The entire month of June is globally celebrated by the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) community as Pride Month. Every year at the end of June, Pride Parades/Marches are held across the world to commemorate and rejoice the tyrannized lives of LGBTQIA+ people. With a global health pandemic and its norms of social distancing in action, the festivities of Pride were shifted to digital platforms, while only a handful of major cities marched on the streets.
Pride Month is celebrated as a tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots of 1969. The riots demonstrate the retaliation by the LGBTQIA+ members against years of discrimination and police brutality on their people. It is considered to be one of the important events leading to the Gay Liberation movement. “We set out to create a march on the first anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising. And if we hadn’t done that, nobody would remember the Stonewall today,” said Karla Jay, a retired professor and the first woman chair of the Gay Liberation Front.
For the LGBTQIA+ community, Pride is a symbol of acceptance of their sexual/gender diversity, a movement against persecution faced by the marginalized, and an opportunity to spread awareness about the misconceptions of multiple sexualities/gender identities prevailing in our society. People around the world have gathered this year, virtually and/or in-person, to celebrate Pride through marches, rallies, and parades.
The 51st anniversary of the first Pride in New York City saw protestors rallying the streets with rainbow flags and performances in limited numbers adhering to the social distancing rules. The Queer Liberation March for Black Lives and Against Police Brutality marched towards Washington Square Park with signs reading “All Black Lives Matter,” with a black fist surrounded by rainbow colors. Within hours, police ended the demonstration by allegedly assaulting the protestors and using pepper spray on them.
Similar police interference impeded demonstrators in Manila, Philippines at a Pride rally for protesting against their new anti-terrorism bill.
In London, Black Trans Lives Matter protest gathered in solidarity with Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement and Trans people. Activists from the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) marched and celebrated their 50th-anniversary seeking political action to end deportations of LGBT asylum seekers.
Pride in Paris demanded radical justice on behalf of migrants, sex workers and the marginalized LGBTQIA+ community. They called out attention to the challenges faced by the LGBTQIA+ migrants, members of minority communities in impoverished neighborhoods, trans community and HIV positive who are affected by COVID-19, while coinciding the BLM movement.
A Spanish town was transformed into a ‘riot a colors’ with 500 LGBTQIA+ flags on their town’s bars, buildings and balconies after the removal of an 8-metre flag rainbow flag from the town hall.
Taiwan, Asia’s only place that legalized same-sex marriage, held a Pride march ‘for the world’ as their quarantine restrictions have largely dropped due to lower rate of COVID-19 infections.
For those not in attendance, Pride organizations across the globe came together for Global Pride 2020 to virtually celebrate Pride with a 24-hour live stream of feature films, talks, performances and speeches from an array of musicians, performers, political leaders and human rights activists.
Featured Image Via Canva