As PinkNews launches its brand new digital extravaganza Pride for All, it’s important to reflect on how the coronavirus pandemic is pelting down on the world.
LGBT+ people have been left shaken as their lives are upended and redefined.
Queer spaces have shuttered doors, LGBT+ youth trapped within family homes that may not accept them, legal fights for rights stalled and country leaders taking anti-queer turns as they increase state control.
And now, Pride is under threat.
For many, Pride is more than a party or music festival. It’s a moment, however brief, for the community to come together and celebrate who they are as human beings.
But each year, a large number of LGBT+ people around the world are unable to participate in LGBT+ events like Pride, often due to the anti-LGBT+ laws in their country.
In 2020, this exclusion will extend to every single member of the community, as Pride celebrations around the world are being cancelled because of COVID-19.
More than 220 Pride events worldwide have been shelved due to coronavirus.
Three months into 2020, and more than 220 Pride celebrations scheduled worldwide have cancelled or postponed, citing the swelling viral outbreak, according to data compiled by the European Pride Organisers Association.
This will lead to many LGBT+ people feeling isolated and uncertain of what the future will hold, especially at a time that usually sees the community come together to celebrate.
With these celebratory events no longer being an option this year, PinkNews has announced Pride for All – a brand-new digital celebration designed to bring the LGBT+ community together online through an array of interactive and original content.
The event will include virtual panel discussions, music sessions, drag tutorials and Q&As with celebrities, influencers and activists.
In capturing the resilience and ingenuity of the LGBT+ community, the main focus of the event will be giving LGBT+ people positive content to enjoy during a time when many of us are likely to feel alone and scared; not just this year, but for the following years to come as well.
Content will be streamed and posted across the PinkNews website and social media platforms, with both live and pre-recorded content being shared to ensure that as many people as possible are able to access it regardless of where they live.
Over the course of the online festival, Pride for All will also be raising funds for PinkNews‘ charity partner, the Kaleidoscope Trust.
Throughout the event, there will be opportunities for people to pledge and donate money to the charity so the trust can continue to campaign for the human rights of LGBT+ people in countries where they are discriminated against.
Phyll Opoku-Gyimah, Kaleidoscope Trust executive director, said: “As Pride celebrations become increasingly unsafe, LGBT+ people around the world are seeing their few opportunities to celebrate their community fall away.
“We are thrilled to be partnering with PinkNews on Pride for All to make sure that everybody, across the globe, no matter how isolated they may be, is able to feel proud of who they are.”
Chief executive of PinkNews, Benjamin Cohen, explained how a digital Pride will give the community an online space to connect with others and defy that sense of isolation defining the world right now.
“With PinkNews reaching up to 50 million people every month with a diverse and global readership that reflects our community, we are uniquely placed to deliver Pride for All.
“Pride for All will be launched during this Pride season, however, we aim to make this an annual event to ensure each year that Pride is inclusive and accessible for all, where everyone can come together and unite as a community.
“Using our partnerships with key platforms such as Snapchat and Twitter, we can maximise reach and accessibility of our content,” he added.