With Many COVID-19 Pride Postponements, Global Virtual Event Planned

The World Pride March in New York last year was the largest LGBTQ gathering in history; now a virtual event planned for June 27 because of COVID-19 could top that.
Michael Luongo

Because of widespread cancelations or postponements of June Pride festivities around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, the two largest international Pride networks have announced a virtual celebration for Saturday, June 27.

InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association announced on April 1 that they are working with national organizations in the US, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, and Sweden and regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America to organize “Global Pride.”

The online platform aims to bring together people from around the world for a live-streaming of speeches by human rights and musical performances.

New York City’s annual LGBTQ Pride March, produced by Heritage of Pride/ NYC Pride, is scheduled for Sunday, June 28, one day after the Global Pride virtual gathering, and HOP has made no statement regarding any planned postponement, though given the severity of the coronavirus outbreak here in the city, that would certainly not be surprising. The June 28 march, if it were held, would cap a week of numerous other HOP-produced events, among many Pride celebrations in the city.

David Correa, NYC Pride/ HOP’s executive director, speaking about the planned Global Pride, said, “NYC Pride is thrilled to hear about the exciting virtual event that InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association have in store for the world as a result of the continuing health crisis. As a proud member of InterPride, we are excited about #globalpride2020 and will determine our participation once our local decisions have been made. Please stay tuned for updates coming soon.”

The Reclaim Pride Coalition, which last year held an alternative Queer Liberation March the same day as the HOP march and drew an estimated 45,000, is also planning a march for June 28. Like HOP, Reclaim Pride has made no announcement regarding any planned postponement.

“We need community and connection more than ever,” said J. Andrew Baker, co-president of Interpride. “This gives us an opportunity to both connect and celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community’s resilience in the face of this pandemic and the true spirit of Pride.

Baker noted that Pride celebrations in 2020 mark the 5oth anniversary of the first Christopher Street Liberation March in New York that came a year after the Stonewall Riots.

Kristine Garina, president of the European Pride Organisers Association and chair of Baltic Pride in Riga, Latvia, said, “The unprecedented challenges of COVID-19 mean that most Prides will not take place as planned in 2020, but we’re determined that this won’t stop us from coming together as a united, strong LGBTQIA+ community to celebrate who we are and what we stand for.

Ron deHarte, who is the co-president of the United States Association of Prides, said, “Annual Pride events in the United States engage and unite 20 million people who gather to celebrate the strength and resilience of the LGBTQIA+ community and to raise awareness for social justice and equal rights of all individuals. Through the pain and disruption caused by the novel coronavirus, we will deliver a virtual message of hope, comfort, love and we will have an opportunity to show our appreciation to first responders everywhere.”

Pride groups from around the world can indicate their interest in participating Global Pride by visiting forms.gle/YDeCA9shTDMdK5RP9.

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