Prizm News / June 4, 2018 / By Bob Vitale


A literal reading from drag queens, a tribute to Marsha P. Johnson, sports, cocktails and Jim Obergefell make Pride month pop.


By Bob Vitale

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It’s not all flag capes and glitter this month.

It’s actually only 82 percent flag capes and glitter. Beyond June’s weekend Pride festivals and parades—Athens and Newark are up next in Ohio, on Saturday, June 9—there are some incredible events taking place around the state.

Believe us. We put together Ohio’s most comprehensive Pride calendar right here.

Here are some of our favorites…


Gay Games 9 Reunion: Cleveland 
Sunday, June 3

If you were around for the 2014 International Gay Games in Cleveland and Akron, you probably still get the goosebumps when you think about it. We put on quite a show, did we not?

As Paris prepares to host this year’s quadrennial games in August—good luck with that, Paree—Cleveland will celebrate what it brought to the Games and what the Games brought to Northeast Ohio.

More details…


Drag Queen Story Hour is a series of events that began in New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco. (Photo from Drag Queen Story Hour)

Drag Queen Story Time: Athens
Wednesday, June 6

If all you had was “Reading Rainbow,” just think how much more you’d appreciate a good book these days if you’d have been read to by someone who also had a death drop in her repertoire.

Athens drag queens will read books that help kids understand gender diversity and expression.

More details…


Pride Rocks! LGBTQ+ Rock-Painting: Findlay
Wednesday, June 6

We do love a good craft project, and this one has a good purpose!

Participants will paint positive Pride-month messages on rocks, which will be weatherproofed and scattered around Findlay for people to find.

More details…


Pride Night at Great American Ballpark: Cincinnati
Friday, June 8

The Cincinnati Reds are one of 24 Major League Baseball teams going to bat this year for the LGBTQ community with Pride Night games for their LGBTQ fans.

Cincinnati’s—scheduled for a game vs. the St. Louis Cardinals—even includes a rainbow Reds cap.

(In case you’re wondering, no Pride Night has been scheduled at Progressive Field in Cleveland.)

More details…


Columbus Crew Pride Night: Columbus
Saturday, June 9

You know them from such hits as “The National Athem at Columbus Blue Jackets Pride Night.”

The Columbus Gay Men’s Chorus will reprise their stellar—and luck-giving—performance as the Crew hosts LGBTQ soccer fans when they take on the New York Red Bulls.

Major League Soccer has begun a league-wide effort to support the LGBTQ community and promote soccer venues as safe spaces for all fans.

More details…


Yoga and Cocktails: Cleveland
Sunday, June 10

We’re not sure if this is a new yoga trend, but it sounds a heck of a lot better than yoga with goats or in extra-hot, extra-humid rooms, or naked with bendy, twisty strangers.

Daron Mitchell of the Cleveland Athletic Club will lead an hour-long yoga session on the rooftop of The Treehouse in Tremont. It will be followed by an hour-long cocktail session.



‘Meet Lucile,’ a Live Streaming Short Film: Dayton
Sunday, June 10

Lucile, formerly known as Leo, has isolated herself while recovering from gender confirmation surgery. Now she’s is throwing an intimate cocktail party for close friends and family to meet Lucile.

Sounds like a decent movie, right? Well, here’s what makes it even more unique: It will be presented by Sixteen 37 Productions, SteadiReady LLC and PFLAG Dayton as a live-streaming production.



Marsha P. Johnson Day: Columbus
Monday, June 11

Pride grew out of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, so it’s about time that a day was added to Pride month that offers us all a chance to honor and learn more about the trans activist and elder who was at the vanguard of the uprising.

As part of the first Columbus Community Pride Festival, Marsha P. Johnson Day will include talk and discussion of Marsha’s legacy; a collaborative, community collage to celebrate what Marsha means to us today, and a place for kids and grown kids to make flower crowns like Marsha wore.



Cincinnati Men’s Chorus Presents The L Word: Cincinnati
Saturday, June 16-Sunday, June 17

As much as Pride is a time to show our strength to the world, it’s also a good opportunity to show our love and gratitude for each other, too.

This musical tribute from the Gs to the Ls—”our thank you to the women who have stood beside us, challenged the status quo and shared beautifully rich stories through music”—includes songs by Melissa Etheridge, Indigo Girls, Linda Perry, Tegan & Sara, Billie Holiday and more.

Cincinnati’s Tracy Walker is the guest artist.



Big Freedia: Cleveland
Saturday, June 16


The Queen of Bounce is a New Orleans-based cultural phenomenon.

She and her shake team brought the world twerking and more. She has the highest-rated show on Fuse TV (“Big Freedia Bounces Back”) and was featured on Beyonce’s 2016 single, “Formation.”

Between now and the end of August, she’s bouncing around the world from Alabama to Estonia, including one show in Cleveland.



Jim Obergefell Keynote Speech: Sandusky
Thursday, June 21

Before his name went into the history books as part of the case that resulted in nationwide marriage equality, Jim Obergefell was a kid from Sandusky.

The town of 25,000 will kick off its first Pride celebration this year with a keynote from its favorite gay son.



Grease Sing-Along: Canton
Sunday, June 24

Just singing along? Can’t we join in on the dialog, choreography and hand-jive, too, from the 1978 film?

Our chills are multiplyin’ just thinking about it all.



Pride Booze Cruise: Sandusky
Sunday, June 24

They had us at “booze cruise.”

Add a DJ, entertainment AND the fact it’s out on Lake Erie and the culmination of a month of Pride-related events, and you get a Sunday Funday for the ages.










Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.