CLEVELAND – It’s an event that’s supposed to bring the community together, but a group almost missed out on the 24th annual Cleveland Pride parade.
A local company offered its services – a truck and a trailer – to the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland. However, things quickly changed once the driver arrived.
“When the driver realized that he was going to be driving for the gay pride parade, he then stormed off and drove away, leaving us without a float this morning,” said Judith Pindell, director of public policy for the AIDS Taskforce.
Allegedly, the driver had yelled obscenities before driving off.
The organization said the incident is a prime example of why events like this need to happen.
“It was really hard for us because today is so much about equal rights for all and the celebration of difference and the important of acknowledging who you are, and for him to drive away and kind of leave us high and dry was disappointing,” said Tracey Jones, CEO of the AIDS Taskforce.
The company that initially offered services was not available for comment, but Jones said things worked out in the end.
The group found a replacement truck and won a first-place prize for “best float.”
“Cleveland is a diverse city, and we acknowledge the difference in all kinds of ways, and that it’s really important for the civil rights movement of LGBTQ people and all people, that people aren’t shunned just because it’s something you’re not familiar with,” Jones said.