After a two-year absence, Pride in the CLE returned to downtown Cleveland with a vengeance. While the last Pride in the CLE occurred in 2019, the 2020 event was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and although the dangers of COVID lessened with the introduction of a vaccine in 2021, the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland decided to play it safe with a Pride Ride event.
Phyllis Seven Harris, executive director of the LGBT Community Center of Greater, wrote in a letter for the 2022 Pride in the CLE Pride Guide:
“There are no words to describe what we’ve all been through over the past few years. Seeing your faces, hearing your voices, reveling in your smiles – these
are the moments I’ve been dreaming about since early 2020 when we began
our long period of isolation. We’ve done what we had to do to face challenges associated with Covid-19 and we’re still fighting the same fights to protect and expand our rights at seemingly every level of government. Despite the hardships, we’re here. We’ve lost many beloved members of our community since we last gathered for Pride, but our community remains intact and our message remains the same: We’re here, together. “
From the moment the Pride in the CLE march started at noon on June 4, there was an apparent determined defiance from those who participated. The target of this defiance was Ohio House Republicans who passed a bill on the evening of Wednesday, June 1 that would not only bar transgender girls and women from participating in high school and college sports, but also subject any participant in these sports suspected to be trans to an intrusive verification process which includes a genital check.
Finally got Sub HB 151, which includes Ohio's "Save Women's Sports Act." This passed close to midnight.
— Morgan Trau (@MorganTrau) June 2, 2022
Thousands gathered at Cleveland’s Malls B and C after the march for the rally which included performances by local drag queens and the North Coast Men’s Chorus, various local and national businesses/ institutions with informational tables, food, and cocktails.