YMCA of Central Ohio Celebrates Pride

The Y bus in the parade at High and Long Streets, with COO Kim Jordan and other staff proudly waving to the crowd. 

On Saturday, June 15th, 700,000 people converged on the streets of Columbus to celebrate the 38th annual Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade. What started as a one block parade on one side of Nationwide Blvd in 1981, has turned into one of the largest Pride parades in the country- this year even surpassing San Francisco. Pride weekend gives the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies to opportunity to celebrate the progress that has been made and honor those that have tirelessly fought for equality, acceptance and respect along the way. 

              

Historically, the YMCA has been a place that welcomes all. While what that looks like has changed throughout its 175 year history, the sentiment remains. Everyone is welcome and supported at the Y- no matter an individual's gender, race, ethnicity, religion, marital status, sexual orientation, languages spoken; whether you're small or large, rich or poor, it doesn't matter- we welcome you as you are.

Knowing what we stand for as an organization, 15 of our staff members joined forces on Saturday morning and stood along side 3,000 other participants in the largest Pride parade Columbus has seen yet. Chief Operation Officer Kim Jordan spoke about the importance of the Y's presence in the parade.  

"The YMCA is an inclusive organization and it's important for us to walk the talk. We are proud to participate and have a presence in the Pride parade. The Pride parade is a positive celebration of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters and we want everyone to feel welcomed and supported. The City of Columbus is a very diverse and welcoming city and I feel we are aligned in our beliefs that equal rights apply to everyone. We are the Y and we welcome ALL because we are for ALL."

We are proud of be a part of the Central Ohio Community, and all of those we serve within it. We will see you at the parade next year!