Youngstown celebrates 10th annual gay pride festival - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown celebrates 10th annual gay pride festival

Posted: Updated:
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio -

Downtown Youngstown was filled with color Saturday afternoon as the city celebrated gay pride.

 People marched from Vindicator Square to downtown during the 10th annual gay pride festival.

Joseph Jackson said, "I think we've come a long way. We've got this great parade here in Youngstown and festival. We are having a good time down here."

Youngstown councilor and retired Youngstown police officer Anita Davis said, "I had no idea how people would react when I came out of the closet in 2008 or if I would still have a job. I have been embraced by folks in Youngstown.

"People know I work hard and measure me by my abilities. I became the first openly gay black elected official in Ohio. We were hoping to have a festival and didn't think that 10 years later we would still be doing it and that we would have LBGT protection here in Youngstown, Ohio," Davis said.

After the parade ended, Reverend Lewis Macklin began the festival with a prayer.

Mayor Jamal Tito Brown also presented a proclamation to the grand marshal of the parade Denise Russell.

Russell began performing at the Trubador Lounge on the Uptown area of the south side.

Russell said, "In the 1980s a female impersonator could be arrested if they were not wearing at least one item of men's clothing. Things have changed significantly for the better. Back then just to get in and out of nightclubs was dangerous and we learned to arrive early."

The entertainer is the only female impersonator to perform in 80 years, at the Grand Ole Opry for a charity event.

She sang several songs for the crowd including, "Somewhere Over The Rainbow."

Russell added, "We started a grassroots effort to help people in this community who were struggling and that is how gay activism started in the entertainment community." 

The Mahoning County Health Department offered free and confidential screenings for HIV. 

State Representative Michele Lepore-Hagan says Ohio has more work to do to make sure all people's rights are respected.

Lepore-Hagan said, "Right now there is House Bill 160. It is the fairness bill in housing and employment. It's based on gender equality. It has had two hearings."

  • Ohio/PennsylvaniaMore>>

  • Pittsburgh kindergartener found with handgun on school bus

    Pittsburgh kindergartener found with handgun on school bus

    Tuesday, February 19 2019 9:17 PM EST2019-02-20 02:17:12 GMT
    School officials in Pittsburgh say a kindergartener was found with a handgun on a school bus.      Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says the gun was found in the student's backpack Monday after school was dismissed. The student attends the Pittsburgh Faison K-5 school.      Pugh says another student alerted the bus driver to the weapon, and the gun was removed without incident. She says parents were notified via the district's phone system...More >>
    School officials in Pittsburgh say a kindergartener was found with a handgun on a school bus.      Pittsburgh Public Schools spokeswoman Ebony Pugh says the gun was found in the student's backpack Monday after school was dismissed. The student attends the Pittsburgh Faison K-5 school.      Pugh says another student alerted the bus driver to the weapon, and the gun was removed without incident. She says parents were notified via the district's phone system...More >>
  • Gov. DeWine says announcement coming on proposed gas tax increase

    Gov. DeWine says announcement coming on proposed gas tax increase

    Tuesday, February 19 2019 7:31 PM EST2019-02-20 00:31:13 GMT

    Gov. Mike DeWine says he'll announce on Thursday his proposed recommendation for increasing the state's gas tax to deal with a chronic shortfall in spending on road construction.      DeWine, a Republican, says there are no other solutions outside a gas tax increase, while warning that any increase simply keeps Ohio from falling behind.      He wouldn't provide details or say what the proposed increase will be. He spoke at an annual forum sponsored by The...

    More >>

    Gov. Mike DeWine says he'll announce on Thursday his proposed recommendation for increasing the state's gas tax to deal with a chronic shortfall in spending on road construction.      DeWine, a Republican, says there are no other solutions outside a gas tax increase, while warning that any increase simply keeps Ohio from falling behind.      He wouldn't provide details or say what the proposed increase will be. He spoke at an annual forum sponsored by The...

    More >>
  • Senator agrees to pay $20K to settle Facebook blocking suit

    Senator agrees to pay $20K to settle Facebook blocking suit

    Tuesday, February 19 2019 12:32 PM EST2019-02-19 17:32:07 GMT

    A state senator from Ohio has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle a lawsuit after a constituent was blocked on his official Facebook page.

    More >>

    A state senator from Ohio has agreed to pay $20,000 to settle a lawsuit after a constituent was blocked on his official Facebook page.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms