Participants march in the Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival June 22 on High Street. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

Participants march in the 2014 Stonewall Columbus Pride Festival. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Ohio State’s Multicultural Center will be holding a Columbus Queer Tour on Friday for students to learn more about the LGBT community in the city.

In celebration of LGBT history month, the Multicultural Center, within the Office of Student Life, is conducting a free tour of LGBT-friendly businesses, venues and sights in the city for students.

Eli Johnson, a graduate student in social work and an employee in the Multicultural Center who works with LGBT student services, is coordinating the Columbus Queer Tour. Johnson said the tour can enlighten students about LGBT history and how the community is active around Columbus.

“The Columbus Queer Tour is a great way for students who might be new to Ohio State, Columbus or just the LGBT community in general to learn more about our community and its history,” Johnson said. “We start the tour at the Multicultural Center, and then go to different spots around the city that are friendly and welcoming to the LGBT community.”

The tour will include exploring the LGBT community along North High Street, and will include stops LGBT-rights organizations such as Stonewall Columbus and Equitas, which both offer HIV and STD testing.

Sherin Tawana, a third-year in finance, has never taken an LGBT-focused tour and said she is looking forward to the one coming up next week.

“Growing up, I never had the opportunity to meet many people who are LGBT and engage with them,” Tawana said.

Tawana said she hopes to make new friends on this tour while learning more about the LGBT community.

“I am excited for this tour so that I can learn about the history and also see the different places that this community feels comfortable and at home,” Tawana said.

Former Ohio State student Caroline Souza has participated in many events created by the Multicultural Center and said she believes the tour this year will be a success.

“Some students don’t even consider themselves as LGBT, they just go to learn about the history or show their support for the community,” Souza said.

The tour starts at 3:30 p.m. at the Multicultural Center and will last three and a half hours. Students interested in joining the tour can contact Eli Johnson at to RSVP.