Columbus Pride Marks Culmination Of 'The Year Of Nina West'

Nina West, the drag queen sometimes known as Columbus activist Andrew Levitt, serves as the Grand Marshal of Columbus's 38th Annual Pride Festival and Parade, happening downtown this weekend.

The honor is just the latest in West's banner year, but for her, it's the most important.

"It's overwhelming. I'm over the moon," West says. "I do believe it to be to be the biggest honor to happen to me."

Hull Alley in the Short North has been temporarily re-named The Nina West Way. And to top it all off, she has the highest of Central Ohio honors: her very own Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams flavor, "Nina West's Dream Puff."

But leading the Pride parade is a different story, West says, because it's a celebration of her own community.

“Time and time again, people have second-guessed and doubted the role and the validity of a drag queen to the LGBTQIA community," she says. "And I think this is a tremendous step forward.”

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Mellissa Miller