Last year for Pride, instead of waving flags of immunity and dance in the streets, we stayed home, concealed behind masks and uncertain of if we’d be able to be together again. For centuries of LGBTQ people, it brought back shockwaves reminiscent of their terrifying early days of the AIDS epidemic, when gay people were left to take care of each other while nobody else, including the authorities, would.
The disposition for Pride is generally bright and cheery, but its origins are anything but. It commemorates a riot where gay, lesbian, bisexual, and trans people fought against a violent police raid on the Stonewall Bar at the late-night hours of June 28, 1969. At the time, raids by cops on the few gay clubs which existed were commonplace and antigay laws were on the novels from shore. The confrontations lasted for several more days with the crowds growing in size and ferocity.
Over the years, Pride has increased in size. Over 5 million people in New York City celebrated the 50th anniversary of Stonewall in 2019. That year an estimated 150,000 people marched with 700 teams at a parade through the streets of Manhattan that lasted for 12 hours. Of course, the Covid-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of events globally that were planned for 2020.
The good news in 2021 is that vaccination rates are moving quicker than anyone imagined, together with half of Americans having received a minumum of one dose. It’s a bright spot in what’s been a dark time, but it comes a bit too late for event organizers who need months to plan festivities. This means there’ll be few in-house tasks this month for the millions of recently vaccinated individuals with pent-up queer energy bursting to get out.
This season, there is still some doubt with the ongoing pandemic about who can and can not go out. Luckily, there’s a good deal of amazing stuff happening on the internet that you don’t have to venture out to experience. “We have something for everyone,” explained Dan Dimant, that became media director for NYC Pride past September after serving for many years as a volunteer. “Everything is listed on nycpride.org. There are events for youth, for families, for people who like to cook, for film enthusiasts. We’ve tried to hit on a range of different interests and segments of our community.”
Here’s a taste of the internet glitter, glamour, and gloriousness planned for what will be the final pandemic Pride. The majority of the events are free of charge.
Kicking off LA Pride is a totally free “Thrive with Pride” concert including pop sensation Charli XCX and up-and-coming LGBTQ artists. The performances will be shown by and livestreamed exclusively on TikTok, making it effortless to join in the fun out of your phone. For updates on the lineup, visit the LA Pride web site. LA Pride also suggests you follow @tiktokforgood for upgrades.
I’ve been a lover of this world-renowned New York Gay Men’s Chorus and Youth Pride Chorus for decades, so I am excited about the premiere of the new video”Outside Voice,” about the adventures of queer youth. It will be accompanied by a talkback session with composer Julian Hornik and artistic director Gavin Thrasher. You can see live at 8 pm ET in their YouTube station .
NYC Pride will present its fourth annual Human Rights Conference June 21 into 23. This year’s conference will include a series of interactive Masterclasses with transformative experts in activism, fashion, culture, and queer history sharing their perspectives with guests through live seminars. You are able to subscribe to your own Masterclasses here. Tickets are approximately $5.
The symposium will provide free principal stage open discussions on a wide selection of topics designed to connect communities such as trans empowerment, mental health and wellness, and collective power for people of color. Y