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Jeb Bigelow

Jeb Bigelow

I guess I just knew I was going to stay in Ohio, and I knew Columbus was a bigger city that was more liberal. When I moved here I didn’t know much about it. So I would see theatre or be involved with theatre a lot. We would hang out at old Mohawk a lot. That would be the late night going to get drinks sort of place. Obviously I’d go to gay bars too, the ones in the Short North like Havanna – that’s not there anymore. Union when it was in its old location, although I like the new Union still. I can see why they like the new one, but I have a lot of good memories about the old one. Being young and stupid, I suppose.


I really love Columbus. I don’t see myself leaving. The closest consideration I ever gave it was when I tried to long distance date someone. I might be stuck. Plus, my family is still a couple hours away. It’s far enough, but close enough. Especially because I’m a momma’s boy. Especially if you’re from Ohio, Columbus is a nice place to be to be close to family because its central. You can come here from any part Ohio and live in a more liberal, accepting, and understanding part of the state, but you can still go back and visit home and appreciate that too. 


It’s a big city in name but it has a home town feel. That’s weird to say. I don’t want to dig on it. I don’t mean it as a weird backwards compliment. I do think Columbus is great. I just feel like if I say it’s not a big city then I’m saying something mean about Columbus, which is not what I mean. Maybe it gets a bum rap because of that. It’s part of why I love it, though. I wouldn’t want to live in a New York City. 


I remember when I first moved here, my one friend was young and gay at 19, so we would look at the little magazine that had gay spots in it. Once we turned 21, we decided to try to visit every single one on the map. We did do a lot of them, but now there’s definitely less, and they change more. Wall Street’s gone, It’s crazy to think that. 

I definitely think it seems tamer and more developed now. Compared to what I remember, but I don’t remember feeling unsafe. It would be very likely that we would walk from the old Union to Havana all the time. I remember thinking that off where Axis is was a little shady back in the alley, but that’s gotten less shady. I wouldn’t want to go walk by the park at night. Maybe when I was younger, especially. Once it gets dusk, I wouldn’t do it. You’d always hear scary stories about that. I don’t know if it’s as bad anymore. But you’d hear the same thing about Schiller Park, people would say you’d get jumped or something. 


Jeb Bigelow is the creator, host, and sole arbiter of The Jebby Awards, presented each Spring for the Columbus theatre community. Jeb lives in Clintonville.

Ethan

Ethan

Emma Lou Andrews and Amina Adesiji

Emma Lou Andrews and Amina Adesiji