According to the European Pride Organizers Association, at least 500 LGBTQ events celebrating Pride this year are cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But that doesn't mean that Pride is cancelled – it's just gone online. There's a ton of music streams, Zoom parties and excellent documentaries from VICE and beyond that are available this weekend for your viewing pleasure. So grab your queer chosen family, unfurl your dusty rainbow flag and tune in.
In 1990, Jennie Livingston released Paris Is Burning, an award-winning documentary chronicling the underground ballroom culture created by black and Latino gay men and trans women in New York.
The film took voguing and queer ballroom into the mainstream in the 90s, but what does the scene look like today? In this ten-part docuseries, VICE follows the lives of four fabulous voguers and one incredible commentator as they prepare to compete, face personal challenges and strive to take their art to the next level.
Watch the box set for free on All 4.
The best part of Glastonbury is undoubtedly NYC Downlow in Block9 – one of the wildest queer clubbing spaces in the UK. Thanks the coronavirus, the festival is cancelled, so you can’t get lost in their gold standard of homocentric dance music – vintage house, disco, soul and funk – in a film-set replica of a ruined 70s Lower East Side tenement with a pumping, seriously XXX-rated gay club inside. But at least you can tune in to Block9’s Warehouse Party Live Stream this Saturday featuring Norman Jay MBE, Heidi, Batu and – representing Downlow – DJ Paulette.
There’s more than that: The team have also recently released the NYC Downlow Archive photography series, a documentary (Block9: Temporary Alternative Realities), an NYC Downlow mix from Honey Dijon and The Best of the Best DJ Sets playlist. So, plenty to check out – followed by a cry about the lonely, sad and empty fields of Glastonbury.
Tune in at 9PM on Saturday here.
Joined by her friend Ian Daniel, queer actress Ellen Page meets LGBTQ communities around the world, shining a light on their stories and highlighting the marginalisation they still face today. Gaycation has taken the pair around the world; from Japan, where they accompanied a man coming out to his mum; Brazil, where they had a hairy moment interviewing a homophobic thug who admits on camera to killing gay people; and Jamaica, where they challenge rapper Beenie Man over his homophobic lyrics.
Watch the full series free on All 4 here.
QUEER HOUSE PARTY
Club culture is a vital aspect of LGBTQ culture – for many, it provides a space where people can become truly comfortable in their own skin. But since the world closed about three months ago, that’s increasingly taking place in a digital space. Born on the first Friday of lockdown and continuing throughout, Queer House Party brings a “camp, sexy and inclusive, live-stream to you every Friday” from their front room. As the organisers put it: “We started with the aim of bringing solidarity and release to our community and every week hundreds of us party together into the early hours.” You can share your video, flirt with other guests and try to imagine this year didn’t happen.
More information about the Queer House Party here.
MEETING THE BLACK QUEER ARTISTS OF SOUTH AFRICA
"I was in Africa for the first time," said rapper and activist Mykki Blanco. "I am 31 years old, African American, and there I was… on the continent in which civilisation as we know it was born, the land which birthed my race, for the very first time."
i-D documentary series Out Of This World journeys with Blanco as they explore queer culture in Johannesburg. Captured intimately in an experimental hybrid-documentary by director Matt Lambert, Mykki meets boundary-pushing artists Umlilo and FAKA, designer Rich Mnisi and Bradley and Nkulsey, a model and dancer of the "Born Free" generation – all using their platforms to give a voice to political issues like sexuality, gender and identity.
Watch the full series here on YouTube.
HORSE MEAT DISCO
Now in their 14th year of putting on parties every Sunday at their spiritual home Eagle, Horse Meat Disco – London's premier queer disco quadruplet – have long lived up to their dream of being “all about the industry of human happiness”.
This year, in conjunction with Glitterbox, they’re taking it into a digital space as part of the Defected WWWorldwide series. They’ll be joined by The Shapeshifters, Fat Tony, Late Nite Tuff Guy and Jellybean Benitez. Oh, and a special performance from Billy Porter from Pose.
It starts tonight at 7PM here on Twitch.
VIRGINIA'S FIRST TRANS OFFICIAL
On November 7th, 2017, Danica Roem made history after becoming the first transgender person to be elected and seated to a US state legislature.
We had exclusive access to the 33-year-old stepmum during her winning. She took over the 13th district in Northern Virginia – an area that was represented by Republican Bob Marshall, one of the state's most virulently anti-LGBTQ lawmakers, for over two decades.
Roem's success in local politics has made a national impact, setting the stage for other first-time candidates and transgender people to run for – and win – elections across the country. We explore what that meant for her and for trans rights across the US.
Watch more VICE LGBTQ documentaries here on YouTube.