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June 1, 2020, is the beginning of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Typically June 1 is a time of merriment. Rainbows and glitter usually fill the air, however, this is not the case this year. With COVID-19 still a concern and now the rioting from people protesting the death of George Floyd, celebrating seems to be out of the question.
In 1969, the first Pride took place outside of the Stonewall Inn, located in New York. This protest was led by some black transgender women wanting to make a change in civil rights. This year, Pride month is seeing a different kind of protest but in the same manner… Inequality.
Though one may not be able to go out and celebrate Pride Month, this does not mean it is canceled. Celebrations that can be held in small, distant groups, may do so. Other places have transitioned to holding their celebrations virtually.
Due to international and domestic quarantine requirements, people were not able to flock to New York for World Pride. A statement released on Monday, from the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR) said, “Today is 6/1, the official start to #PrideMonth. But right now we are reminded that the 1st #Pride wasn’t a party or a celebration, it was a RIOT led by Queer POC (People Of Color).”
Human Rights Campaign President, Alphonso David, appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” on June 1. David spoke of all the black people recently killed by police brutality; George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and Nina Pop. He also expressed his sorrow for all of the “countless other names and faces” of victims who are unknown, due to the lack of cameras in those cases.
On May 29, 2020, over 100 LGBTQ civil rights organizations released a letter stating that, as a community, they openly condemn racial violence. They know that they will not be able to “remain neutral, nor will awareness substitute for action.”
The letter further states, “We celebrate June as Pride Month, because it commemorates, our resisting police harassment and brutality at Stonewall in New York City, and earlier in California, when such violence was common and expected.”
They continue by saying, “We remember it as a breakthrough moment when we refuse to accept humiliation and fear as the price of living fully, freely, and authentically.” The Senator for New York state, Brad Holyman, is the body’s only openly gay member, calls for a complete overhaul for all planned Pride Month.
Holyman believes, “It would be unconscionable for the LGBTQ community to ignore that our black and brown neighbors are crying out for justice.” He acknowledges that now is not the time “for a milquetoast, corporate Pride celebration.”
The main thing to focus on is the fact that pride is a feeling. With or without a parade one still has pride. Pride from the knowledge of all that has been done for the LGBTQ community. On June 2, “RuPaul’s Drag Race: Out of the Closet” aired at noontime (EST).
On June 5, there will be the Boston Pride 2020 Flag Raising Ceremony, airing at noon. People will also be able to watch “We’re Still Here: THE All-Day Queer Celebration” from 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. Another event, held from 6-7:30 p.m., will be “Author Talk with Dr. Eric Cervini. Dr. Cervini will be talking about “The Deviant’s War: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America.”
The Buffalo Grove Pride Drive will take place on June 6, from noon to 3 p.m. The Boston Pride & City of Boston Office of Veterans Affairs LGBTQ Veterans Panel Discussion will be held from 6 to 7 p.m on June 8, 2020.
From June 9 to the 29th the Criminal Queerness Festival will be holding various seminars online. Many other activities are planned out all across the U.S. Though times may seem rough, Pride Month has not been forgotten.
By Sheena Robertson
Edited by Jeanette Vietti
GMA: Virtual Pride events offer new way to celebrate LGBTQ history and culture in June
NBC: Pride started with ‘revolutionary riots’: Advocates point to movement’s radical roots
CNN: Pride is a feeling, not a parade
Top and Featured Image Courtesy of Stock Catalog’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License