Pride 2020:
The year of ‘Digital Pride’

Pride Month for 2020 will be unlike any other.

Only one year after Stonewall’s 50th anniversary, similar scenes are appearing all over America and the world today. It’s important to remember why we celebrate Pride as part of the queer community today, and why social unrest still exists.

Pride will have to adapt to how the global pandemic has changed the way we celebrate and reflect. It has always been a celebration of rallying together as queer people, but what do when we physically can’t? If you told me in January that I would be enjoying Pride this year by live-streaming something from my living room with plenty of homemade margaritas at hand, I’d say you must have me confused with someone else.  

Unfortunately, hundreds of gay pride celebrations around the world have been cancelled or rescheduled due to the global pandemic. However, the queer community and dozens of event organisers are coming together to offer a digital alternative. This way, we can still remember and celebrate the queer trailblazers who came before us, and to continue their work fighting oppression.

Physical to Digital

Pride is an opportunity for celebration and reflection, and a symbol for everything we’ve achieved through the year. June is recognised as Pride Month to honor the Stonewall Riot that occurred at the end of June in 1969. 

This was the first pride. A riot led by queer people of colour. We would not have the rights that we have today without them fighting for the queer community. Since then, Pride has heavily evolved in to the beautiful, loving, and open celebration it has become today. And so it will have to evolve again this year.

No matter which country you’re in, things won’t be the same. Our celebration of queer culture will have to adapt to what’s going on in the world.  Virtual gatherings and online activism will become the main way the queer community can remember and celebrate the LGBT+ trailblazers that came before us. Pride celebrations with friends and family will be just as wholesome, but with only a certain number of people. Drag shows will be at the club, but over Facebook live. If it’s one thing we have, it’s knowing how to cope with feelings of isolation, and having the strength of endless resilience.

What’s on?

Global Pride 2020 is still very much happening, and www.globalpride2020.org plans to stream 24-hours worth of content on June 27th. You can donate your own performance or spoken word content here. 

We’ve been lucky enough to have a sneak-peek at some of the content we’ll all get to enjoy on June 27. This the first openly gay prince of India, Manvendra Singh Gohil, leaders of Costa Rica, Norway, and Luxembourg, with more leaders set to announce their participation in the coming weeks. Artists include Pabllo Vittar, Olivia Newton John, Courtney Act, together with plenty of audio and visual content of George Michael to celebrate the community he loved so much.

We won’t have to wait much longer for the full official lineup, with all major acts and speakers set to be announced on June 13. These digital events are a great experiment in accessibility, and potentially allow future Pride events to be more inclusive. In the mean time, make sure you check out your local queer bars and clubs, as many are live-streaming drag shows, bingo, and sets from your favourite DJs.

It’s all about you

No matter how you choose to celebrate Pride this month, remember to let the love in, be kind to yourself, and be proud of who you are. As lockdown laws gradually ease across the globe, I’m still hopeful some sense of normality will influence how we get to celebrate Pride. That being said, I’m not expecting to be off my tits at a two-hundred person any time soon. But, if a digital pride has to occur, we should damn well ensure it’s the best digital Pride possible. Buy yourself something nice, reflect on what you’ve achieved this year, and spend time with your queer family.

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References:

Eli Rosenberg (June 24, 2016). “Stonewall Inn Named National Monument, a First for the Gay Rights Movement”. The New York Times. Retrieved June 25, 2016.

https://www.globalpride2020.org/news/
https://www.starobserver.com.au/news/global-lgbtqi-community-unites-for-digital-pride-hackathon/195638
http://epoa.eu/coronavirus/#resources

Morgan, Thad (June 2, 2017). “How Did the Rainbow Flag Become an LGBT Symbol?”. History Network. A&E Networks. Retrieved November 25, 2018.

Nagourney, Adam. “For Gays, a Party In Search of a Purpose; At 30, Parade Has Gone Mainstream As Movement’s Goals Have Drifte.” The New York Times. June 25, 2000 retrieved January 3, 2011.

www.globalpride2020.org, visited June 1st, 2020.