June is Pride Month, and like everything else in the age of COVID-19, we are celebrating a little differently than we usually do. Instead of attending a parade, or enjoying a festival with several thousand of your closest friends, celebrations this year have been postponed or moved to the virtual realm. Just three months ago, the idea that we would be watching a screen instead of being in a sea of revelers was unthinkable, but this is the reality we all live in. Yet, even with the limitations, Pride Month 2020 is more welcome, and relevant, than it has ever been before.
When you take away the floats, dancing, and fantastic fashion, Pride Month is about community. A year after the 1969 Stonewall riots, Brenda Howard, a bisexual New York activist, nicknamed the “Mother of Pride,” organized the first Pride parade in New York City. From those humble beginnings, parades and festivals have occurred year-round, not just in major cities, but in small towns in every corner of the globe. It’s a time when members of the LGBTIA+ community, as well as allies of all walks of life, can get together, rally, and bask in a community where all are welcome to join.
If 2020 has taught us anything, it is how important community is. Whether it is a small community, like your family, friends, or coworkers, or a broader community, like your neighborhood or city, we all want to feel a part of something. Even when we cannot physically gather in large groups, virtual Pride celebrations give us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate what it means to be human, no matter who we are, or what we do.
There will be a time where we can get back into the streets and properly celebrate Pride (wow that is going to be a heck of a party). Until then, let us all be a part of the community, where all are welcome, and all can be themselves. While the parades are virtual, the spirit is real, and love is love!