for the city as a good place for “gays” to live. Which is a nice idea, but what gays are we talking about here? I asked about visibly queer folks, trans folks, and people of color, and while Crawford stated that “Pride belongs to everybody”stressing the importance of diversity. When I asked him to expand upon efforts for diversity, however, his answer was “We didn’t do as well as we could have, but there are always going to be people you miss.” Honestly, I think the numbers are a little high for a menial oversight, though he did give a shout out to “transsexuals and drag queens” which was hard for me to appreciate.

Speaking of visibility, lets discuss the name Equinox Pride. When Pride was taken over by Equinox, Crawford said anonymous organizers thought it best to keep the name Equinox because it would bring in money. “People see “Pride” and they go ‘ew’ and don’t give it money.” said Crawford, “But with a name like Equinox they are more likely to fund it…We’re trying to re-brand our Pride.” He spoke of other cities that had ‘de-prided’ Pride, extensively removing the queer visibility from the event. Isn’t the point of Pride to be out and visible so everyone knows its queer? “Re-branding” seems a little counter productive to me, unless you’re trying to appeal to a fancy audience that is more interested in social acceptance than identity visibility. Crawford stressed that his committee only worked with queer supportive businesses that saw us as more than numbers and money, but that doesn’t meld with his statements about “re-branding” Pride.

Issues have also arisen from the communities of color, drag kings, burlesque performers, and lower income communities about inclusion and accessibility. When I approached Crawford about issues of transparency and accessibility he aired his frustrations stating that it “must not be in [kings, femmes, people of color’s] priorities to know what was going on,” and that was why people could not find the contact information. He then listed several articles and posts with contact information starting back in October, but when I went looking, including in the specific publications listed I could not find them in any archives. He also said that there is submission information on the site for volunteers and performers, but no such forms exist nor has there been clear information about how to get involved. Several people, myself included, have experienced problems and even rejection while trying to get information or getting involved. I asked Crawford directly if drag kings contacted him or the Equinox organizers. “They [ the drag king community] have not approached us…” he said, lamenting over his suffering as an organizer and the audacity of the kings to feel “slighted.” But upon speaking to people in the drag king community I found several people from various troupes who had directly spoken to Equinox organizers about drag king performance options. One troupe was told that they could not perform because there would be no local performers this year, but when talking to me Crawford stated that “85% of [Equinox Pride] talent is local.”

Maxx Lixgood, founder of the well known hip hop drag troupe The Lixgood Family, spoke with Crawford himself several times about performing online and on the phone. Repeatedly Maxx was told that organizers would get in touch with him with more information, but no one ever did. After months passed, Crawford contacted Maxx in hopes of reconciliation but by that point Maxx had given up.

“They aren’t advertising to black people or low income… drag kings…” Maxx said in reference to Equinox, “We’re urban, they don’t care about us. They don’t want me or my people, and this isn’t just me. This is how our community feels. Black people aren’t gonna go to Pride.”

Maxx also stated that Crawford specifically requested that he leave a comment on the Equinox Pride Facebook page to publicly show that they had spoken – Crawford also instructed Maxx on exactly what to say. This leads us to another serious issue. Censorship and image control.

Much of Pride’s advertising and networking has been happening on Facebook. In online organizing/writing/blogging it is generally understood that comments are a style of dialogue and unless they are seriously abusive, they are to be left as a method of documentation regarding whatever it is you’re reading, be it a blog or public community organization’s Facebook page. There have been several comments (including some made by me) on the Equinox Pride’s page that were less than positive about the event, but none were malicious or abusive. All of these comments have been deleted. One comment about drag kings on the main Facebook page resulted in a somewhat heated conversation of an anonymous Equinox Pride representative. Over the past day over half of the comments in this discussion have been deleted, leaving only the more positive feedback, and none of the negative or comments contradicting Equinox’s public statements. Crawford, who runs the Facebook page, stated that “to my knowledge we have never deleted a comment.” and “Personally I have never deleted a comment; and all admins can’t act without approval from me.” He went on to say that there was a glitch on Facebook that was causing comments to not show up, or to disappear, but even the worst glitches on Facebook wouldn’t delete comments that were there for weeks, and then only delete parts of conversation threads but not all, not to mention it would be a site-wide problem, and no one else is having issues. If Equinox Pride was a person or a private organization it would be within reason for them to monitor feedback on their page, but it is not. It is a public event for the queer community and deleting constructive feedback, dissenting or not, is censoring the community.

One idea suggested that the Gay Chamber of Commerce using business model, which would automatically lead to less transparency and a more PR oriented method. It is clear to me that this is indeed the case. When a non-profit was running things, all meetings were open and it was well advertised who organizers were. From a business standpoint, you hide all negative feedback about your product so people will think it is perfect. You manage things quietly so people can’t steal your ideas and create a fantastic front making your product out to be the best there is. No matter how consumer-based Pride becomes, it is about community, not cost, it is about PRIDE, not products.

Transparency is essential. How can we stand together if we can not trust each other. I legitimately believe that the Equinox organizers are well-intentioned people who care about their community. That said, I do not think they understand who is in their community and what we need. ? Withholding information, providing false information, censorship, and essentially creating a VIP club of rich gay folks, no matter how well intended, is manipulative and problematic. It cannot be taken lightly. The new organizers may be business profiteers, but Pride should not be a business, operating behind closed doors. This is a community event for the community, not for businesses and not for city image. It is for the people, all of our people.

“I don’t think people look at the big picture.” Crawford says, but I think its Crawford and Equinox who are not looking at the big picture, or at least, their “big picture” is not big enough. I have little interest in turning Cincinnati into a gay-money paradise when we still don’t have basic community resources and education. The opinion of Equinox seems to be that less visible communities should be doing the work to fight our way through their power so we can be seen, like it’s so easy for us to push our way to the front. I understand change is necessary, I understand money is necessary. However, I do not think that making Pride bigger is synonymous with making Pride into an ablist, classist, racist, and elitist gay shame party for the benefit of the moneymakers from the pockets of our community. To quote a friend: “We need to expand, I agree. However, let’s expand in the right way and be inclusive.” I truly believe that Crawford and Equinox thinks they are being inclusive, and have openly admitted they need improvement and even have made mistakes, but the gross attempts at cover-up and misinformation erases all of that well-intentioned regret making me feel that the confessions aren’t so much about actually caring about inclusion as much as they care about looking good and making money.

In addition to the Equinox Pride, local organizers have put together an event called Northside Pridefest as an additional event to take place in Northside in August, but I was unable to get any information about it for this post. There is more to be said in this conversation, and I am interested to see where Pride goes. Surely more posts to come – and they hopefully won’t be so crazily long.

Update: several people have requested a plan of action or response -Post this article on your Facebook page and Twitter. Spread the word!

Visit the action event page to make your voice heard!

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xposted: Amplifyyourvoice.org, Trans Group Blog, Buckeye State Blog

57 comments

  • that’s messed up!

  • Jac thank you for that! You always tell it like it is and that’s why we love you!

  • I personally am thoroughly disgusted with this year’s Pride events. For starters, what events? And where is all the information about the parade?

    Thank you for some insight. I just thought that nobody cared about the changes.

  • That’s awesome that y’all are striking back. There’ve been many problems with pride here (huge amounts of trans exclusion, to the point where an organizer said trans people don’t have a place at pride), but at least it’s not corporate.

  • I love the idea of taking pride back and holding your own event. :) That’s awesome. If you can get all the organizers and performers who got ripped outta this pride, it could be one hell of an awesome event! Good luck!

  • Holy shit, that’s creepy. Thank you for posting this.

    Also, “must not be in their priorities to know what’s going on”?? What an asshole.

  • Maxx Lixgood

    Nicely said JAC – THANX 4 being “OUR” voice :-)

  • Jac – Thanks for bringing these things up. Super important for folks to understand what’s going on (locally and across other communities in solidarity)!!

    You may want to check with some of our Austin friends to hear about what they were able to do to set up a successful counter event to their pride earlier this month. “Queerbomb” gave visibility to all sorts of queers that were being left out/denied space or accessibility to their pride.

  • Thanks for posting Jac!!! I really can’t believe this it is so disappointing and such crap!

  • Thanks for writing this. My wife and I have been very upset since we discovered the whole new “Pride” that was uncovered this year. I am glad that you took the time to uncover more details that we were not aware of. My wife and I are debating on not attending Pride at all this year because of how it is set up. Which is sad, we have been going to pride every single year for a long time.

  • Great job JAC! I had a difficult time frinding ANY information about pride no more than 6 months ago. I couldn’t even figure out exact dates or a location anywhere! I can’t imagine how difficult it must’ve been for a performer to try to find contact information.

  • Jac,
    I’m having the damnedest time imagining you and George in the same room together! ;-)

    As you probably know, I was enormously involved in Pride last year, as a volunteer coordinator and worked my ass off. I was even in the (secret) transition meeting handing Pride from the Community Center to the Chamber when a lot of things were at least nominally decided-downtown, july fourth, etc.

    But when I tried to follow up with George and get involved in planning for this year-mind you, this was all last summer shortly after Pride- I was almost completely ignored. I contacted him several times, including tracking him down in person, and was never told who was involved or when meetings were being held. “Committees are closed” I was told. To this day, no one from the chamber has contacted me.

    I have a complete database of all the volunteers from Pride from the last four years, and no one has asked me for it? WTF? I don’t know of a single person besides George who is involved with Pride this year. Not one. Who the hell is running this thing?

    I talked this over with some friends last night(actually we read your entire post aloud over wine!) and the best thing we could come up with to say about Pride/equinox seemed to be “at least someone is doing it” because the Community Center had decidedly given it up.

    I do want to add also: I was initially really excited when I saw banners all up and down fifth street advertising the event, but as someone pointed out last night, the word “gay”(let alone trans) isn’t even on the banners and it’s barely even discernible as a rainbow!!

    The whole thing is very closetish and I think it will draw most strongly from the crowd that puts the closet HRC stickers on their fancy cars. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with those people, except that I imagine they will be the only ones present. :(

    Anyhoo, great post! I’m glad to see you are updating your blog. Last I checked, which was a long time ago, there wasn’t much on it. I look forward to more!

    Love!,
    Nate

  • It seems very unfortunate that our community can’t even have ONE DAY of unity.

    I am glad to see Equinox having to answer for their actions on their event’s facebook page, though. They may not be doing it honestly or ethically, but it’s just making them look like gigantic, corporate assholes!

  • Great piece, Jac! While it might be too late to do anything about this year’s Pride, there’s plenty of time to organize a more fun, more inclusive counter-event for next year. Def look at the articles for the Austin QueerBomb event. And the Trans March here in SF (on the Friday afternoon evening before Pride weekend) started in response to trans people being excluded from the Dyke March (which started because dykes felt excluded from Pride). And if Pride is a super boring, corporate event this year, people might be really excited about participating in a more grass-roots, fun queer event next year.

  • Nate,

    I’m very confused as to why the Equinox people would not want to benefit from your resources. I’m sorry you haven’t been able to be involved this year.

    Also, don’t forget the Northside Fourth of July Parade is that same weekend. Very queer friendly and so much fun! For anyone thinking of not going to pride,., I’m sorry, the “equinox”, this is a perfect alternative.

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  • Wow. I’m really embarrassed for Cincinnati mainstream assimilationist gays right now, but really proud of all my queer comrades standing up for what it’s important. Much love from Minneapolis.

  • Hey, Cincy folks, I would ditto a couple of the comments about alternative events. Here in the Twin Cities we do a Dyke March and a Trans March on Saturday and both of them are super open to folks of all genders, free, and non-corporate. Austin’s Queerbomb sounds really interesting, too.

  • I am really surprised reading the comments on this. I have been involved with this years pride event since October of last year attending meetings and fundraisers. At those events people made points about things they did not like and they were addressed. Where were all of you people who are complaining now? Why weren’t you there all these months? Get involved in planning and helping, instead of whining in the 11th hour.

    Why is this described as a “corporate event”? Because we don’t want to hide in a gayborhood? Because we want to be in the central business district where everyone can see us? Because there is ONE STAGE folks, limited time and we want to see Debora Cox, for christ sake Debora Cox and not a drag king? I mean really what is going to bring people down to pride headlines that read “DRAG KING” or “Deborah Cox”? This is going to be a huge regional event that will bring not only gay Cincinnati together, but the entire tri-state area.

    For years the business in Northside and the community itself did nothing to promote or pay for pride. When presented to the City of Cincinnati about being downtown the support from the Chamber of Commerce, Vacation and Visitors Bureau and the Cincinnati City Council was overwhelmingly positive (btw, they had never been approached before to support or sponsor the event). The city then puts up banners downtown, the Visitors Bureau pushes the event regionally, ads for the event are all over the place and we get typical Cincinnati babies that whine and moan about pride being somehow in the closet! Really people, wake up!. Mary’s, Below Zero, Shooters, On Broadway have given time, space, and money to the event, unlike the Northside gay business that did nothing.

    Really folks this is going to be huge. It’s going to be great and positive thing for the gay community in Cincinnati and is going to be loud and proud. Those of you that are not supporting it now and did nothing to get it to where it is today are going to miss out, and are going to be on the wrong side of history.

    • Hi Royce, I appreciate your feedback, all is welcome here. The issue being discussed is not the location, location is highly irrelevant. In fact, I stated support for having it downtown in a visible location. The lack of transparency and communication is the issue, censorship and image carving that is not representative of our community. As is commented here, several people have tried to get involved. I find it surprising that anyone can read this article and the direct quotes in it and not be concerned at the lack of honesty and direct communication.

  • Jac, my comment was not on your post it was regarding the comments left by the readers. As far as your post. I am not a friend of George’s but I have spoken to him repeatedly about my misgivings with regard to pride and he has addressed them every time. What you write is clearly misrepresenting what George said. It’s clear from the very beginning of your post, you have an agenda to bash pride. Why don’t you post the full questions you asked and the full answers he gave, instead of the way you did. It’s clear you took sound bites of what he said to portray the image you wanted to. And I read on FB that they banned your comments. I don’t know if they are preventing you from commenting, you probably made that up too, but if I were in charge and you were spreading this hate and lies, I would have banned you too.

    • It is an easy escape to assume someone is lying when they are saying what what we don’t want to hear. It is easy to assume that people are hateful when you have all the resources you need, and the attention you deserve. We are not here to hate or to bash. We are here to create an inclusive community, free of secrecy and censorship where all voices are valued.

  • So are you the same Jac that started the page on Facebook? Seems like you have an agenda here. Good points Royce!!!

  • There have been tons of fundraisers and events for pride for months. Why did you not raise your concerns earlier? And I agree with Royce, you clearly misrepresent George. How about seeing the full interview, full questions, full answers?

  • Anyone with a fundamental knowledge of or respect for equality should be aware that censorship sucks. Period. We don’t mow down the “God Hates Fags” brigade, yet we’ll rally behind “banning” our own? I’ll stay on the wrong side of history if it means being able to speak my mind without the threat of being silenced.

  • Why don’t you put up the full questions and the full answers George gave?

    • The questions and answers are very clear in this article, which is written in the tradition you would find in any newspaper. I think this want for transcripts is more about searching for a rationalization of wrongdoing, rather than fact finding. No one would benefit from providing false information and I have not made anyone out to be some evil monster. I simply quoted what he said and he gave me permission to do so. I want a united community, including George who clearly has a strong passion for his work. But strong passion does not cover everything.

  • It seems as though The equinox has an agenda as well, Money.

    That is not necessarily a bad thing. Money helps our pride grow and become a bigger more INCLUSIVE event. C’mon cincinnati let’s grow in the correct way…

    I agree that drag queens pull in people. But what a great opportunity to showcase local talent as well. I read that there are local entertainers but I would like to know how they were able to get those slots. Very early on other troupes had asked and were not answered. Are the lixxgoods lying?

    Royce, would you please let us know how you got involved? I’m sure many of us would love to give our input for next years event. As others have stated they looked for information to volunteer and to get involved but could not find it. I read Nate’s comment and he says he was an original organizer but then was pushed out… is that a lie?

    Unfortunately the things JAC and others are saying are not “lies”
    as Michael says (Michael is also a sponsor for this years pride).

    And dissent in not “hate” However, censorship is. Let’s use these comments to make pride next year a true “family” event.

    On another note… what was the price point for “The Equinox” event last year. This year it’s $50, $60 @ the door.

    What was the demographic it was trying to reach? Are there student rates? Sliding scales? If this was an event strictly for upperclass, business GLB community to “loosen their ties” I would understand if there were not student rates. However, is this what “The Equinox” is trying to make their pride event into as well?

  • I’m very sorry I meant to put a questions mark after the portion of my post that says

    “(Michael is also a sponsor for pride?)

    that one question mark changes the tone of that part of the post. I am wondering if this Michael s the same michael making comments on the equinox page, who is also a sponsor. A quick search on the equinox page shows this. I just happened to stumble upon it …

  • Hi JAC and others,
    I agree with the majority of your arguments. Pride almost always seems to lack diversity in Cincinnati- ethnically, racially, gender-wise. It does SEEM to cater to gay men when it should cater to the whole ITBLG community. Our belly dance troupe was in contact with pride, but they didn’t follow through. I didn’t want to feel like we were begging to perform. I think the most upsetting thing about it all is that it seems that Cincy pride should try it’s best to support community troupes and artists. It sucks to feel like you’re begging to be included and I feel bad for people like Maxx who seem to feel this way too. I hope they find some way to address these issues in the future.

  • I agree with this…now it seems to make total sense! I only found out about the details a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve been looking for months about details. All I knew was the Gay Chamber of Commerce was taking over, it was going to be downtown, and that it was over the 4th of July weekend. My wife and I were concerned about the events because in the past it was very family friendly, and this year, it’s for the single gay person. It’s disappointing because the face of the gay community is multi-faceted…we need to celebrate our diversity within our community and let that shine during our Pride celebration. I’m glad Northside will have a smaller event, and I plan on attending. We will only be attending Sunday as the festival may be more of an event with the community in mind…that’s my hope. Thanks for this post…it has answered a ton of questions and doubts…

  • “I mean really what is going to bring people down to pride headlines that read “DRAG KING” or “Deborah Cox”?”

    You might be surprised. I have no idea who she is and have no desire to see her perform, but I drive for hours to see Drag King Rebellion all the time. I would not have gone to Columbus Pride if it were drag-free. Did you take a survey?

    “Because there is ONE STAGE folks, limited time…”

    Why is there one stage and limited time? Columbus Pride had two. With the vast resources you claim to be pulling from now, was it really and truly impossible to organize a second performance space? Or merely economically inadvisable?

    I would think that when organizing an event for people who are marginalized, excluded and silenced, it would be worthwhile to put forth extra effort to make sure no one is marginalized, excluded or silenced.

  • Jac, yes same Michael.

    Dyani, how long ago did you guys request to be on the stage? It has been booked for months.

    Jen, Saturday is intended to be a family fun day. Directly and intentionally designed to be for our GLBT families. Check out the events at http://www.equinoxcincinnati.com. I think it sounds like a lot of fun!

    • not to by coy, Michael, but if you are an organizer of the event, if anyone has an agenda here I would think it would be you.

  • I am not an organizer of the event, nor am I even on the committee

  • Are you the Michael Teggart from Facebook who has a financial stake in the success of Pride?

  • And if the entertainment has been booked “for months” why weren’t the 3 different performance groups I personally know who attempted to perform at Pride told so? What sense does it make to string people along when they could just as easily have told those groups that performance slots were not available? It doesn’t compute for me, and that plus the fact that I trust the people in those troupes equals me not buying the excuse of performance slots being booked for months. Can you please specify when exactly they were booked? I know of one troupe that started trying to get a slot almost six months ago AT a Pride fundraiser.

  • I asked in May and was told it would happen, but I called and left messages that weren’t returned. I’m not expressing my views just because I didn’t get a slot; rather, my main point is that when recruiting performers, there doesn’t seem to be a lot of efforts geared toward recruiting a variety of people in the community (e.g., femmes, kings, racial/ ethnic minorities). I think it would be really cool to have more outreach to underrepresented groups in general. Take another example, I haven’t seen much outreach at all to the Latina/o community, which is greatly needed IMO. I’m just presenting my feedback as one who would like to see more inclusion. I realize organizing an event like Pride is a huge undertaking, but hopefully those in charge will listen to the feedback with open minds and hearts. It is also my personal wish that those in charge not take feedback personally, but as suggestions from the community on how to make the best Cincinnati Pride possible.

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  • I am a sponsor of Pride. I did so because I believe in this city and for the first time we are going to be out loud about it, and any money raised is going to directly support the GLBT community. My email is michaelteggart@gmail.com, I love the conversation on this and would love to hear from you. I no longer wish to promote this blog, and will not check the posts. Feel free to email me. I WILL answer. I hope to see you all at pride and feel free to talk to me, especially the lezbians, I’m trying to get my “lezbro card” :)

  • why is this guy constantly using smiley faces?? And what’s a lezbro? He confuses me.

    You guys are so silly. Loosen up a bit, geez. Pride is about PRIDE, not HATE. Let’s just get drunk, forget about any criticism, and relish in our HUGE success of pride :)

    (the smile makes it all better?)

    nope…

  • If that made any sense than I guess we should all just leave our email addresses on Equinox’s page and say that we no longer want to visit the page because we don’t support it.

    In the meantime, I need to get back to defending myself against personal attacks on their page, calling me negative and lazy. Sweet.

    • Now days pride is about getting drunk, but originally it was about standing up for ourselves, standing up for our rights and being seen… To some of us it still stands for that.

  • Royce,
    Just a quick comment about the deleting of posts and blockage of JAC being able to post. I don’t know what exactly other people have posted, but I know what I posted that was deleted and all I had said was: I was formerly attending this event, but since new things are being uncovered I will Not be attending.
    I don’t find that vulgar, hateful, or attacking of anyone. I’m not really wanting to argue about that specific post, I just think it’s one example that I know for a fact happened and therefore makes me find it easy to believe other people with similar experiences.

  • this is really similar to what happened to Pride in Kansas City, and there was lot of debate and whatnot about it. Wick, etc. organized and led a pretty successful counter protest, though, which also made for some funny headlines: http://www.nbcactionnews.com/dpp/news/local_news/members-of-gay-community-protest-gay-pride-festival. anyway, you’ve clearly got your shit together on this, but its worth nothing that this is a trend and not an isolated incident.

  • I’ve had a hell of a time finding anything about the parade on the internet. I thought it already happened.

  • I’m probably going to say things that might make people who read this blog mad but.. whatever…

    As someone with a huge amount of experience planning events, I have to side with Equinox. Finding funding for events is not easy, people need paid, things cost money… They are right to pursue this as a business and solicit corporate sponsorships.

    It is also in their right to censor their facebook page. If you don’t like it- don’t look at it. But as a business owner myself, I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave a negative comment on my facebook wall. Especially when sponsorships are involved. Another thing regarding sponsorships and censorships- if this event is not successful, their future funding could be in jeopardy. So why can you blame them for deleting negative or irrelevant posts?

    Also, bravo to them for trying to increase Cincinnati’s profile as a gay destination, or a gay friendly city. Maybe in the long run that can encourage more people to live or stay in the city.

    On relocation: Thank god. I have lived in Northside for 5 years and it disgusts me more and more everyday. Our friendly “Gayborhood” has turned into a “hood.” Don’t believe me? Try going to Jacobs / Bronz on a Thursday night. The crime rate and violence in Northside is through the roof.

    For them being exclusive: so what. Hopefully they can manage to make pride a more family focused event this year. I’m sick of not being able to take my family to pride because some sick idiot wants to display their private parts on a float, or be chained to something wearing leather. Example: The guy with the butt plug with a tail attached to the end of it at Columbus Pride.
    Example: The dumb woman in her forties who walks down hamilton avenue every year displaying her saggy nasty boobs.

    I will say that I don’t know much about the performance acts that tried to get on board, and I don’t know anything about the ones who are already on board either. But in my life I don’t waste time with people who don’t have anything going for them… and if that’s the case, I can’t blame equinox for feeling the same way.

  • Jefferson Wessler

    Jac:

    thanks for getting this issue “out” there for others in the GLBT community (other than the self appointed elitists that hang out at Club Zero). I will not be attending for a variety of reasons – I do love Northside, it was a perfect location that always drew a crowd. Pretty sure I dont want to take a chance of getting involved in an altercation with some of Phil Burress’ (AKA Carl Lindner’s) goons on Fountain Square. I hope that others in the GLBT community can see through this charade, this event downtown has very little to do with Pride and a lot to do with someone trying to make a profit for their business.

  • ” They are right to pursue this as a business and solicit corporate sponsorships.” But..its not a business. It is a community event.

    “But as a business owner myself, I’ll be damned if I’m going to leave a negative comment on my facebook wall.” Thats totally understandable, however, again, this is not a business. Its an event that is supposed to celebrate the community and commemorate brave souls in the past who kicked off the queer movement.

    “So why can you blame them for deleting negative or irrelevant posts?” Because it is a COMMUNITY event, making it acceptable and important for the community to have impact. I know that I personally had at least 10 comments of my own deleted. While I can’t say that everyone was as respectful as I was (I didn’t have a chance to read them all, since they were deleted) I know that mine were neither negative or irrelevant.

    “For them being exclusive: so what. Hopefully they can manage to make pride a more family focused event this year.” I am very confused about how exclusivity and family focus go hand in hand. Do you think that the people who feel excluded are the ones who are making you uncomfortable? I am one of those people and I can assure you that I have never been part of the Pride parade.

    “But in my life I don’t waste time with people who don’t have anything going for them… and if that’s the case, I can’t blame equinox for feeling the same way.” I just have to ask..as a person with a family, how can you sit at your computer and generalize a large group of people that you don’t even know? Would you want your children to have community support should they ever choose to speak out? Your comments are for the most part irrelevant and damaging to a community of people who only want to be listened to with respect.

  • JAC,
    After following this somewhat, I wanted to express my mixed feelings
    On your side: You are right, there is a lack of diversity. Even within the LG AND BT community. Trans visibility is difficult, and there are many reasons for that. For example, at Columbus Pride, I ran into plenty of trans people. Many of whom I wouldn’t of known their trans status unless I knew them.
    However, I don’t think your way of going about this was the most effective. Also, for someone who is calling for transparency and I quote you, “Transparency is essential. How can we stand together if we cannot trust each other.” I find your refusal to post the whole transcript hypocritical and makes me question many of your arguments.
    Also, I don’t blame Equinox for banning you. It would be another story if things were tried to be worked out differently in a more civilized way before starting the campaign on their facebook site. Although that doesn’t seem to be the case.
    Reflecting what others have said. How active have you been in trying to work with Equinox throughout the planning process? By that, I don’t mean simply critiquing everything you don’t like about what they have done. But offering your grievances and then providing suggestions for a solution? Also, I have never heard of any of those performing acts.
    On their side: They could have done more to increase diversity and there is no sliding scale, shame on them for both accounts.

  • The same companies who sponsored this year’s Pride events also sponsored last year in Northside.

    Benefit of sponsoring a downtown event – more press.
    Benefit of more press – more future sponsors.
    Benefit of more future sponsors – more $ for event.

    Isn’t that what it’s all about? Having a good event?

  • P.S. Why doesn’t The Center have Pride on their website?

    They are promoting their own interests with the KI Pride Night instead.

    I’ll let you draw your own judgements and conclusions with that fact in hand.

  • Oops – The Center always had Equinox Pride on the front page – as it does Northside Pride for 8/7!

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