In a nation where the constitutionality of the doublespeak-ly named Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was just struck down by the Supreme Court and grassroots activists are working to get the Freedom to Marry and Religious Freedom Amendment on the ballot in November to legalize same-sex marriage in Ohio, this year’s Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky Pride celebrations are more important than ever.
Now that the Supreme Court has ruled to overturn DOMA, expect some serious rainbow-themed Pride parties across the nation.
But, ruling aside, Cincinnati’s strong and determined LGBTQ community will continue to be out, working toward equality for all. And to get a glimpse inside the lives of the people of Pride in the Queen City — those on a mission to educate, elucidate and activate the public on acceptance and understanding — we’ve collected personal interviews with prominent members of city’s LGBTQ community to discuss what it’s like to be gay in Cincinnati today and what they’re doing to make this city a more open place. Amid these pages you’ll find pieces on the following notable locals:
Chris Seelbach, Cincinnati’s first openly gay City Council member, who discusses his experience coming out and what it’s like to be a face for change in Cincinnati;
Carolyn Peterson, a human sexuality professor at the University of Cincinnati, who elaborates on her work educating students about sexuality and self-expression;
Rich Sherman, founder of CNKY Scene magazine, who talks about moving to Cincinnati and connecting LGBTQ businesses with the broader community;
Cortnie Owens, a blogger and activist, who breaks down gender and body image walls by publicly discussing her experience as a gay, body-positive woman;
JAC Stringer, the f
ounding director or Midwest Trans* and Queer Wellness Initiative, who creates
a community for trans* and queer people to connect and express themselves;
And Michele Hobbs and Amanda Broughton, o
wners of PetWants feed store, who discuss
the issue of custodial rights for homosexual couples.
And if you just want to know where all the Pride parties are and what time Debbie Gibson is playing Cincinnati’s 40th Pride Festival at Sawyer Point, that’s in there, too.
— Maija Zummo, Project Editor