We fly our pride flags 24/7/365 in Columbus, and we don’t tolerate haters. The annual Pride Parade draws half a million people to the Short North every June for a giant, rainbow-colored party. We even have a favorite drag queen (love you, Nina!) who’s one of the city’s biggest celebs. Don’t sit on the sidelines! We’ve rounded up seven ways for you to get to know Columbus’ awesome, active LGBT community any time of year.
Start right here at CCAD by joining this group, a safe space and community for the queer students on campus, The Queer Alliance’s biggest event is the annual drag show (save the date: Saturday, Nov. 12). Professional drag performers and CCAD students alike perform. And the outfits are epic. Other things to do with Queer Alliance: Attend meetings, check out the CCAD Queer Community Celebration, and, in the spring, head to Queer Education Week.
Part carnivale, part Halloween party, part fashion show, 100% over-the-top. Highball takes over High Street in the Arena District for one weekend every October. This year’s party, Oct. 21-22, is sure to be bigger and better than the last. Envision 30,000 revelers going wild for the runway stylings of Columbus fashion designers, including CCAD grads Ryan Richmond and Barbara Wallace and Que Jones, whose drag alter ego is Greta Goodbottom.
A home base and resource center for the LGBT community of Columbus, offering classes, clubs, social get-togethers, opportunities for political activism and connections to other agencies and organizations that support the LGBT community. This is a great place to connect and get involved and invested in Columbus.
Find this free monthly glossy magazine on newsstands throughout Columbus. It’s a great way to keep up with the social and political activism of the LGBT community in Columbus and Ohio (this is where Obergefell v. Hodges began, after all) and get to know the leaders in the local community. And, yeah, there’s plenty of fun (sports, commentary, arts) between the covers, too.
Columbus’ resident LGBTQQIA theater company brings all manners of performance — plays, musicals, revues — to further its mission of supporting and celebrating the LGBTQQIA community, staging works by and about the community, and fostering a conversation about gender issues. This season’s offerings include Looped, Abraham Lincoln was a F*gg*t and a one-night-only performance by drag sensation Miss Coco Peru.
The big kahuna of Columbus LGBT events, and one of the biggest Pride parades in the Midwest. Every June, check out live music and other fun in Goodale Park, and don’t miss the parade. Just park yourself somewhere along High Street in the Short North. You’ll beam with pride at the spectacle, at the number of corporations and businesses that participate, and at the sheer joy of the day.
Equitas (formerly AIDS Resource Center of Ohio) provides health care, wellness, HIV/AIDS prevention, legal services, social services, and more to the LGBTQ community in central Ohio. You can get involved by volunteering at or attending one of their signature fundraisers, Red Columbus (a dinner party with over-the-top table decor) or Art for Life (a killer art auction), which raise a lot of money, do a lot of good and are hella fun.
Read more in our series CCAD & Columbus.
Learn more about CCAD or apply here.