The event, led by Black Queer & Intersectional Collective, takes place just days after Stonewall Columbus apologized for 2017 events related to the Black Pride 4, acknowledging a lingering schism in the LGBTQ community
More than two years after activists stepped into the street during the 2017 Pride Parade, leading to the arrest of the quartet that has come to be known as the Black Pride 4, Stonewall Columbus issued a formal apology.
“We apologize to each of these individuals for the harm and trauma they experienced from Stonewall Columbus not being there to support them,” the organization wrote in a letter signed by Executive Director AJ Casey and posted on Wednesday. “We apologize to the broader LGBTQ+ community for not being the voice of our community when we needed them to be. We unequivocally condemn the police actions and policies that harmed the Black Pride 4 and members of our LGBTQ+ community.”
The letter arrived a week after TransOhio issued a statement cutting ties with Stonewall Columbus, writing, “As Central Ohio's main LGBTQ+ Center, Stonewall has an obligation to support and protect the most vulnerable among us. … Stonewall has failed to live up to that duty for far too long.” Among other things, the letter cited the Black Pride 4 events of 2017. Kaleidoscope Youth Center and Mozaic both followed with statements of solidarity.
On social media, Stonewall's apology was met with a mixed reaction, with some lauding the group for the act of contrition and others dismissing it as too little, too late. Meanwhile, groups such as Black Queer & Intersectional Collective (BQIC) have long since moved on to building the type of community they wish to see, including the creation of a Community Pride as an alternative to Stonewall's event.
This November, BQIC is leading a month of Black Trans Life and Liberation, starting with the Columbus March for Black Trans Women. The march, which takes place at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 2, will begin at the intersection of North High and West Poplar streets, and is designed to highlight the growing violence against the black trans community, which has experienced 20 deaths nationwide in 2019. More information about the march can be found via the Facebook event page, including the names of those lost.