About a month ago, I spent 5 wonderful days in greater Cleveland. Even though I was warned its nickname was “The Mistake on the Lake,” I went and I had a great time and even shared some of my experiences in my blog, What Can RNC-ers Do While In Cleveland, Ohio? Here Are Some Options. I would definitely go back.
What I was grateful about most of all in regard to my trip was the timing. I landed on Thursday, one day after the Cavalier’s Victory parade in downtown Cleveland. My friend who lives in a suburb of Cleveland and went to the parade had posted the pic below showing the masses of people in attendance. How many people? Supposedly 1.3 million people were in attendance, more than the population of the State of Maine. What is the population of Cleveland? About 390,000. Bravo Cleveland for putting on such a memorable celebration, or so I have been told.
I was also very happy to have missed the Republican National Convention. On my travels, I did see that Cleveland rebuilt its downtown area for this event. They constructed new and remodeled old hotels to meet the needs of the RNC. With some estimates of 18k people showing up to protest along with the Republican participants in the 20k seat arena, that’s a good amount of people to handle. Once again, I am glad my trip was before the elephants and protesters arrived.
But now there’s news out of Cleveland that is disturbing. Since 1989 Cleveland has had a pride parade, some delayed, but we don’t believe any were canceled, until this year. Why this year?
Here is an excerpt from ClevelandPride.org explaining the cancelation.
“We have been entrusted by our community to create a secure parade and festival environment for our LGBTQ brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, aunts, uncles, friends and allies,” said Todd J. Saporito, president and CEO of Cleveland Pride, Inc. “Because of the changing social climate, Cleveland Pride did not have enough time to engage in the development of awareness programs and training that we believe is critical in today’s environment. Therefore, we regretfully cancelled our 28th annual parade, rally and festival this year.”
Cleveland Pride’s 28th annual parade, rally & festival was scheduled at a new location and parade route for August 13th, with the kick-off of the parade at noon, rally speakers at 1:30 p.m. and entertainers and music throughout the day. This will be the first year that Cleveland Pride will not host its annual event. Cleveland Pride has been organizing this annual celebration since 1989. – ClevelandPride.org
Why this year of all years? 1.3 million fans, a political party convention, both descended on downtown Cleveland. But a Pride parade is too much? In this case, it seems that the city was ready. This is probably the most ready the city of Cleveland would ever be to make sure an event like Pride was safe and went off without a hitch.
Apparently it is not the city’s fault. It is not the city canceling the event, or so we are being told. What I don’t understand is that there wasn’t enough time to plan and train for this annual event that has happened for the past 28 years. Have the bathroom bills and the Orlando tragedy changed the make-up of pride events so much that more planning is needed?
I’m not sure time and preparation were the issues. I’m not sure what the real issue is here. But I guess if planners are worried about our safety, we have to believe they are making the right decision. I just still think there is more to this than we are being told.
The above is my personal opinion and not that of Instinct Magazine.