CLEVELAND - The LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland announced on Thursday that the 2016 Cleveland Pride Parade has been canceled.
The Center's Executive Director, Phyllis Harris, released a statement explaining why:
“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 on-going 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.
Although we have explored every possible avenue to support Cleveland Pride Inc., this cancellation was ultimately not The Center’s decision to make.
There is no substitute for an event of this scale. We know that and we keenly feel this loss. For some of us, Cleveland Pride is a first opportunity to be out among our brothers and sisters. For others of us, Cleveland Pride is the only day each year when our full selves can be realized. And for all of us, Cleveland Pride is a confirmation, a validation and a celebration of everything we are as individuals and as a collective community.
In the coming days, The Center will be supplying a list of other events that were planned by community members to support the annual Pride parade and festival. We encourage all of you to support these events and their organizers.
Substantial dialogue is needed in order to avoid this situation in the future. To that end, The Center is committed to providing a space for those conversations to happen. Please keep an eye out for communication on how you can be a part of the future of pride. You are needed to make this happen. We all are.
To be clear: The cancellation of Cleveland Pride 2016 does not cancel out the pride we all feel as LGBTQ Clevelanders. We are a community of individuals to be celebrated, to be honored and to be seen, not just on this one day, but every day of the year.”