In my almost ten years as a semi-professional photographer, I have tried to capture the diverse experiences of differing Pride events as well as Gay Games 9 in Cleveland during the summer of 2014. Here’s a small sampling of my personal pictures and what I have captured over the years.
Las Vegas Pride 2012 (September 8, 2012)
While this wasn’t my first Pride while living in Vegas, it was the first one where I took pictures with my first DSLR camera. It was also the first time I encountered the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.
What also made this Pride memorable for me was the fact that the Chippendales had representation at Las Vegas Pride.
Gay Games 9: Cleveland Opening Ceremony (August 9, 2014)
When I found out the Gay Games would be in Cleveland in 2014, I applied for media credentials. Being at the opening ceremony and interacting with LGBTQ+ people from different countries was an experience that I was grateful to have.
Gay Games 9: Cleveland Closing Ceremony (August 16, 2014)
I was unable to go to any of the competitions but I was there for the closing ceremony of the Gay Games in Cleveland as well. One of my focal points for both ceremonies was the Russian delegation due to the treatment of the Russian LGBTQ+ community. I kept thinking, as I saw them at both the opening and closing ceremonies, was how brave they were to take part in this when back in Russia they were being persecuted. Another part of the closing ceremony that will always stand out is photographing Brian Sims and Amanda Lepore.
Cleveland Pride 2015 (August 9, 2015)
Originally, Cleveland Pride 2015 was supposed to be June 27 (which would have been great because of the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling), however, that day a torrential downpour caused Pride to be cancelled. It ended up rescheduled in August. One thing that struck me about that Pride was the youth that were unapologetically decked out for the event.
Pride in the CLE 2017 (June 3, 2017)
Pride in the CLE was created because in 2016, two weeks before the event, Cleveland Pride was cancelled. The CEO of Cleveland Pride said it was due to the Pulse Nightclub shooting but also going on in Cleveland that same summer was the the Republican National Convention. So, to make up for the loss of Cleveland Pride, the LGBT Center of Cleveland organized Pride in the CLE 2016. The event continued in 2017 and eventually Cleveland Pride and Pride in the CLE merged. What I loved about this event in 2017 was the diversity not only in people but in support for the LGBTQ+ community of Northeast Ohio.
All photographs are shared from the personal library of the author/photographer.