Local leaders discuss visibility and representation in the LGBTQ+ community

By Cameron Aloway, Cleveland Foundation Marketing & Communications Intern

The month of June nationally commemorates and honors the contributions made by the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ+) community. Pride celebrates the multiple identities that exists within the spectrum while highlighting the importance of needed representation for the diverse community. 

In its annual Where We Are on TV report, the advocacy organization GLAAD found that for the first time in five years, overall representation of LGBTQ+ characters decreased during the 2020-2021 television season despite an increase in racial diversity of queer characters.

On June 17, The City Club of Cleveland hosted a virtual forum to discuss accurate representation and visibility of the LGBTQ+ community in the media and in Northeast Ohio. The forum, titled “Beyond Pride: Why LGBTQ+ Visibility Matters,” invited Deidre McPherson, an independent arts consultant at the Cleveland Museum of Art; and Ken Schneck, editor of The Buckeye Flame, Ohio’s LGBTQ+ digital news platform; as panelists for the forum.

Lauren R. Welch, marketing and communications manager at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland, led and introduced the conversation as McPherson and Schneck discussed their relatively different experiences with Pride and how it impacted and elevated their voices to spread visibility and advocacy in their respective communities.

Watch their entire conversation here:

Why does LGBTQ+ visibility matter to you? Let us know in the comments below!