For much of the world, June traditionally means Pride Month, which traditionally means parades and parties. But as this year's parades and parties have been cancelled, we're taking Pride online. Over the next week, VICE is releasing a series of articles to celebrate the LGBTQ community, and champion the individuals and collectives who push for greater visibility and equality.
Normally, this time of the year would be filled with outdoor events celebrating LGBTQ Pride. But we don’t live in normal times and now the colourful parades on the streets of cities around the world have been cancelled to make way for social distancing.
But the pandemic hasn’t gotten in the way of the true spirit of Pride. Various groups around the world are organising events that members and allies of the LGBTQ community can attend from home. From an online challenge in India to a virtual festival in the Philippines, these events show just how much the call for LGBTQ rights has grown since the first Pride march in New York City in 1970. Below, are some events from the Asia-Pacific region, and beyond.
Gay Life Drawing
When: June 21, 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM (GMT+10)
Gay Life Drawing Melbourne is a monthly live-drawing event held at the LGBTQ bookshop Hares and Hyenas. This month, they're holding a special edition on Zoom, so people can join from home. During the call, drag star Archie Arsenic will be modelling in front of the camera as viewers learn to draw while talking about body-positivity, gender identity, and self-love. The theme of the event is all about gay culture, art, and cinema.
When: Until July 1, Monday - Friday at 12 PM (GMT+5:30)
Where: #21DaysAllyChallenge website
Pride Circle, an Indian diversity and inclusion consulting firm, is hosting an interactive 21-day challenge for people who want to support the LGBTQ community. Challenges unlock from Monday to Friday at 12 PM, and include ones like following five LGBTQ individuals on social media and looking into queer art. Ten winners each in the "individual" and "group" categories will receive a prize that is yet to be announced.
Rolling Stone: Pride Spoken Word and Music
When: June 21, 6 PM (GMT+5:30)
Rolling Stone India will hold a music and spoken word gig as part of an editorial campaign called #ThisCoverStoryIsAConversation. Guests include poets Swastika Jajoo and Somesh Thapliyal, and singer-songwriter Alisha Pais. A donation link will be sent out after attendees purchase a ticket. Proceeds will go to the Humsafar Trust’s COVID Relief Fund.
Call for Pride Letters
When: June 1 - 30
Asia’s oldest student-led LGBTQ organisation, University of Philippines Babaylan, is leading #PrideLetters, an initiative that will allow people to reach out to LGBTQ individuals through open letters. Through a Google form, they can send messages to LGBTQ kids and their families to let them know that they’re not alone and are accepted.
Metro Manila Pride March and Festival 2020
When: June 27, 11 AM (GMT+8)
Metro Manila Pride March and Festival will take its annual event online, with live performances by LGBTQ artists and solidarity messages from partner organisations.
In the lead up to the online march, Metro Manila Pride is also hosting a variety of online events throughout the month of June, including a Queer Arts Night (June 21), Queer Quiz Night (June 23), and weekly online discussions about issues LGBTQ people face like discrimination, self-esteem, and coming out.
When: June 20, 8 PM (GMT+8)
On June 20, Mindanao Pride will hold an online fundraising concert via Facebook Live for Mindanao-based LGBTQ organisations such as Kagay-an PLUS, LCI-Ladlad Caraga, Mujer-LGBT, and Olympus Society of Davao. These groups are leading COVID-19 response efforts to help LGBTQ Filipinos affected by the pandemic.
Pink Dot SG
When: June 27, 8:30 PM (GMT + 8)
Where: Pink Dot SG website
Pink Dot SG is an annual event that started in 2009 to support the LGBTQ community in Singapore. Attendees normally gather in Hong Lim Park but this year, they can instead join a live streamed celebration that will include a line up of musicians such as Charlie Lim, Joanna Dong, Mathilda D'Silva, The Apex Project, Leon Markcus, Chris Hong, and Qyo Music. Attendees are encouraged to light up their houses and dress up in pink.
Queer Zinefest SG
When: June 19, 22-26, 29-30, 8:30 PM (GMT+8)
Queer Zinefest SG became Singapore’s first LGBTQ zinefest when it launched in 2018. In April, it started hosting an online Pajama Party every weekday night, which anyone can join through Instagram Live. During these events, Zinefest invites guests to perform music and poetry or hold panel discussions about topics like discrimination and self-care.
When: June 20, 5-9PM (GMT+1)
Bi Pride UK hosted the biggest bi gathering in history last year, when people painted the streets of London, in pink, purple, blue, and yellow to promote bi culture. This year, they will bring the celebration to Twitch.
The event will include panels hosted by bi activist and magician Marcus Morgan, bi psychological scientist Dr. Julia Shaw, comedian Angee the Diva, and more. They will discuss mental health in lockdown, representation for bi, pan, and trans individuals, and bi BAME (Black, Asian, and minority ethnic) empowerment. There will also be an after-party with a D.J. to wrap up the night.
Broadway Plus Pride
When: June 19, 2 PM (GMT-4)
Broadway Plus, which creates VIP virtual experiences for Broadway shows, is hosting an online Q&A session with LGBTQ actors. The event will include Jenn Colella (Come from Away), Michael James Scott (Aladdin), Chilina Kennedy (Beautiful: The Carole King Musical), Telly Leung (Aladdin), and Jay Armstrong Johnson (The Phantom of the Opera).
To join, people can register for free through the Broadway Plus website.
Dublin Digital Pride Festival & Parade
When: June 18, 7 PM (GMT+1) - June 28, 10 PM (GMT+1)
Where: Varies according to the event
Dublin Pride is hosting a 10-day Pride festival, which includes virtual walking tours and debates, and will culminate with an interactive virtual Pride Parade on June 28. The parade will be a mix of pre-recorded videos and live streams with hosts Paul Ryder and Eddie McGuiness. There will also be a Pride Pets Parade and a Pride Concert. The line up is yet to be announced.
Global Pride Crossing
When: June 18 - 30
Where: Animal Crossing
Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been the new craze during lockdown. Now, Nintendo is celebrating Pride month by hosting a virtual event called Global Pride Crossing, wherein players will get a chance to visit a special Pride island with its own rainbow march, message board, dance club, catwalk, and Pride clothes to represent their sexual identity. Players can also host their own Pride parades with their friends on the island. The big Pride Parade will be hosted all day on Saturday, June 27.
Global Pride 2020
When: June 27, 10:30 AM - 10:30 PM (GMT-4)
Where: Global Pride website
The first Global Pride is a 24-hour virtual event that will include appearances by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and India’s first openly gay Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, and performances by singers Adam Lambert, Kesha, and Rita Ora.
When: Rally: June 26, 5 PM - 8 PM (GMT-4)
Runstreet Virtual Pride 5K Art Run: June 20 - 28, 6 AM - 11:30 PM (GMT-4)
Where: Facebook and YouTube
NYC Pride has also moved online by hosting over 50 Pride events throughout June.
The Virtual Rally, hosted by trans journalist Ashlee Marie Preston and trans actor Brian Michael Smith, will stand against police brutality and discrimination, in light of the Black Lives Matter movement and will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.
The Runstreet Virtual Pride 5K Art Run, meanwhile, will celebrate the spirit of Pride with photos and videos of people’s colorful runs in their neighbourhood. Participants are encouraged to wear their favorite rainbow outfit, post a photo from the run to show solidarity, and tag @Runstreet on Instagram as part of a contest. Tickets are US$10, and a portion of its sales will benefit the Callen-Lorde LGBTQ Community Health Center.
Rangeela Presents: Yass Rani
When: June 27, 9 PM (GMT+1)
Rangeela, an LGBTQ Bollywood event, is taking over Pride Toronto's visual stage for a 2-hour Global Dance Party. Forty South Asian "Queens and Kings" from seven countries will be serving back-to-back virtual performances to a 2-hour Bollywood set by Dj Aman. The live stream is free on Twitch.
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