Mark your calendar: 4 virtual pride events to support this summer

June is Pride Month – a time to celebrate members of the LGBT+ community, recognise their impact and support their struggle for equality. Now in its 50th year, the first pride march took place in 1970 in New York, a year after The Stonewall Riots of 1969 in which protesters took to the streets of New York to demand change following a police raid of the Stonewall Inn gay bar in the Greenwich Village. 

Many cite the 1969 Stonewall uprising as a major catalyst for the global gay rights movement, as it gave way to the formation of activist groups and organised events. When LGBT+ protesters commemorated the Stonewall Riots a year later, the first pride parade was born, inspiring similar events around the world. 

On the 50th anniversary of the movement, the 2020 NYC Pride March has been cancelled for the first time in its history and will instead take place online in a series of virtual events. Likewise, many other global events are hosting talks, concerts and interactive programmes online. 

Here are a few digital events to mark down on your Pride Month calendar: 

1. Cebu Virtual Pride 2020

 21 June – Organised by the Cebu United Rainbow LGBTIQ+ Sector, Cebu Virtual Pride 2020 will showcase a few creative twists, including a montage of videos in which participants perform their own personal interpretations of “Commander” by Kelly Rowland – a song that has been served as an LGBT+ anthem in Cebu thanks to its rhythm and message. As organisers share: “We need to have a commanding presence in an environment of exclusion, discrimination and hate.”

The event will have an educational side as well, turning its focus to inclusive legislation, access to health services, visibility during the pandemic, and the continued advocacy of the anti-discrimination SOGIE Equality Bill, which would prevent discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression if passed.

2. Global Pride 2020

27 June – The inaugural Global Pride event is kicking off its 24-hour live stream on 27 June. Spearheaded by international LGBT+ organisation Interpride, together with various international Pride networks, the global event will feature music performances, digital art exhibitions, and dozens of speakers hailing from Norway, India, the UK, the US and Australia. Hong Kong Pride will also join the event, sharing a video interview with Hong Kong political and LGBT+ rights activist Jimmy Sham.

3. Madrid Pride 2020

28 June-5 July – Madrid Pride 2020 (MADO) is the largest celebration of its kind in Europe, drawing more than 2 million people annually. This year, MADO has moved online, offering up a menu of virtual performances, interviews, art and activism events.

In addition, the 2020 festival will expand its focus to raise funds for LGBT+ individuals who are suffering during COVID-19, from transwomen sex workers to those experiencing psychological stress and anxiety. By raising awareness and offering support, MADO aims to illuminate the problems facing the LGBT+ community to ensure the pandemic does not halt or reverse their progress. As shared in a statement: “[MADO 2020] will bring colour, energy and a message of hope [to demonstrate that we are not] overwhelmed by these harsh circumstances.”

4. Stockholm Pride Summer Stream

31 July-2 August – Stockholm Pride organisers still have high hopes of hosting an in-person Winter Pride festival this coming November. But in the meantime, they’re warming up online with a midsummer pride festival, dubbed “Summer Stream”. The three-day virtual event will be packed with seminars, debates, DJ sets, live music performances and more.