When the realities of COVID-19 began setting in in early March, many of us were hopeful that we would see a quick demise of the virus. Unfortunately, the opposite is true, and as such we have seen our world forever changed. While June is usually a time that many of us like to march through various cities, this year looks a little different. Expressing our pride this year will take place a little closer to home - virtually.
The history of the LGBTQ+ Movement traces much of its momentum to June 28th, 1969 when the New York City Police Department raided the Stonewall Inn - a gay club in Greenwich Village. Near constant raids were a regular occurrence, and part of a broader institutionalized oppression against members of the LGBTQ+ community. After the raid on the morning of June 28th, a tipping point was finally met. One evening of protests turned to a second, with both turning to violence and rioting after met with aggression from the NYPD. Although not the beginning of the movement, the Stonewall uprising became a galvanizing force, in part because it was spearheaded by a number of activists, many of whom were black, latinx, and transexual.
Traditionally celebrated on the last Sunday of June - in commemoration of the aforementioned 1969 Stonewall Riots, Pride has evolved into a worldwide show of solidarity, persistence and strength for the LGBTQ+ Community. Events, parades, and festivals traditionally take place throughout the month of June, but due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, many have been cancelled, postponed or adapted for a digital presence. A shortlist of ones on our radar are found below!
Details are still in the works, but the Northalsted Business Alliance will bring a virtual two day Pride Fest live on June 20th and 21st via Twitch. Expect the full line-up of entertainment, activism and greetings that we’ve become used to. Donations will be accepted as well.
New York City Pride
Usually home to the world’s largest Pride gathering, New York City is taking this year’s celebration virtual - in partnership with ABC New York. Dan Levy and Janelle Monáe will lead a televised event on June 28th! More information here.
San Francisco Pride Online
San Francisco will organize its online celebration the weekend of June 27th - 28th as well. While details are still in the works, we expect it to feature pre-recorded performances, remarks from elected officials and celebrities, drag performances, and DJ sets.
On June 27th, a 24 hour stream will commence to celebrate the beauty and diversity of the LGBTI+ Community. Planned content includes musical performances, addresses from public figures, and speeches from activists. The platform to be used has yet to be announced, but those interested can sign up for updates via Facebook.
While traditional Pride based festivals and marches are a more traditional way to celebrate Pride Month, this year also calls for broader support
Make A Donation
Seek out local organizations that support the LGBTQ+ and Minority Communities in your city, or large scale organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign or ACLU. If you can’t donate money, donate time - either through signing petitions or volunteering - to the organization that best aligns with your values.
Local businesses have struggled during the COVID-19 pandemic, and during Pride Month, we advocate to support those who are minority owned or give back in your community. Many cities have LGBTQ+ Chambers of Commerce which can be an excellent starting point.
Many community groups, professional organizations, and institutions are producing programming for critical discussion. For example, the American Institute of Architects in Chicago has arranged a webinar and panel discussion on Gender Neutral Bathrooms. Reach out to your own networks to find out what others are attending if you’re struggling to find events on your own!
Film & Literature
There is a world of film and literature beyond the mainstream. While selecting the LGBTQ Channel on Netflix is a great start, we’re going to make a concerted effort to find more films and literature written and produced by LGBTQ+ people.
This year is different, for all of the reasons stated above, but also because our entire community must stand, not just together, but also with the black community who stood with us. We must push for a more just society for all, not just those with the privilege of having a certain skin color, gender or sexual orientation. This year’s digital presence presents an opportunity for broader reach, to include more voices and leave a lasting impact on the world.
We’ve only scratched the surface, and urge you to share any others more in the comments section below! Happy Pride from From The Window Seat!