In 1981, a few dozen Columbus men and women—many wearing bags over their heads to conceal their identities—marched down High Street with signs demanding equal protection against discrimination for gays and lesbians. That was Columbus’s first Gay Pride march.
Though the mood will be festive, the theme of Pride 2009—”Freedom”—begs the somber question posed on the Pride website: “Are we free in Central Ohio?” While the number of Pride marchers—and the everyday visibility of the GLBT community within Columbus—has grown exponentially in the past three decades, gay, lesbian, transgendered and bisexual Ohioans are still pushing for many of the same civil protections that the original Pride marchers were seeking back in ‘81.
Mike Maly is passionate about helping the community. Maly has had some great accomplishments in his career as manager of executive technology and office services at Limited Brands, Inc., but nothing seems to outweigh the impact he has had within the community; in particular the GLBT community. “I look at how my career and many leaders within Limited Brands have opened doors for me to really make a difference within the community,” said the enthusiastic Maly. One of Mike’s greatest accomplishments has been his work with the United Way campaign. “When United Way of Central Ohio wanted to explore new ways to partner with the GLBT community, Mike Maly was one of the first people we turned to,” said Janet Jackson, President and CEO of United Way of Central Ohio. “He is a dedicated volunteer who has provided invaluable insights to help us build stronger relationships within our diverse community.” (Outlook Magazine 12-25-08)
Love United, Walk United, LIVE UNITED
2009 Stonewall Columbus Pride Parade