Taken at face value, you wouldn’t be prone to think Columbia — you know, capital city of Dixiecrat-history-laden South Carolina — was one of the most progressive cities in South Carolina I mean, the Carolinas oops, the nation. But, if you dig a little deeper you’ll find that it is. How? Why? Really, it is unexplainable and boggles the mind.
Not only does both the City of Columbia and Richland County sponsor the city’s annual SC Pride Parade and Festival, local businesses and city government has approved the group’s request to hang rainbow flags down Main St. and Gervais St. — the two roadways running into and alongside the state capitol, respectively. And, on top of that, the city and county have contributed a grand total of $30,000 to the event, money used to fund things like this electronic billboard… Amazing! Now, us queers just need to get our act together here in the Queen City. At nearly six times the size of small-town Columbia, you’d think Charlotte would be the place where gays ruled supreme. Mr. Reality says, “Keep dreaming.” Here’s a thought: Pride organizers and LGBT community leaders in other cities should take their cues from Columbia. A nice sit-down and community-wide brainstorming session might do some good, too.