What a disappointment.
On July 28, the board of directors of Cleveland Pride, Inc., announced the cancellation of it's 28th annual festival and pride parade scheduled for August 13. The statement cited safety concerns and a "changing social climate" as the primary reason for canceling the event.
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Hmm… this wouldn't have anything to do with the recent Republican National Convention held in the city just last week, would it? Considering the insane levels of hate coming out of the convention, we wouldn't be surprised to learn of lingering feelings of homophobia.
In a statement release to the press, the board of directors explained:
"We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies. Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today's environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year."
How upsetting. Maybe the event organizers received word of a serious and credible threat which we aren't aware of — it's clear they felt pressure for some reason or another to forgo the festivities.
In response to the bad news, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland stated:
"We are deeply disappointed in the absence of the Cleveland Pride celebration this year. From the tragedy of the Pulse nightclub shooting to the historic passage of a trans nondiscrimination ordinance here in Cleveland to the ongoing fight for full LGBTQ rights across the country, this is a time when we desperately need an opportunity to be together and to be visible."
We couldn't have said it better ourselves! This is the time to UNITE in the face of hate!
Despite today's unfortunate decision, we hope the people of Cleveland decide to rally around their LGBTQ friends and loved ones. Stay strong, Cleveland!
[Image via Cleveland Pride.]