With a pandemic ongoing, you may be wondering how you can still celebrate Pride Day tomorrow as a community. Even though the NYC Pride parade has been cancelled, there are still plenty of safe ways you can have fun with others on Pride Day, while social distancing. Most of the events on this list are virtual so you can participate from the comfort of your home.
However, I’ve also suggested a protest march – the Queer Liberation March for Black Lives Matter, which I’ll be attending this year. Protesting for human rights is an impactful way to commemorate Pride Day. Pride Day originated from a protest. If it weren’t for the Stonewall riots that took place in 1969 in NYC, the LGBTQ movement would not have progressed as it has and Pride Day itself would not exist.
1. Queer Liberation March for Black Lives Matter
Last year, the Queer Liberation March and Rally began for the first time on Pride Day as a way to give everyone the chance to participate in a march without required pre-registration or floats. The march gave everyone the liberating experience of having no barriers or police and it ended with a rally featuring LGBTQ activist speakers and performers in Central Park. I attended the rally and found it was a politically conscious and heartwarming experience, with meaningful human rights discussion intermixed with entertaining acts. This year, the Queer Liberation March is being held again, this time representing the Black Lives Matter movement as a form of protest. Protesting for human rights is a meaningful way to spend Pride if you are looking for a way to fight for human rights.
The NYC Pride organization may not be hosting a parade this year, however there is still a chance to party. Join the NYC 2020: On TOP of The World! virtual party, hosting performance artists and DJs to entertain and celebrate. Nothing can stop the queer spirit from living it up, not even a pandemic. We can still virtually enjoy each other’s company and dance the night away, even from our living rooms. Tickets are on sale for $10 – $35. Also, popular LGBTQ nightclub House of Yes will be hosting a free party tonight at 8pm called Soundtrack for a Movement. There’s no set end time, but it’s likely to go on into the late hours of the night and will be broadcast everywhere from NYC to London to Tokyo.
3. NYC Pride Special Broadcast
Tune into ABC on TV or online to watch a special broadcast in celebration of the first Pride March. The broadcast will be held from 12 -2pm and will commemorate activist leaders and front-line workers. There will performances from various artists and special celebrity guest appearances too! Special guests include Kelly Ripa, Gloria Estefan, Ryan Seacrest, Carly Rae Jepsen, Margaret Cho and more.
4. Theatrical Showcase
The Criminal Queerness Festival is a showcase of plays from queer playwrights exposing critical global issues. This year it is happening virtually. With a focus on cultural diversity and community outreach, the festival partners with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. The New York Times and The Advocate recommended the festival last year as the 2019 theatrical event of the Pride season. Plays will be running through the 29th. There’s also still time to catch the end of Playbill’s Pride Plays, featuring LGBTQ performances and readings. I’ll be streaming the reading of Masculinity Max, a play about a trans man navigating his relationships and transition, which is live at 7pm tonight (the recording is available for 72 hours).
5. Digital Film Festival
Film Fanatics can indulge in the United in Pride digital film festival. Watch LGBTQ themed feature-length films, short films and interviews with filmmakers online. There’s plenty of queer content to enjoy from the comfort of your couch. Outfest is helping to shine a light on LGBTQ and POC filmmakers. In order to watch you must sign up for a 60 day free trial with Outfest – which means you can still access a colorful array of film content after Pride Day ends.
Get your drink on the day after Pride and educate yourself at the same time! The Online Literary Pub Crawl will virtually walk you through Greenwich Village’s past on June 29th. Learn about the greatest LGBTQ writers, poets, and artists who helped to form Greenwich Village into the historic, popular queer neighborhood that it is today.
Kids stuck at home can join in on the celebrations too! Join the final episode of the Youth Pride Extravaganza series this Monday, the 29th. Featuring musical performers, social media influencers and celebrity appearances, this virtual event is bound to be tons of fun. The event is also a fundraiser for the Hetrick-Martin Institute which provides community resources to LGBTQ youth.
Just because we are socially distancing, doesn’t mean we have to be distant as a community. This year there are still ways we can all enjoy Pride together while celebrating its roots. Until next year when we can hopefully be together again in person, we can still stand in solidarity online. For anyone joining me in the Queer Liberation March on Pride Day, I say thank you for contributing to fighting for the marginalized black queer lives in our community. And for anyone else who participates virtually while socially distancing, I say thank you for continuing on the celebration and recognition of a day that will forever be a part of our rainbow history.