Chattahoochee Valley Pride hosted the grand opening of Columbus’ first LGBT community center Saturday, with organizers saying it will be a safe space for the community to come to for support groups, fun events and more.
“The closest LGBT-friendly center is either in Macon or Atlanta,” CV Pride secretary Mark Scruggs tells the GA Voice. “There’s nothing local here for the Chattahoochee Valley so we felt there was a need for people that just want to come in and hang out or get support or meet new people, whatever they want. We’re going to try to provide a number of different things.”
The center currently has an HIV/AIDS support group that meets every other Wednesday and future plans include a transgender support group, movie nights, game nights and more.
Scruggs says since there are no gay bars or any other LGBT facilities in Columbus, people tended to only get together at house parties or other small get togethers at different houses around town.
“We’re trying to get those people away from their cliques and out into the community and bring everyone out there to show people in Columbus just how powerful we can be,” Scruggs says.
Funding for the center is currently all local donation-based, but CV Pride is looking into grants they would be eligible for, so with more funding and more volunteers they would be able to change the hours of the center from a needs basis only which it currently is, to being open seven days a week.
The Chattahoochee Valley Pride Celebration will be held Saturday, September 13 starting at 11 a.m. at Flat Rock Park on Warm Springs Road in Columbus.