Candlelight march planned for Zanesville to bring Pride Month to a close


By Christine Holmes, News Director

A peaceful march is planned for Zanesville Tuesday evening to draw Pride Month to a close.

The march is organized by local youth advocates and the same young man who previously led a Black Lives Matter demonstration several weeks ago, Kyle Johnson.

Johnson said when he organized his first demonstration with his aunt, Melissa Dickinson, he was in disbelief after learning not all who say “Black Lives Matter” are referring to every black individual.

“Many black people don’t actually mean ‘All Black Lives,'” wrote Johnson. “When I say it, I mean all of their lives, not just the straight ones.”

The march will recognize those individuals in the LGBTQ+ community in an effort to peacefully acknowledge their rights.

Johnson called on men and members of the church community in particular when highlighting the need for tolerance as a way to lower the suicide rate in of LGBTQ+ individuals, especially amongst black queer youth and black transgender women.

“When you refuse to educate and accept their existence and acknowledge their disparities because you don’t want to identify as supporting their group you are just as bad as the white moderate who refuses to speak on racism,” wrote Johnson.

Expounding on his statement, Johnson said moderates contribute to intolerance by staying silent.

“To white moderates, I say that your silence is aiding and abetting their agenda and your moral leadership is needed now more than ever,” wrote Johnson.”The silence of the straight community speaks volumes of their tolerance toward discrimination.”

The event will encourage an open dialogue on LGBTQ+ concerns.

“I know this discussion is uncomfortable and maybe not traditional for some, but that is not an excuse to not educate yourself on the disparities linked to queer black people,” wrote Johnson. “We must face a struggle, we must face these hard discussion[s], because if we aren’t, then are we truly making progress?”

The march is Tuesday, June 30 at Zane’s Landing Park at 8 p.m.