With all that is going on in the world, Black Lives Matter, Coronavirus etc. It can get chaotic and you could skip some very important dates. Although if you are feeling anxious and worried about these unfortunate events going on at the moment, it may be helpful to remember that we have been here before. Throughout history, periods of upheaval moments have often given birth to genuine progress and change! Such as the 27th of June, Global Pride Day and in fact the whole of June which is Pride month, if you did not already know. It is important to respect all the issues going on in the world but the most important lesson we can always work on is respecting others and treating everyone as equals. The commemoration of Pride is collective; the way it will be observed is as diverse and beautiful as the community itself. And the one thing that we have to keep in mind is, we are all in this together.
What is Pride Month?
Every year, during the month of June, the LGBTQA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Asexual and Plus) community celebrates in a number of different ways. June is the month chosen to celebrate pride in most countries as it was the month of the Stonewall riots in 1969, the protests that changed gay rights for a lot of people. To explain briefly what happened; a unit of the police, raided the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village and Marsha P. Johnson cried “I got my civil rights!” and threw a shot glass into a mirror (now known as "the Shot Glass that was Heard Around the World"). More and more patrons joined the fight, including people from neighbouring bars, and hundreds of people resisted arrest and fought against police oppression. Another instigator of Pride month was Brenda Howard, a bisexual activist who is known as the "Mother of Pride" for her work in coordinating the march, and she also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day.
The Death and Life of Marsha P Johnson. Photograph: Netflix
Pride Month commemorates one such time, where riots and protests created awareness of deep-seated problems and energized people to take action to create substantial change. Pride symbolises people coming together in love and friendship, to show how far gay rights have come and teaching people about pride history. It calls for people to remember how damaging homophobia was and still can be. It is about being proud of who you are, no matter who you love.
When is Pride Month?
Across the globe, various events are held during this special month as a way of recognising the influence LGBTQA+ people have had around the world. But different countries celebrate pride month in their own unique ways and in different months. Europe and America celebrate pride month in June to commemorate the Stonewall riots. But in New Zealand, the Hero Parade and Festival usually took place in February, a week or two ahead of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. LGBTQA+ rights in New Zealand were significantly improved because of the Hero Parade because in 1999 the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Rt Hon Jenny Shipley, of the National Party announced that she would attend the Parade to support the marchers. Australia runs their Pride month throughout late January and early February. There Midsumma Festival is Melbourne's annual LGBTQIA+ event that celebrates culture and local communities over the course of the 22-day festival. The LGBTQA+ community in Tokyo is one of the largest in Asia, it is a small community still while Japan does not assign as much moral or social weight to sexuality as in the West. Their biggest event is the Tokyo Rainbow Pride which is held from the 29th of April to the 7th of May.
Your Calendar for Pride in 2020:
Many LGBTQA+ organisations around the world are still providing a way to celebrate with concerts, town halls and events — virtually. Here are a few of the top events happening this month you can get involved with:
Pride in London - the UK's largest Pride event - is launching a brand new digital community hub to unite people together in a digital way. As the organisers of Pride of London have announced the annual Parade and associated events will be postponed until next year, with the intention it takes place in the summer of 2021. The aim of this new digital community is to make a much-needed 'Acts of Allyship' for those in other LGBTQA+ groups. The campaign You!Me!Us!We!, will provide resources on how to be a better ally, as well as enabling people to directly make a tangible difference to marginalised groups - for example, by supporting queer artists and performers by attending a virtual event or show.
Amnesty International has partnered with UK Black Pride, Stonewall and ParaPride to create a fully-digitised calendar called Pride Inside. Spanning all social media platforms from Zoom through to TikTok. We can't wait to watch all the action kick off with activists, comedians, artists, musicians and DJs joining forces to deliver online talks, performances and educational workshops in honour and support of the LGBTQA+ community.
The New York City Pride march, one of the largest global Pride events, is converting to a digital format to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the first Pride march with the help of celebrities such as Dan Levy, Billy Porter and Janelle Monáe. In light of the recent events with Black Lives Matters, NYC Pride and GLAAD are teaming to host the Black Queer Town Hall from the 19th of June to the 21st. The event will include discussions on dismantling racism and honouring queer people of colour who played a pivotal role in the Stonewall riots in 1969. The virtual event will include performances and appearances by Laverne Cox, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross and Todrick Hall, among others. It will be streamed on GLAAD’s YouTube and Facebook pages.
Pride organisers from across the globe are teaming up for Global Pride 2020, the first worldwide Pride event. It will take place on Saturday the 27th of June, with musical and artistic performances, speeches from activists and campaigners. The 24-hour virtual event is bringing together many major political figures, including former Vice President Joe Biden. It will be live-streamed online and you can donate online anytime to raise awareness of this brilliant event.
IHeartRadio and P&G are teaming for Can’t Cancel Pride, a virtual fund-raiser in response to in-person Pride events being cancelled because of the pandemic. The goal of the virtual event is to raise $5 million for six LGBTQA+ organisations, including the National Black Justice Coalition, GLAAD, Sage, The Trevor Project, CenterLink and OutRight Action International. The virtual event, which will take place on the 25th of June at 9pm on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and Instagram pages.
What do we love about Pride Month?
We love that Pride is so different and unique across the world. The people. The events. The outfits. The rainbows that arc across the world and flags shimmying in the breeze. It feels like a huge festival for love and compassion, it brings people together from all over the world. United together in a stand for equality and strength. The month is full of laughing, crying, singing and partying. And importantly teaching tolerance, educating on pride history and continuing to move forward in a positive way.