Cleveland LGBTQ history has its roots back to the 1960s with The Mattachine Group. The Mattachine Group started in California in the 50s and was the predecessor to all modern LGBTQ activism. With the Stone Wall Riot in June 1969, LGBTQ rights rocketed forward. This prompted the formation of Gay Activists Alliance and Gay Educational and Awareness Resources Foundation (GEAR).
W 29th has been a focus for the LGBTQ community for a long time and was the site for the first LGBTQ Center of Cleveland. Many of the neighborhoods that have been centers for the LGBTQ community have been, Cleveland HTS, Ohio City (Hingetown), Shaker Square, and Lakewood. Many of the bars and other LGBQ friendly business have been close to these area and continue to be present in the community.
The first Pride event in Cleveland happened 1988 on W 29th, and in 1990 the first parade was held with roughly 600 people. This shot shows W 29th and Detroit, today. This street was the site of the original LGBTQ Center. It was located where Dean Rufus House of Fun is located. Since that time, it has grown considerably. This year, 2018, marked the first parade as a joint effort and returned it to more of a march. Pride has always been the time of celebration and memorials for the LGBTQ community, to show how far we have come and pay homage to those we have lost along the way. You may not agree with how Pride events are being handled, but to effectively make a change you need to get involved
As pride month ends, remember, you are the ones who will shape the future for us. Your voice needs to be heard. We won’t simply be given our rights, as in the past we need to fight to claim them. How will you effect that change?