By Vic Gerami
Prides come together to organize ‘Global Pride’ amid COVID-19 cancellations
Pride organizations around the world have come together to organize a ‘Global Pride’ event on Saturday, 27 June, 2020, in response to the hundreds of Pride celebrations that have been cancelled or postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Global Pride will use online platforms to deliver a Pride in which everyone can participate, wherever they are in the world. It will include musical performances, speeches, and key messages from human rights activists. The event will be live-streamed, and people will be invited to join in the event from home.
InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association – the world’s biggest international Pride networks – are working with national organizations in Canada, Germany, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America, and regional networks in southern Africa, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America, to bring communities and Pride organizations together for this Global Pride event.
“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,” continued Baker. “Pride 2020 represents a milestone for Pride events, with many honoring the 50th anniversary of their first gatherings and marches, such as New York to the first Gandhinagar Pride this year and we would not let that pass without recognition and celebration.”
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.”
“Global Pride will show the LGBTQIA+ movement for the very best it can be, showing solidarity at a time when so many of us are mourning and strength when so many of us are feeling isolated and lonely. Above all, we will show our resilience and determination that Pride will be back bigger and stronger than ever before.”
“For millions of people around the globe, Pride is their one opportunity each year to come together and feel a part of a community, to feel loved, connected and to know they aren’t alone. It’s essential this year that as Pride organizers, we ensure there is still the opportunity to connect, even if we are connecting from home.”
“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,” said Ron deHarte, Co-President of the United States Association of Prides. “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.”
Ernie Yuen, President of CAPI and a member of the Global Pride organizing committee, said that more detail would emerge in the coming days and weeks, saying that the need to ‘respond urgently’ to this global crisis was key.
Uwe Hörner, a board member of CSD Deutschland [German Pride network], said: “Especially in these difficult times full of uncertainty and insecurity, we need to show visibility. Social distancing must not lead to the disappearance of diversity. We are happy to demonstrate with “Global Pride” to be part of a large community, and we want to send out a strong sign of solidarity and human rights.”
Jenny Dewsnap, Co-Chair of the UK Pride Organisers Network, said: “We are enormously proud that UK Prides will be a part of this global event. Our communities and our pride organizers now have something to look forward to this summer and a chance to be a part of this unique demonstration of worldwide solidarity and unity.”
Maria Jern, Vice-Chair of Svenska Pride [Swedish Pride network], said:” In these times, it is even more important that we can demonstrate the power and strength of a joint Pride celebration around the world. Let the rainbow flag light up the world.”
Dana Marsh, President of Fierté Canada Pride, said: “It’s easy to feel isolated right now, especially with so many of our local Pride celebrations announcing cancellations or new dates. Pride celebrations bring our communities together in a show of solidarity and unity. Now, more than ever, we need to be loud and proud!
Pride is not just a celebration, but a homage to our origins; the defiance and resistance against all systems of oppression. We acknowledge the intersections that join us in the global fight against homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, gender discrimination, racism, sexism, classism, and colonialism.
We must show that our global movement will persist, even when faced with new and unexpected challenges. Prides across Canada look forward to connecting with Two-Spirit/Indigenous, LGBTQIA+ communities from around the globe. Pride lives in us all.”
“For OLA (Orgullo Latinoamericano), the Regional Network of Latin American Pride organizers, this project, in particular, has encouraged us to work closer and join efforts from all over the Latino diaspora with the Global Pride Movement to deliver hope and solidarity for the LGBTQIA+ community”, said Emmanuel Temores, Co-Chair of OLA.
COVID19 International Coordination Group
COVID19 is bringing unprecedented challenges for the Pride movement and the international and national Pride networks are working together to ensure a coordinated approach. EPOA and InterPride are leading a COVID19 / Pride International Coordination Group (CPICG) which will meet regularly to discuss the impact of COVID19, how our organisations and members are responding, and what resources and support is needed. The first meeting is scheduled to take place Friday 20 March.
The following organisations have been invited to join the Group: CSD Deutschland, Fierté Canada Pride, UK Pride Organisers Network, and US Association of Prides. All participating organisations will be asked to cascade information and report back to their members and communities.
STATEMENT FROM INTERPRIDE RE: COVID-19 IMPACT ON GLOBAL PRIDE ORGANIZERS
Along with our friends, family and colleague organisations, InterPride has been closely monitoring the increasingly serious pandemic of COVID-19 around the world.
We understand that there is a great deal of concern around planning for the 2020 Pride season. InterPride recently partnered with the European Pride Organisers Association (EPOA) to discuss the impact and ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic on Pride organisations and offered advice and resources, sharing best practices as Pride organisers make decisions regarding their events over the next few months.
InterPride is here to help support all our member organizations. We are here for you. And we are open to feedback and ideas from members on the different ways we can work together as well as how InterPride can assist Pride organisers in these challenging times.
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