Celebrating Your First Pride Month in 2020

Although pride month may look different this year, there’s still an abundant amount of resources for you
ToriBPowellToriBPowell
Jun. 16
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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!On another typical day of staying home amidst the Coronavirus pandemic, one Arizona household had a pretty monumental day. Aryanna Diaz, a graphic design student at Chapman University was quarantined with her mother and younger sister when the three women approached an unprovoked heart-to-heart conversation. The college artist remembered a promise that she had made to herself which aimed to be more vulnerable and on May 19, Diaz came out of the closet to her family as bisexual. “In my head I always imagined the moment to be really crazy, but it was actually pretty casual,” she said. Diaz dreamed of a big celebration following her announcement with the bisexual flag waving through the air while ‘Coming Out’ by Diana Ross played. Instead, her family told her that they had already known, and kept the conversation going. “That works too,” she joked. Diaz was also looking forward to celebrating her first Pride month while out of the closet, but COVID-19’s reality changed those plans as well. “I’ve always seen it from an outsider’s perspective because I’ve never actually been able to go,” she said. “Now that I’m out of the closet, I wanted to try and take part of it and I wanted to try and include myself.”But with the Coronavirus pandemic’s uncertain future, Pride celebrations all over the world have either been rescheduled, gone online, or in some cases even cancelled for the year. “I still don’t know exactly what I’m going to do now,” Diaz said. Confusion on what next steps to take after coming out of the closet can be a common feeling for many, even when there isn’t extreme political tension and a deadly pandemic going on, but there are resources and support for you this Pride month and beyond. Artist and activist Maddie Ceasar said she knows what it feels like to be confused on next steps. In high school, Ceasar had her queer sexuality unwillingly shared and said that “it was a rough situation” where she felt unsure of the future.
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“Living in a conservative area, I was definitely bullied,” she said. “I felt alone.” Ceasar said that it wasn’t until college that she felt comfortable with her sexuality and got involved in the LGBTQ+ community. The artist advises those who have recently come out to find support with other queer people and allies because they do exist, and they will support you. She mentioned groups on social media like Voices 4 that have been incredibly helpful for her. “Even though I felt like I was alone and didn’t know what to do, I still had a queer and trans family all around the world who would fight for me and support me no matter what even if I didn’t know it yet,” she said. David Correa – who is the current Executive Director of NYC Pride – agrees with Ceasar, saying that community is everything for LGBTQ+ individuals. “Our community is definitely one that thrives off of unity,” Correa said. “These are our chosen families because not everyone is lucky enough to have supportive biological families.”
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And just because some Pride month celebrations are reimagined this year, it doesn’t mean that the community aspect will completely disappear. In New York City, Correa said that virtual events will allow access to more people in different locations around the world. Attendees can expect virtual appearances and performances from artists like Janelle Monae, Billy Porter, Dan Levy, and more. More announcements can be found on NYC Pride’s website and social media. Los Angeles has innovative ideas for their 50th Anniversary Pride Celebration too. Although many of the month’s events will be online as well, Madonna Cacciatore who’s the Executive Director says that the queer community will become closer than ever as the world navigates this current reality together. “We are no stranger to fighting for our rights. We are no stranger to having to pivot,” she said. When Cacciatore came out of the closet in the 1970s, she said that Pride to her was somewhere that she could feel safe and that gave her a platform to fight for her rights. At Pride, she said, “you’re allowed permission that you may not receive every day to be your complete self.” Through events like the “LA Pridecast”, the Christopher Street West march for racial equality, and interviews with heroes and activists of the queer community like Amara La Negra and Bob the Drag Queen, LA Pride this year hopes to provide that same safe space of community that it always has. Other resources include The Trevor Project, SAGE USA, The National Center for Transgender Equality, Asians and Pacific Islanders for Equality, The Audre Lorde Project, and more.
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