But this year, the coronavirus pandemic is keeping many celebrants around the world inside.
“It was such an overwhelming experience,” he says. “To see the world coming together for this one singular moment was awe-inspiring, life-changing.”
As many Pride celebrations go virtual this year because of Covid-19 social distancing guidelines, organizers and activists say the core mission remains the same — providing visibility and unity in safe and inclusive spaces.
“No matter what, there is a need to connect,” says Frederick. “Whether it’s virtually or it’s in person, that’s what Pride is all about.”
Miss Peppermint, an entertainer and transgender rights activist in New York, agrees. “Finding and seeking out community in any way that you can is essential,” she says. “It’s lifesaving.”
Fighting for equality
That’s why it’s imperative to keep celebrating Pride, even during a pandemic.
“Whenever the LGBTQ community is faced with a challenge or adversity, that’s when we have a chance to shine and create something new,” says Bodhi Calagna, a 43-year-old DJ and artist who grew up in Dubai and now lives in Denver, Colorado. Calagna, who prefers the pronoun ‘they,’ said it would have been their first Pride as openly trans non-binary, but they don’t see this as a lost opportunity. In fact, “Pride just radiates even more,” Calagna says.
Carlos Castaño Rodriguez, a member of the LGBT Spanish Federation, says Pride gives members of the community who have a platform the opportunity to reach those who are facing challenges or are less visible. That way “those who do not have that privilege, may feel less alone,” he says.