I'm not going to rehash what happened at Columbus Pride, but I do want to talk about the reaction and what's happening now. As a member of this community (and as a parent) it disturbs me to see divisive and exclusionary actions in a place that should be characterized by unity and inclusion. I think this is a complicated situation and should be treated as such; any over simplification is a disservice to all of us.
Here are my thoughts:
The response from Stonewall was bullshit.
Stonewall missed the opportunity to demonstrate their commitment to ALL members of our community. They missed this opportunity by failing to acknowledge their colossal mistake, which was not responding with the urgency that the incident warranted.
Lori Gum's resignation was admirable.
I believe this is what being a true activist means: taking a stand at your own expense.
We're a different community than we used to be.
Columbus' LGBTQ community is bigger and more diverse than ever. This means that we have a greater responsibility to groups that feel marginalized and oppressed. And with this responsibility comes a need for intelligent and thoughtful leadership, which Stonewall failed to demonstrate in the days following Pride.
We need to practice what we preach.
I think the most important thing to remember--and what we're losing sight of--is that we're ONE community. Seeing Lori Gum's post on Facebook today calling for Karla's resignation was disheartening because it exemplifies the very things that hurt us: divisiveness, exclusion and the simplification of things that are not simple. It makes me doubt Lori's altruism.
Whether or not Karla Rothan and/or the board resign is not the issue, but whether or not we move forward as ONE community is. The Stonewall leadership is a part of our community, and no one in our community deserves to be shut out. Isn't that the point of all of this? Isn't that our takeaway from what happened at Pride? How can we call for exclusion in our attempt to take a stand against it? It doesn't make sense.
And look, if we can really afford to promote division like this--to pick and choose our friends so selectively--then we're truly a very privileged and spoiled community.