Antarctica Celebrates Its First Pride Thanks to Team of Researchers
People are showing their pride all over the world, even in one of the most remote places on the planet.
June is national LGBT Pride Month, and a group of LGBT-identifying people stationed at the McMurdo Station in Antarctica are celebrating by bringing the first Pride celebration to their frozen pocket of the globe.
The research station is used for studying astrophysics, glaciology, earth sciences and other disciplines, and is located about 850 miles from the South Pole. Pride celebrations actually began in April for people at the base, since the area experiences total darkness during June. Out of the 133 people stationed there, 10 identify as LGBT, according to New Now Next.
The group hoisted the iconic rainbow flag, planned marathons of Ru Paul’s Drag Race, and have themed movie nights and a gay bar night. They are also hoping to host a small parade around the main building of the station. The events were mostly planned by Evan Townsend and Scott Waldron, based at the station.
“Why not take this photo and let people see that there’s queer representation — even at the end of the earth,” Waldron told New Now Next.
According to Lonely Planet, a group of gay activists from Planting Peace travelled to Antarctica and declared it as the world’s first LGBT-friendly continent in 2016. The group officially hoisted the rainbow flag for the first time ever on their trip. Antarctica, however, technically can’t be “claimed” by any group, so the occasion was ceremonial.
Upon hearing about the researchers’ Pride plans at McMurdo, Aaron Jackson, President of Planting Peace, told Lonely Planet, “When I declared Antarctica the first LGBTQ friendly continent, I never dreamed that people would actually throw a pride parade ... It’s amazing to see pride in all corners of the world.”
Jackson added that this group, however small, throwing their own Pride parade is a sign that the world is “headed in the right direction.”