Celebrating Pride can be such an important part of being a queer person. However, with the COVID-19 crisis, parades and in-person celebrations are making the LGBTQIA+ community reimagine how to celebrate and support one another.
We’re a resilient community for sure, but I’d still like to offer a moment of silence and all the space for queer and trans folks who would’ve been celebrating their first Pride this year. I see you, I celebrate you, and I’m here in solidarity.
I was supposed to host a dear friend’s daughter (who’s now a dear friend) for her first Pride this year in Seattle. I was so looking forward to showing her the queer ropes and having all the fun. It’s breaking my heart to miss out on this rite of passage. (I pinky swear promise, T, we’ll do it up bigger and better next year.)
This year, at the start of the COVID-19 crisis, National LGBT Chamber of Commerce Co-founders Justin Nelson & Chance Mitchell said:
“Pride is the ultimate celebration of togetherness, even if we can’t dance in the streets this summer. From the safety of our homes, we will be able to celebrate all that makes our community so beautiful, so resilient, and so rich with diversity. As our community organizations and corporations plan for digital Pride celebrations, we can all rely on the resourcefulness of America’s 1.4 million LGBT business owners and the services they can provide to make this Pride season unforgettable. Every dollar spent with the LGBT Business Community helps all of us come out of this moment stronger – and that is something that should give us all pride.”
So, this year, we may not get exactly what we want. We’re queer, we’re used to it. That said, WE CAN DO THIS.
Be proud (you have every reason to be), dance your ass off, and celebrate togetherness – whatever that looks like for you and your community. The show will go on, even if we have to gather virtually. All I know is that 2021, we’re coming for you with SO MUCH GLITTER and going to celebrate our queerness in all our booty short-clad asses glory.
In the meantime, here are 12 ways to get your Pride on from home – tiara optional (though always a wise fashion decision).
Virtual Global Pride
The European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA) and InterPride, a consortium of local pride organizations in the US and internationally, are organizing a massive, 24-hour worldwide Pride event to be held online on Saturday, June 27, the anniversary of Stonewall. It will feature musical performances, speeches, and other Pride-related content each hour, with the hopes that local prides will have 15 minutes of time to shine.
For more information, visit here.
Dig into Omnom’s Caramel + Milk Pride Bar
Pride parades may be canceled, but you can still have sweet moments with Omnom’s Caramel + Milk Pride Bar. The creamy milk chocolate is flecked with glittery chunks of caramel and wrapped up in rainbows and unicorns. Basically, this bean to bar chocolate is festive AF. Omnom has been an official sponsor of Reykjavik Pride in Iceland since 2017.
Buy it here; $13.99.
NYC Pride Island 2020
While we’ll miss celebrating the 50th anniversary of the city’s first Pride March in 1970 in person, we’re excited about a virtual pride event on Sunday, June 28.
Carson Kressley will co-host the show and “Schitt’s Creek” creator and star Dan Levy will be among four grand marshals. Among the fab performers and participants, include Janelle Monáe, Billy Porter, Deborah Cox, Margaret Cho, and Brazillian musician Luísa Sonza.
It looks like we’re going to be wearing face masks for a while, so why not show your pride while staying safe? The profits from these masks are split between the neighbourhood art studio making the masks, the519 (Toronto's leading community centre for LGBTQ2S communities), and the Mark It Proud Project, which is helping expand LGBTQ visibility in greeting cards.
Buy it here; $19.99
Vancouver Pride Society’s Virtual pride 2020
Vancouver Pride Society is launching a new app and website, which will up and running in June.
From July 27 to August 2, they plan to host a series of super fun events, including Public Disco Pride Edition, Hot Fruit: 5G—A QTBIPOC Pride Celebration, a Pride Ball with Van Vogue Jam, both a local history and an international panel discussion, and several drag events.
To top off the week of festivities, a Virtual Pride Parade Live Stream will be held on August 2.
TOMS Unity Collection
Pride meets TOMS’ classic Alpargata slip-on. Every shoe in this collection sends a message of love. We especially love the Love Is Love Print Women’s Classic.
Buy it here; $59.95.
Visit Stonewall (Virtually)
Before there were parties and parades, there was Stonewall. And while you can’t visit the Stonewall National Monument in person this year (like the 2.5 million people who flocked to NYC last year to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots), you can visit virtually via Stonewall Forever.
The interactive online exhibit features historic photos and videos, as well as sobering soundbites from protests and historic media interviews. One neat feature of this experience is that viewers can add their own memories to the exhibit.
Pasta, Pretty Please by Linda Miller Nicholson and a Rainbow Pasta Dough Kit
If you need an instant mood booster, check out Linda’s, aka Salty Seattle, Instagram.
She serves up straight-up realness in her posts and her pasta creations are pure whimsy. Celebrate Pride with a copy of Pasta, Pretty Please ($25.65), and a rainbow pasta dough kit ($89, including shipping), which comes with 12 servings in six, plant-dyed rainbow hues.
Beets and harissa make red; butterfly pea flowers make blue. She also offers contactless dough kit pickups in Seattle. To get on the list to be notified of each weekly sale, fill out this form.
Pride 2020 DragFest
Produced by GLAAD and NYC Pride, this three-day digital drag festival (June 19 to 21) will feature over 100 drag performers to raise money for drag artists. Activist and NYC City Council candidate, Marti Gould Cummings, will host.
For more information, visit here.
50 Years of Pride
From now until April 15, 2021, the San Francisco Arts Commission Galleries and the GLBT Historical Society are presenting, 50 Years of Pride, a photo exhibit that features action shots, portraits, magazine covers, and other images that intend to capture the history of San Francisco Pride since its beginning in the 1970s.
It is curated by local artists and co-founders of the Queer Cultural Center, Lenore Chinn and Pamela Peniston. Once COVID restrictions ease, in-person viewing will be available. In the meantime, find an abbreviated online version here.
Billboard and Hollywood Reporter's Second Annual Pride Summit
Billboard and Hollywood Reporter’s annual pride event is going virtual this year and adding a prom celebration! The daylong June 13th event will feature appearances by Billy Porter, Carlie Hanson, Carson Kressley, Chris Appleton, Cyndi Lauper, Erika Jayne, Hayley Kiyoko, Indigo Girls, Jonica T. Gibbs, Justin Tranter, Kat Cunning, Lauren Jauregui, Lena Waithe, Madame Gandhi, Mary Lambert, Noah Cyrus, Pabllo Vittar, Patrick Starrr, Rex Rebel, Shea Diamond, Soko, Tove Lo, Todrick Hall, Wilson Cruz, and The L Word: Generation Q stars Jennifer Beals, Katherine Moennig, Leisha Hailey and Jillian Mercado, and more name to be announced.
For the first time ever, it will include a virtual Pride Prom, featuring a drag contest and crowning of the Pride Queen winner, as well as an interactive DJ set. In preparation for the prom, attendees can participate in tutorials from top makeup, hair and fashion stylists, and more.
Remember, You're Not Alone
While I have you here, if you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community and struggling with mental health during this crisis, please call The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender National Hotline at (888) 843-4564. All calls are anonymous and confidential. I know I’ve been struggling. You are not alone.