Pride is On
It’s been a long, hard and scary two years since the last real Pride celebrations. As we slowly emerge from the pandemic and take tentative steps back to normalcy, Pride promoters are working overtime to bring the festivities back to a party-hungry community.
And looking at the calendars from around the world, Pride is back, albeit a bit more subdued.
But first a bit of history, courtesy Wikipedia. “Pride parades (also known as pride marches, pride events, and pride festivals) are outdoor events celebrating lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, non-binary and queer (LGBTQ) social and self-acceptance, achievements, legal rights, and pride. The events also at times serve as demonstrations for legal rights such as same-sex marriage. Most pride events occur annually, and some take place around June to commemorate the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City, a pivotal moment in modern LGBTQ social movements. The parades seek to create community and honor the history of the movement.[opinion] In 1970, pride and protest marches were held in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco around the first anniversary of Stonewall. The events became annual and grew internationally. In 2019, New York and the world celebrated the largest international Pride celebration in history: Stonewall 50 - WorldPride NYC 2019, produced by Heritage of Pride commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, with five million attending in Manhattan alone.
And not all areas are able to participate with full parades – or any parade at all. The pandemic is still in full force in many countries, where large gatherings are prohibited. And cities where Parades are allowed are often requiring revellers be vaccinated and masked. Like Venice Beach in California, it’s “Vax on, Mask off” at the party where everyone needs to be vaccinate to enter.
San Francisco usually has a spectacular parade, really topping the list of extravaganzas. This year Pride will be celebrated in a much lower key with two big Movie Nights at Oracle Park.
For others who are still cautious about venturing out into an almost post-covid world, many Pride groups are presenting events that you can participate in – virtually.
Seattle Pride, known for its extravagant events is once again going virtual. But, according to Krystal Marx, Seattle Pride executive director “It’s not going to be boring. This is going to be something you have to strap in for.” The program is extensive and you need to register.
Denver will present a hybrid Pride according to Rex Fuller, CEO at The Center on Colfax, Producers of Denver Pride. “This year’s Denver Pride will blend in-person and virtual activities to provide a safe way to enjoy the annual event amidst the continuing pandemic. This year’s festivities will include a virtual marketplace, an in-person and virtual 5K race, a virtual parade, and a series of “Pride hubs” hosted at a variety of venues throughout the city.”
Atlanta is also a hybrid event, as the Atlanta Pride Run has a virtual option so you’re able to sign up and run anywhere. Plus, for signing up and participating either in person or virtually, you get a shirt!
Like many other cities around the world, Amsterdam is currently in a wait-and-see mode, hoping to hold Pride events towards the end of the year, when some “restrictions might apply, such as a negative test result or vaccination passport.” Las Vegas PRIDE Parade is expected to return on October 8, 2021.
Ok, so just because Pride is constrained again this year doesn’t mean forget about it.
Celebrate at home, with vaxxed friends and family and online. Here’s a list of suggested activities to kick off June Pride Month, courtesy C-Net
- Hang a Pride flag outside your home.
- Place a Pride sticker on your car.
- Host your own Pride-themed movie night.
- Wear some Pride clothing.
- Join virtual events.
- Be an ally to your LGBTQ colleagues, friends and family members.
- Support LGBTQ organizations in schools.
- Support businesses that support the LGBTQ community.