July 24, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
WHAT: FRIVOLITY COMMUNITY EVENT
WHERE: ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME AND MUSEUM
WHEN: FRIDAY, JULY 31 @ 8PM
WHY: BECAUSE YOU WANT CLEVELAND TO WIN. AND, BECAUSE IT’S A FREE PARTY.
To demonstrate your commitment to “Equality through Unity”, we strongly encourage you to support the Northeast Ohio gay community and the Synergy Foundation by attending an upcoming event at the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.
The event, sponsored by the Synergy Foundation, plays a key part in helping Cleveland to become the host city for the 2014 Gay Games! We encourage your attendance and support at this event, which is free and open to all.
We look forward to seeing you on July 31!
You’re invited to a global party.
It’s not just any party—it’s a celebration. A celebration all about why we love Cleveland, and why we’re proud to call Ohio home.
On July 31 at 8 P.M. at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in downtown Cleveland, the Cleveland Synergy Foundation is throwing the “Frivolity” community event, a free night of music, entertainment, and celebration. You’ll have exclusive access to the entire Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum—for free.
Why the party? The city of Cleveland is a finalist to host the 2014 Gay Games, a global event that promises to enhance the social and economic profile of Cleveland. But to win the world’s support, we need your support.
How can you be a part of this historic event? Simply show up and celebrate. It’s free—go to www.clevelandsynergyfoundation.org and print out your invitation.
This party promises to be THE EVENT of the summer, and you are invited. Come out and show your support for Cleveland as the host for the 2014 Gay Games.
You Rock. Cleveland Rocks. My Games Rock.
July 3, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
by Eric Resnick
Cleveland–“Forty years, God!” began the Rev. Don King, in the invocation opening the Cleveland Pride festival.
“The length of time it took your Israelite children to journey from the bonds of slavery to the freedom of the promised land,” continued King, the gay pastor of Hope Lutheran Church in Cleveland Heights. “In that same length of time, you emboldened your children, the drag queens to stand up in the Stonewall bar and fight, when military might would have crashed down upon them.”
At 21 years, Cleveland Pride had a lot to celebrate–the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, marriage equality in a growing number of states, progress in Ohio, and the opening of Cleveland’s domestic partner registry.
Twelve of the 13 Cleveland city councilors who voted for the registry were honored as the parade’s grand marshals. Five of them, Joe Cimperman, Brian Cummins, Jay Westbrook, Matt Zone and the openly gay Joe Santiago, marched with a banner behind the Blazing River Freedom Band, joined by members of the Chicago Lakeside Pride band and Flower City Pride Band of Rochester, New York.
The 13 members of council split the cost of having the city health department booth at the festival where registry applications were distributed.
The band led off with “Hang on Sloopy,” followed by the “Gateway March” and “We Are Family,” rocking down Lakeside Avenue past City Hall where the Rainbow Pride flag flew all day.
Hundreds of spectators lined the route, some seated on lawn chairs. As the end of the parade passed, many of them joined in.
Waiting among the spectators was Pastor Bill Dunfee of Warsaw, Ohio, the national director of the anti-gay Minutemen United. For the fifth year in a row, he led 14 sign bearers in front of the Free Stamp on Lakeside, berating the marchers through a loudspeaker.
“We’re happy they’re in Cleveland,” Cimperman said. “We hope they spend lots of money here.”
As they reached Dunfee’s group, the band stopped, pivoted left, and serenaded the perennial demonstrators with “Jesus Loves Me.” The loudspeaker fell silent.
At the festival, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson walked through, greeting people as he has done every year except one since 2005.
A count made near the East 9th Street RTA station showed 2,091 people marched in the parade, up from 1,710 last year, but down from the record 3,022 in 2006.
Cleveland Pride president Todd Saporito said 10,100 people attended the all-day festival, according to a tally of the wrist bands worn by those inside. That made the festival slightly smaller than last year’s at nearly 13,000.
It was, however, drier. A gentle breeze off Lake Erie joined with sun for a pleasant day–instead of last year’s thunderstorm–as couples and groups gathered on the sloping Voinovich Park lawn to hear over a dozen performers on the main stage.
Most of the Pride festival-goers milled among 100 booths selling wares from food to T‑shirts, and organizations recruiting members or handing out flyers. A sizeable crowd danced to another dozen acts at a second, high-energy performance stage near the end of the East 9th Street pier, fueled partly by a beer garden next to it.
A main stage rally featured community leaders and elected officials, including the Cleveland councilors from the parade, joined by openly lesbian Lakewood councilor Nickie Antonio.
Cimperman used his stage time to promote the next piece of human rights legislation city council will take up: adding gender identity and expression to the city’s non-discrimination ordinances, which already include sexual orientation. The change was introduced by Santiago. The two want to pass it before the year ends.
“Numbers count,” Cimperman said, “and we have work to do to protect our transgender community.”
“Pride has to translate into something,” Cimperman continued. “All of this is about undoing the sin the state of Ohio committed when it passed Issue 1,” the 2004 marriage ban amendment.
Ask Cleveland’s Lisa Hazerjian echoed Cimperman’s theme.
“Every one of our elected officials needs to hear from us,” she said.
Her group collected postcards urging the mayor and city council to pass the ordinance.
Hazerjian said the cards show support for the measure to undecided councilors, and lets ones who already support it know the community “has their backs.”
Saparito said Cleveland Pride will stick with the “Unity” theme for next year’s Pride celebration.
“We’re doing outreach to other groups and collaborations, including sharing office space and promoting events like Black Pride,” Saporito said.
Cleveland Black Pride will be celebrated August 6-9.
“We’re also looking to get more straight allies involved,” Saporito said.
July 2, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
Cleveland Pride THANKS all sponsors, volunteers, parade participants and festival goers!
Thanks to all sponsors and community participants for making 2009′s pride festival the biggest in recent history!
To recap, here is a break-down of this year’s event, in numbers:
-52 donors and sponsors!
-10,000+ festival attendees
-2,091 parade participants
-115+ vendors and exhibitors
-12 grand marshals
This kind of participation from the Cleveland community equals one amazing Cleveland Pride 2009 parade, rally and festival. Rarely do we have the opportunity to recognize our event, much less say ‘thank you’ to all of you! Thus, here goes:
Thanks to all of you for your heartfelt support and attendance at the 21st celebration of Cleveland Pride on Saturday, June 20th, 2009.
For the 21st celebration of Cleveland Pride’s parade, rally and festival, the planning committee and board of directors selected a theme of “Equality through Unity”, which will be carried-out throughout the rest of 2009 as a reflection of Cleveland’s LGBT community.
The theme was augmented by the selection of 12 city council members as grand marshals, who fought diligently to assure the passage of Cleveland’s Domestic Partner Registry in December of 2008, which went into effect in May, 2009.
“We [board of directors and planning committee members] believed that this year it was important to acknowledge and celebrate individuals that unify as a group to advance equal rights for the LGBTQI and straight allied community,” shared Cleveland Pride Board President/CEO Todd Saporito.
“Council members worked feverishly with LGBTQI community members and straight allied organizations and demonstrated that unity among individuals and organization can achieve long term relationships, diverse understanding, and ultimately results,” Saporito added.
Cleveland Pride’s leadership began enlisting significant volunteers for the 2009 planning committee in November of 2008. By the beginning of March 2009, Cleveland Pride’s planning committee totaled nearly 45 contributors, ranging in various levels of interest and expertise.
The first set of significant volunteers were divided into two segments. The first segment addressed soliciting returning sponsors and vendors, with an equal amount of attention to finding new sponsors and vendors. The second segment of significant volunteers where tasked with event management logistics including securing and scheduling all facility service providers and develop a full event management plan. Concurrently, significant volunteers began the task of scheduling all entertainment.
“As the entertainment committee completed their selection and scheduling for all of our entertainment, it became very clear that the downturn in the economy could have a negative impact on funding,” stated Cleveland Pride Board Treasurer, Lee Dybo.
“We asked for the entertainment committee to refocus their team and create a full-time fundraising committee. This committee would manage fundraising events held over 12 weeks leading up to the Saturday, June 20th celebration. Our goal was to achieve a significant amount of funds to offset any potential reduction in overall sponsorship and donations,” added Dybo.
The fundraising committee scheduled eight (8) large fundraisers, some occurring in the same week. This team significantly exceeded all historical benchmarks bring unprecedented pre-pride funds for the organizations. These funds were used then for special purposes, like the new beer garden DJ booth or to provide funding for specific entertainers.
The rest is for the history books.
On behalf of Cleveland Pride’s board of directors and significant volunteers, we express our deepest and most sincere thanks to all of those people that helped plan the 2009 event and thanks to those who attended.
July 1, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DOWNLOAD JOSEPH-BETH CLEVELAND PRIDE FLYER/COUPON BY CLICKING HERE
Cleveland, Ohio – June 4, 2009 – Joseph-Beth Booksellers will host an in-store event to benefit Cleveland Pride at Legacy Village, 24519 Cedar Rd., Lyndhurst, OH 44124. Former Ohioan Rakesh Satyal will discuss and sign his new book, Blue Boy at 2:00 pm. Also, autographed copies of Sprout, the latest young adult release from author Dale Peck, will be available. By mentioning your intent to support Cleveland Pride at the register, a portion of the proceeds of all purchases in the bookstore and Bronte Bistro throughout the day will be donated back to Cleveland Pride by Joseph-Beth.
This event is free and open to the public.
About The Author
RAKESH SATYAL graduated in 2002 with a B.A. in Comparative Literature and Creative Writing from Princeton University, where he won the 2002 Ward Mathis Prize for best short story written by an undergraduate. He has been published in a variety of anthologies, including the Lambda Award-winning The Man I Might Become: Gay Men Write About Their Fathers and the second volume of the Fresh Men series, which featured an introduction by Andrew Holleran.
Rakesh is currently an editor at HarperCollins, where he edits such authors as international superstar Paulo Coelho, horror maestro Clive Barker, beloved novelist Armistead Maupin, and humorist Paul Rudnick. He is also on the planning committee of the PEN World Voices Festival and speaks frequently at writers’ conferences.
In his spare time, Rakesh sings jazz music. His act with noted publishing figure Jonathan Burnham, “Rocky and Johnny,” was featured on Page Six and the New York Observer and mentioned in The New Yorker, New York, the New York Times, and Time Out. Due to his trifecta of editing-writing-singing, Rakesh was featured in the 2005 book The Renaissance Soul by Margaret Lobenstine, a guide to balancing one’s various interests and hobbies. Rakesh is also a bona fide foreign language nerd and budding chef.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Rakesh now lives in Brooklyn, New York.
About Blue Boy
Meet Kiran Sharma: lover of music, dance, and all things sensual; son of immigrants, social outcast, spiritual seeker. A boy who doesn’t quite understand his lot — until he realizes he’s a god…
As an only son, Kiran has obligations — to excel in his studies, to honor the deities, to find a nice Indian girl, and, above all, to make his mother and father proud — standard stuff for a boy of his background. If only Kiran had anything in common with the other Indian kids besides the color of his skin. They reject him at every turn, and his cretinous public schoolmates are no better. Cincinnati in the early 1990’s isn’t exactly a hotbed of cultural diversity, and Kiran’s not-so-well-kept secrets don’t endear him to any group. Playing with dolls; choosing ballet over basketball; taking the annual talent show way too seriously…the very things that make Kiran who he is also make him the star of his own personal freak show…
Surrounded with examples of upstanding Indian Americans — in his own home, in his temple, at the weekly parties given by his parents’ friends — Kiran nevertheless finds it impossible to get the knack of “normalcy.” And then one fateful day, a revelation: perhaps his desires aren’t too earthly, but too divine. Perhaps the solution to the mystery of his existence has been before him since birth. For Kiran Sharma, a long, strange trip is about to begin — a journey so sublime, so ridiculous, so painfully beautiful, that it can only lead to the truth…
About Dale Peck
DALE PECK is the author of the Drift House novels for intermediate readers as well as many critically acclaimed novels and books of essays for adults, including Martin and John and Now It’s Time to Say Goodbye. He lives in New York City.
Sprout Bradford has a secret. It’s not what you think—he’ll tell you he’s gay. He’ll tell you about his dad’s drinking and his mother’s death. The green fingerprints everywhere tell you when he last dyed his hair. But neither the reader nor Sprout are prepared for what happens when Sprout suddenly finds he’s had a more profound effect on the lives around him than he ever thought possible. Sprout is both hilarious and gripping; a story of one boy at odds with the expected.
For more information about this and other community programs or author events at Joseph-Beth Booksellers, call 216.691.7000 or visit www.josephbeth.com.
July 1, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
This year, Dancing in the Streets is celebrating its 25th anniversary of helping the lives of those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, as well as, celebrating and remembering the lives of those who have left us due to HIV/AIDS. Dancing in the Street seeks to unite the community, regardless of sexual orientation, in the fight against HIV/AIDS by bringing all people, from all walks of life, together in a day of entertainment, dancing, and fun. In this tradition, Dancing in the Streets fulfills its mission of raising funds for The AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland. The AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland is a well founded organization that provides a great deal of HIV/AIDS related services to the Greater Cleveland Community on a daily basis.
This years theme “Dancing to Save Lives” embodies the spirit of Dancing in the Streets by showing that saving lives for HIV/AIDS can be a celebration of those lives.
For 25 years, Dancing has been providing much needed funding to the cause of fighting, educating, and providing services for those living with and affected by HIV/AIDS. This year will be no exception. Dancing In the Streets has set a benchmark goal of raising over $50,000.00 in donations. Seeing how we all are affected in some way by HIV/AIDS, we all need to come together and support this event. Remember that our community as a whole needs to come together to support each other and what better way than through good music, good entertainment, and fellowship with good friends. Who knows, you may even make a few new friends and enhance your view on HIV/AIDS in the process. Remember, this is not just a once a year party, it is a very much needed fundraiser to help in the fight against HIV/AIDS, as well as, a way to unite our entire community for a good cause. The event is being held August 23, 2009 from 1 – 10 pm on Clifton Blvd. between W. 116th and W. 117th.
$5.00 Pre-Sale donation or $10.00 donation the day of the event. 18 and over. Rain or shine.
Mission Statement: The AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland provides a compassionate and collaborative response to the needs of people infected, affected and at risk of HIV/AIDS. This is accomplished through leadership in prevention, education, supportive services and advocacy.
The ATGC is guided by principles that epitomize effective nonprofit management and client-centered outcomes for people living with/affected by HIV/AIDS. They include the following:
Service to people living with and at risk of HIV infection will always be our highest priority. Services provided by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland are designed to promote optimal independence, self-reliance, health, and well-being, in a manner that respects a diversity of cultures and identities, and that upholds the inherent dignity of every individual. www.aidstaskforce.org
July 1, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
“Brutality at the hands of law enforcement is never acceptable and these allegations demonstrate the need for a thorough and impartial investigation,” said HRC President Joe Solmonese
WASHINGTON – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, today called for an investigation into alleged police misconduct at a gay bar in Fort Worth, Texas this weekend. Local media reported that patrons complained of officers using excessive force in an inspection that coincided with the 40th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York.
“Brutality at the hands of law enforcement is never acceptable and these allegations demonstrate the need for a thorough and impartial investigation,” said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese. “We applaud the Fort Worth community for seeking answers to these very serious charges.”
Fort Worth police officers and Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission agents arrested seven patrons at the Rainbow Lounge early Sunday while conducting an alcoholic beverage code inspection of the bar. Witnesses to the event say the officers used excessive force – in some cases slamming patrons to the ground.
According to the Dallas Voice, one patron, Chad Gibson, is in intensive care for a head injury following the incident. Dozens of local residents protested at the county courthouse yesterday and the Fort Worth Police Department has issued a statement saying they are investigating the allegations internally.
The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.
July 1, 2009 | Posted in Uncategorized | By ExecutiveBoard
Jun 29, 2009 5:50 pm US/Central; Compiled From Staff Reports
FORT WORTH (CBS 11 News) ― Members of the North Texas gay community are angry and they want answers. News of a Saturday night raid of the Rainbow Lounge nightclub on South Jennings Avenue has sparked an outcry.
Images posted on the Dallas Voice website have generated strong emotions from the community.
Fort Worth police say early Sunday morning members of their department, along with two officers from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission, conducted a raid at the brand new bar near downtown Fort Worth.
Police say five people were arrested for public intoxication and at least a dozen more were restrained. The incident was captured on camera and posted on local blogs. The scene was topic of conversation at Sunday’s Million Gay March in Dallas, and the Cathedral of Hope in Dallas released a statement following its Sunday morning worship services.
“After more than a generation of progress, this action shows that there is still much work to be done to ensure that all Americans enjoy ‘equal protection under the law,’” the statement reads. “It is tragic that lesbian and gay taxpayers are still abused by the very people who are paid by our taxes.”
The community is upset because the raid happened on the 40 year anniversary of the “Stonewall raid.” That raid, of a New York bar, is said to have launched the gay and lesbian civil rights movement.
Raymond Gill was at the bar early Sunday morning. He says one of the TABC officers targeted him. “I asked him why I was pulled outside. He stated it was because the way I was walking. He said I looked like I was drunk. But as I stated, I got to the bar 30 minutes before they got there. I sat down had not got up before police got there. No one saw me walk.”
On the steps of the Tarrant County Courthouse, on the exact day that sparked the gay and lesbian civil rights movement 40 years ago, the gay community of North Texas gathered to once again rally for their rights.
“Everyone was just rattled by this, and scared. It’s just not something I expected to see in 2009,” witness Todd Camp said.
Camp was among several others inside the Rainbow Lounge, when Fort Worth Police and the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission conducted a bar check just after midnight.
“I’ve worked in gay bars in four different counties in Texas. I’ve never seen anything this aggressive,” club bouncer Justin McCarty said.
Those arrested have been identified as 23-year-old Rene Crosby, 23-year-old Dylan Brown, 23-year-old Joshua Taylor, 41-year-old George Armstrong and 31-year-old Jose Maczas.
Joshua Taylor spoke with CBS 11 News about the raid. “I just approached one [officer] and said, ‘Excuse me, sir, can I ask what he’s going to jail for?’ That was it,” Taylor said. “He just pointed at me. ‘PI.’ He spun me around and that was it.”
“Rest assured the people of Fort Worth, or the government of Fort Worth — will not tolerate discrimination against any of its citizens,” Fort Worth Councilman Joel Burns said. He’s now calling for accountability.
Monday, we talked to Mayor Pro Tem Kathleen Hicks. “We do not want that the reputation as someplace that is not inclusive,” she said. “And as long as it’s on my watch, we’re going to ensure that’s the case.”
The incident left a man hospitalized with a head injury. Chad Gibson, 26, remains in serious condition with bleeding around the brain. Witnesses say several officers threw him to the ground during the inspection.
Meanwhile, Fort Worth police say the club was just one of several inspected late Saturday night. In a statement, police say the department is conducting a thorough internal investigation into the allegations, as well as the allegations against the officer. If you witnessed the police raid, you are urged to call the Fort Worth Police Department’s Internal Affairs Office at 817-392-4270.