Virtual Pride Festivities on Tap in Queens, Brooklyn

Everyone was all smiles at Brooklyn Pride’s twilight march last year, but this year COVID-19 has forced the event to be virtual.
Donna Aceto

Residents of Brooklyn and Queens are gearing up for their respective borough’s annual Pride festivities, which have been significantly altered for this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

A virtual edition of the 28th annual Queens Pride March and Festival will take place on June 7 and Brooklyn Pride will follow suit with a days-long slate of events culminating in the borough’s main Pride event on June 13.

Queens Pride’s virtual program will begin at noon on June 7 across three different platforms — Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube — and will include videos and performances that will feature drag queens, supportive faith leaders, healthcare workers, non-profit organizations, and elected officials.

Virtual entertainment on tap for Queens Pride includes videos of drag artists Angela Mansberry, Gina Tonic, Cissy Walken, Ducky Sheaboi, and Patsy InDecline. The event will also include video footage of past editions of Queens Pride, as well as videos from elected officials in the borough. The event will conclude with a dance party featuring DJ Black Icon and Mad Sinner Jamele Mel.

Colorful feathers brightened the streets of Queens last year on the first weekend of June.Donna Aceto

Organizers named three honorary grand marshals: The late AIDS activist, playwright, screenwriter, and author Larry Kramer, who passed away on May 27; the Black Lives Matter movement; and Julian Sanjivan, the co-president of InterPride who formerly was the march director for Heritage of Pride, which produces the annual LGBTQ Pride March in Manhattan.

In Brooklyn, meanwhile, there will be several days of Pride events. Responding to the wide outrage stemming from the deaths of Black individuals by police, Brooklyn Pride’s website has listed a “Virtual Healing Circle” event slated for 7 p.m. on June 5.

“We are incensed at the injustices that continuously plague communities of color, including here in Brooklyn,” read the post on Brooklyn Pride’s website. “In light of the recent murders, we are holding a virtual healing conversation.”

The event will be held in conjunction with the New York City Anti-Violence Project and Pink Love Wellness, a company dedicated to coaching and healing.

The events will continue at 8 p.m. on June 9 with a “Dine With Pride: Home Edition” event intended to support local restaurants. Individuals are encouraged to order take-out or home delivery and join a virtual discussion and trivia contest.

On June 11 at 8 p.m., Brooklynites can join a “Drag Bingo Pajama Party” featuring prizes. Folks are welcome to wear their favorite pajamas, blanket, or robe.

The festivities will conclude with an action-packed “Pride Day” on Saturday, June 13, beginning with a virtual 5K run/ walk and continuing with a 7:30 p.m. virtual celebration with entertainment, messages from community leaders, and a dance party. Registration slots for the virtual 5K run have sold out, according to Brooklyn Pride’s Facebook page.

Brooklyn Pride co-chair Mickey Heller told Gay City News that elected officials will also be on hand — digitally, of course — including State Attorney General Letitia James, City Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.

For more information about Queens Pride’s virtual celebration, visit queenspride.org/. For more information about Brooklyn Pride’s virtual events, visit brooklynpride.org/.

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