Columbus LGBTQIA activist honored by city

Local News

COLUMBUS (WCMH) – A Columbus woman is being honored for her contributions to the LGBTQIA community.

The honor comes on the heels of a historic decision Monday from the U.S. Supreme Court.

Letha Pugh will receive the Shellabarger Illuminator Award from Columbus City Council during City Hall’s Pride Week lighting ceremony.

Pugh owns Bake Me Happy, a gluten-free bakery in Merion Village, but in her spare time, she’s also an advocate for the LGBTQIA community.

She said that it’s important to her that her voice is heard and that she continues to fight for her community’s rights.

“It feels good,” Pugh said. “It does feel validating. Part of the reason I started Black, Out, and Proud, because I also felt like there are black LGBTQ people in their community who are contributing and doing the work and it’s nice to be honored for it.”

Pugh said it took years to get to this point.

“I know what it’s like to struggle – that’s just not financially – and what it was like to be in a dark place and come out of that place,” she said. “I realize I have a responsibility and I do reflect about these things because today, the significance of this week Juneteenth on Friday, and today LGBTQIA people can’t be fired for just being who they are. A lot of good in all of this chaos right now.”

Pugh uses her free time to improve the lives of members in the LGBTQ community through her organization, Black, Out, and Proud, which promotes pride in the black LGBTQIA community.

“I want to do the work for the people, but I’m with the people,” she said.

Getting the award on the heels of the Supreme Court decision is really an added bonus for Pugh, knowing her LGBTQIA brothers and sisters will no longer have to work in fear of being fired for being who they are.

“Right is right and what is just, what our civil rights, regardless if you’re Republican or not, but they have an inkling of other people have rights, but people were surprised,” she said.

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