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Virtual Pride 2020: Highlights

Pride has moved online. While I’m sure the experience in previous years of being physically surrounded by community, the colourful pageantry and electric buzz will be greatly missed, having Pride online will hopefully open the celebrations up to an even wider audience. For those not openly out, who can’t afford to attend events or who can’t travel, having virtual events of all different kinds available easily and cheaply provides a greater opportunity to feel part of the community, even when stuck at home. 

Moreover, to me events seem even more accessible and more wide-ranging in their content and style. From virtual drag shows to talks on LGBTQ+ activism and regional histories, there are many ways to feel part of the conversation and celebrate Pride. Here are just a few:

London Pride 

London is not holding a virtual parade but rather, under their You!Me!Us!We! theme they are calling for solidarity within different parts of the community. The organisation is looking to support 30,000+ Acts of Allyship (the number of people who would have been at the parade) within and in support of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Pride Inside

In response to the cancellation of events due to COVID-19, UK Black Pride, Amnesty International, Stonewall and ParaPride have banded together to coordinate an online series of events from panel discussions to comedy shows. Here are a couple of my top picks, but you can find the full list here

July 1st 7:00-7:45pm // LGBTI rights and activism in Eastern Europe

  • A panel discussion featuring Vitalina Koval and Elżbieta Podleśna who campaign for LGBTQ+ rights in Poland and Ukraine

July 3rd 7:00-8:00pm // Conversation: Busy being black with Josh Rivers and Dr Eddie Bruce-jones

  • Busy Being Black is a podcast focusing on queer black life experiences. For this event, the discussion will be on the intersections of race, queerness and colonialism. 

July 3rd 10:00pm-12:00 am // Entertainment: HUNGAMA 

  • East London’s first Bollywood gay hip-hop club live-streamed on Facebook

July 4th 9:00-11:00pm // Entertainment: An Evening with The Cocoa Butter Club

  • This evening will be one for the books, with cabaret, burlesque and vocal performances that celebrate performers of colour. 

July 5th 5:00-6:00pm // Trans inclusion in faith spaces

  • A workshop led by Gendered Intelligence group, GIANTs including presentations on personal journeys within Judaism, Christianity and Islam as well as a live Q&A.

Uniqlo Tate Lates: Night In 

On July 3rd at 7pm, the Tate will have two channels streaming various talks, workshops and films focusing on LGBTQ+ artists. 

Some highlights are:

  • Nurturing Black Joy: Paint and Create alongside Ashton Attzs 
  • Explore the Museum of Transology’s collection with curator E-J Scott
  • Fringe! East London’s alternative queer cross-arts festival premieres ‘film cabaret’ by the Danish artist duo Kirsten Astrup & Maria Bordorff

Pride UK 

While some Pride 2020 events in the UK have unfortunately had to be cancelled due to the pandemic, most have been postponed or moved online. You can find the full UK Gay Pride 2020 calendar here.

Out Now Live

A virtual pride celebration featuring performances, speeches and more from the LGBTQ+ community and allies. It is also an ongoing fundraiser for the NYC-based Ali Forney Center that helps LGBTQ+ youth experiencing homelessness, so if you watch, consider making a donation if you can. Featured contributors include none other than Whoopi Goldberg, Alok Vaid-Menon and lesbian Jesus Haley Kiyoko. 

It streamed on the 22nd of June but you can watch it in full here

Airbnb Virtual Experiences

In response to the pandemic, Airbnb have shifted their ‘experiences’ from physical to virtual to allow people to make up part of their lost revenue stream. While there are many to choose from, from hanging out with rescued goats in an animal sanctuary in the Catskills to meeting a shark scientist in South Africa – I’ve chosen a couple that celebrate LGBTQ+ people and topics. 

History & Culture of Transwomen -Thailand (£9/person)

An in-depth conversation about gender identity and the history of being transgender in Thailand.  

Sangria and Secrets with Drag Queens (£29/person)

A masterclass in Portuguese sangria live from Lisbon alongside live performances from the queens of @DragTaste!

Queer Media

There is a lot of great content out there, but I’ve curated a few options below that you may like to check out: 

Them: A community and magazine platform that provides news and commentary on topics ranging from culture to politics through an LGBTQ+ lens. 

Four More Shots Please: A show following four best friends in Mumbai. Although there are multiple story lines, one of the most powerful is that of Umang: a bisexual personal trainer navigating a secret relationship with a Bollywood actress (Amazon Prime). 

Anthems: A podcast series featuring stories, speeches and creative work by various public figures and creators including Benardine Evaristo on community and Yasmin Benoit on conflict. This podcast is produced with Renay Richardson, who also worked on Eddo-Loge’s About Race podcast and The Receipts podcast. (Spotify). 

Ek Ladki Ko Dekha Toh Aisa Laga (How I Felt When I Saw That Girl): The first Bollywood depicting a lesbian relationship in a positive light, this film is a landmark piece that is not only a sweet rom-com, but also deals positively and accurately with what coming out might be like in Indian society and families (Netflix). 

International Pride 

Copenhagen Pride 

This will take place at the Pride Square (City Hall Square) and online on a digital platform in August!

Hong Kong Pride

HK’s Pride festival is being held in November, check the website for updates.

Sarina Chandaria

Sarina Chandaria is a Senior Editor for Lifestyle and a weekly columnist at The Oxford Blue. She reads Geography at Christ Church, and is going into her third year. She has a particular fondness for travel writing, chats about personal finance and buying more books than she could ever possibly read.