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Pride month continues to be celebrated in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic

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Big gay welcome 8/30

“I believe we can all come together, because if you take away the labels, you realize we’re far more alike than we are different.” – Ellen DeGeneres

Every year in June, people come together across the world to celebrate a watershed moment in human rights history. 2020 is the 50th anniversary of the original LGBTQ Pride March in June of 1970; honoring the LGBTQ people who stood up in response to a police raid and the Stonewall Uprising in June of 1969. Every year, people celebrate the freedoms they have since earned and call for equal access and treatment for all.

This year has been especially poignant as Pride Month has been enmeshed with the COVID-19 crisis and the protests in support of Black Lives Matter (BLM) following the death of George Floyd. These two events have worked together to create an anniversary no one expected.

Rebecca Solove, junior medical laboratory science major said, “Black Lives Matter has not affected my celebration of pride. Right now, Black Lives Matter is more important than pride. We often forget that pride started because of trans women of color and they are still not safe. If anything, Black Lives Matter has become a large part of my pride celebration.” 

This statement is echoed by LGBTQ people and their allies across social media. Tweets, posts and stories in support of the cause abound. But the fact is that COVID-19 has brought many celebrations to a halt.

“COVID-19 definitely affects because there are definitely many pride events and parades that happen all across the world during Pride month. But there are still plenty of digital and virtual celebrations going on, so there can still be celebration,” Wade McCullough, a senior Film Studies major said, “But Pride month is also a time for education and bringing awareness to human rights issues surrounding queer issues.”

These events have had to be delayed or gone virtual in most cases across the world. A few virtual events include NYC Pride on June 28, San Diego Pride on July 18 and Dallas Pride on July 25-26. There are also some live events that have been postponed, but over 100 events listed onGayCities’ website have been canceled. A few of the postponed live events include Chicago Pride on September 5-6, Pride in the Cle on September 12 and Ferndale Pride in Detroit on September 26.

Bryan Geyer, a junior public relations major, said that he attended a College Democrats of America Pete Buttigieg interview through Zoom but doesn’t have much else planned right now.

“I’ve never been to a Pride parade and I would have loved to attend one this year, but it looks like that will have to wait for another year,” he said. He added that the Zoom interview was cool and “I hope to attend more if the opportunity arises, but don’t have any on my radar.”

While this isn’t the way people planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pride Month, the celebrations and education is going forward. McCullough explained that he intends to do his part and will celebrate as best he can.

“Many pride events are being pushed to the fall, so I will try to participate in those and try to participate in the online events,” he said. “With social media and such, we can still be connected while continuing activism. There are still plenty of digital and virtual celebrations going on, so there can still be celebration!”

 

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