Virtual Pride 2020: Safe, Inclusive, and Community-Centered

Pride has gone virtual this year! I have a few thoughts about how to celebrate Pride with inclusivity at the core.
AliciaWallaceAliciaWallace
Jun. 15, 2020
campaign, cherie
Cherie is an online community of beauty lovers sharing their stories; whether that's their favorite products, makeup tutorials, or skincare routines. Download the app today to be a part of #BeautyWithoutBarriers and show the world what beauty means to you!The temperature is up and everyone is ready to enjoy the summer. The season is always brightened with the rainbow energy that comes with Pride, a celebration of LGBT+ lives and the opportunity to be visibly, unapologetically in community. This year is different. COVID-19 has swept into our lives and is slow to leave. We need to be six feet apart, wear masks, avoid touching our faces and each other, and be consistent with hygienic practices. This does not bode well for parades, vogue contests, or the general camaraderie of Pride that translates to physical expressions of love and happiness. Our community needs Pride. It’s a bright spot in the year, and a perpetually postponed Pride is unacceptable, so we must press on. For many countries, Pride is a party and it’s relatively safe. In others, Pride is an act of defiance and can be dangerous as same-sex intimacy is illegal. Some still have Pride events, but challenges include the public perception that LGBT+ people are lascivious and hedonistic, the drain on resources, and the safety of participants. It is quite possible, for example, for a person to be spotted on a Pride parade and be evicted by the time they get home. This is counter to the purpose of Pride — commemorating the Stonewall Riots, owning our identities, refusing to be ashamed of our sexuality, celebrating each other, and using public space to increase our visibility and community spirit. Virtual Pride is an alternative that can be more inclusive, accessible, and connect us across borders, outness, ability, and legality. We can learn about different contexts and how to better support one another. Pride should be empowering, and that means giving people options to allow them to have a great time without worrying about their safety. We may find that Virtual Pride will bring us closer together as a global community, build empathy, and activate our imaginations so we can create better Pride events in the years to come. Many organizers have already planned events that will allow for virtual participation, and it will be the first Pride for many members of our community. Let’s support these events, the organizers, and, most importantly, the LGBT+ people in attendance, bringing all of who they are for us to see, hear, and affirm.
campaign, cherie
Image: Friend of Alica Wallace-- LGBT+ Advocate Erin Greene at the Equality Bahamas IWD march in 2018. C/o to Nowé Harris Smith.Here are just a few of those Virtual Pride events:NYC Pride presents a Human Rights Conference featuring Janet Mock, Raquel Willis, and programming from organizations including Immigration Equality and The NYC LGBT Center.Denver Pride has an event lineup that includes a virtual 5k, a dyke march, and story time with drag queens.Digital Dublin Pride Festival is running events all through June and into July including a discussion on safe spaces, Older Than Pride for LGBT+ people over 50 (so you can invite your queer grandparents!), and a live and interactive Pride parade you can join from your home.Lambda Literary is making Pride bookish with a great event series featuring people like T Kira Madden (author of Long Live the Tribe of Fatherless Girls), Nicole Byer (comedian and host of Nailed It), and Chani Nicholas (everyone’s favorite astrology expert). Check them out, tell your friends, and let’s make the most of Pride, safe at home.
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