COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Some Central Ohio dads spend Father’s Day on the protest line. Sunday, families joined demonstrators at the Statehouse for a Unity March, showing LGBTQ pride and protesting racial injustice.
“There’s no better way to spend this day than with the family for something we really care about, which is respect and care for everybody,” explained Ray Gooden.
Gooden brought his wife and three children to the event, including his daughter Gianna, who encouraged the family to participate.
“Being part of the LGBTQ community as well, it’s very important for me to be able to be a part of this big movement and trying to change how people are viewed in this world based on what they identify as or maybe the color of their skin,” said Gianna Gooden, 12.
As a Black man and the father of someone in the LGBT community, Gooden said it was equally important to show support for his daughter and for the Black Lives Matter movement. During recent months, the family had been discussing the unrest and the nation’s history of systemic racism.
“For our kids to understand what this is about… this is all historic stuff, so for them to have an opportunity to share in this is incredible,” he said. “There’s a lot of teachable moments that are here.”
Alex Griffith said even though his children are 4 and 2, he also wanted them to witness activism from a young age.
“I think that’s the best lesson we can give to any of the young ones,” Griffith said. “Don’t just sit there
and read about it. If you feel strongly enough to do something, go out there and do something. Believe in yourself and believe in everyone else.”
Both fathers agreed passing along life lessons was an appropriate way to spend Father’s Day.
“This is the best Father’s Day. Anything I can do to help them grow is perfect for me,” Griffith said.
Gooden added, “We feel like, as a family, if we show our kids the right way their lives will be better than our lives have been.”
The Unity March took the group from the Ohio Statehouse to Stonewall Columbus, where several speakers from the Black and LGBTQ communities gave speeches.