Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride (LGBTQ Pride) Month is celebrated in June to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York. The uprising is considered by many to be the turning point in the gay rights equality movement. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of this year’s celebrations around the country have been canceled, postponed or moved online for safe social distancing measures.
Read on for seven ways to celebrate Pride 2020 (from a social distance).
May 26 – June 24
OUTLOUD: RAISING VOICES
Outloud: Raising Voices is a ten-episode, five-week Pride concert web series that launched on May 26 and 27 with headliners Betty Who and Madame Gandhi. Continuing twice weekly on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 5:00 p.m., the series showcases a diverse lineup of queer and allied talent on LGBTQ@Facebook, OUTLOUD’s Facebook page and the JJ|LA Facebook page. Upcoming headliners are Wrabels, The Aces, and Vincint, among others. Fans are encouraged to use the hashtag #WeAreOUTLOUD to join in the celebration. Each episode also provides support to local Pride organizations that have seen their fundraising events canceled during the pandemic. Free
The city of Glendale was ready to hold its first-ever pride celebration when plans had to shift to the online space. The festival now heads to Instagram on May 30 and 31. For 48 hours, watch performances, drag, music, comedy, spoken word, and conversations. Viewers are asked to participate by submitting videos, photos, or other media that speaks to the importance of Pride and other LGBTQ events and activities in Glendale by using the hashtag #GlendalePrideBecause on social media. Free
THE LAVENDER EFFECT LIVE VIRTUAL PRIDE PARADE
On Sunday, May 31 at noon and 3:00 p.m., the nonprofit advocacy organization The Lavender Effect will host a live stream event on Zoom and Facebook to launch Pride Month. A “parade” of LGBTQ+ activists, political leaders and celebs from around the country—including Audra McDonald, Sean Hayes, Betty Buckley, Sandra Bernhard, Lily Tomlin, Judith Light, Bradley Whitford, Kathryn Hahn, Sally Kirkland, and grand marshall and host Alexandra Billings—will help with the kick-off. Sign up for free virtual tickets or to sponsor the parade. Free but donations accepted
LAMBDA LITERARY DOES PRIDE
Lambda Literary has championed LGBTQ books and authors for more than 30 years. To celebrate Pride this year, the organization has assembled a number of stars to participate in online readings and conversations on Tuesdays and Thursdays throughout the month of June. The lineup features Lily Tomlin, Jane Wagner, Samantha Irby, Wilson Cruz, Jacob Tobia, Glennon Doyle and many others. All events are pay-what-you-wish,suggested donation is $10 – $100
VIRTUAL TRANS PRIDE L.A.
The Los Angeles LGBT Center holds the first-ever virtual Trans Pride L.A. on Friday and Saturday, June 19-20, streaming live on their website. Throughout the weekend, watch conversations, online art shows, workshops, performances and a talent show. The festivities open with the Big Queer Convo, with Isis King (When They See Us and America’s Next Top Model) interviewed by actress and activist Alexandra Billings. Free
QUEER WOMEN OF PRIDE VIRTUAL MUSIC FESTIVAL
What better way to reconnect for Pride Month than through music? Stop by and check out the all-day Virtual Music and Performing Arts Festival on June 28 from 7:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m. Many of the participating performers (from the U.S. and Toronto, Canada) have lost gigs during the pandemic, so the event also hopes to raise money to ease financial burdens. Each artist will perform live on their Facebook pages and will be cross-posted and streamed on the Queer Women of Pride event page. Free, but donations suggested
June – 2021
LA PRIDE 50TH ANNIVERSARY
While the huge 50th anniversary Pride Parade in West Hollywood won’t take place this year, LA Pride has been working on new initiatives that will be hosted on various digital platforms in the coming months and into 2021. Events that will honor the LGBTQ+ community in diverse and creative ways will be announced shortly.
Christine N. Ziemba is a Los Angeles-based arts and culture writer who loves to tell people what to do (and where to go). Check out her events columns and other musings on PopRadarLA.com, and follow her on Twitter and Instagram.