Pride Guide 2020: How U.S. Cities Are Celebrating Virtually and in Person (Video)
While events are moving online or postponed to later in the year, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate Pride.
The modern Pride parade is truly a spectacle to behold — roughly five million people took part in 2019’s NYC Pride March festivities, while queer people were ambushed and incarcerated for freely expressing their sexuality and gender identity just fifty years before. Amidst all of the devastation incurred by the global coronavirus pandemic, the widespread cancellation of America’s Pride festivals has dealt a demoralizing blow, but fortunately for us, modern technology has come to the rescue. For anybody seeking out the hottest (socially distant) parties, performances, and seminars available during 2020 Pride Month, check out this list for a comprehensive catalog of events from around the U.S.
51 years after the Stonewall rebellion, NYC Pride is returning to celebrate those that first sowed the seeds that sprouted into the full-fledged gay rights movement — and this year, for the first time ever, the event is taking place on an entirely virtual platform. On June 28th, viewers can tune into ABC7 for a commemoration of those who have fought for equality over the past decades, with a special focus on our front-line workers along with performances from beloved entertainers like Janelle Monáe and Billy Porter. In the meantime, keep an eye out for details on other planned events in June, including NYC Pride’s Human Rights Conference and Pride Rally.
In 1970, San Francisco’s first Pride march consisted of roughly thirty people. Today, the event is hailed as the largest gathering of LGBT+ people and allies in the nation, a true testament to the city’s instrumental role in the early American gay rights movement. This year, the event will take place entirely online, with a combined total of thirteen hours of drag performances, speeches, and musical guests taking the stage between the 27th and 28th of June. In the meantime, catch up on biweekly Lavender Talks, an ongoing speaker series discussing local LGBTQ+ culture and issues, and stay tuned for additional episodes coming up in June.
While LA Pride will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in cyberspace rather than in person, the festivities are shaping up to be just as exuberant as usual. On June 13th and 14th, ABC7 will air the first virtual Pride parade in LA history, highlighting the struggles and triumphs that the LGBTQ+ community has faced over the past fifty decades. The event will feature interviews with local community leaders as well as performances by a wide array of LGBTQ+ musicians and drag performers, but that’s not all that the city has in store for June. In addition to the virtual parade, be sure to tune in to iHeartMedia’s “50 Years of Pride in LA”, during which local radio stations will broadcast daily anecdotes from local artists, celebrities, and community members.
For the first time in fifty years, the Chicago Pride Parade has been postponed, with the accompanying Chicago Pride Fest pushed back to Labor Day weekend. In the wake of this disappointing news, Northalsted Business Alliance is working tirelessly to craft a digital Pride celebration airing on June 20th and 21st through Twitch. Though the event is still in the early stages of planning, viewers can expect performances and presentations from a wide array of the city’s LGBTQ+ musicians, performers, and community leaders.
Though Boston Pride’s 50th anniversary celebration has been cancelled for this year, not all hope is lost for the Bay State as the festivities will live on virtually. Beginning with a Pride flag raising ceremony on June 5th, the city will launch a mass of virtual seminars throughout the month, ranging from cooking classes to expert panels to online karaoke, all culminating in a six hour virtual concert on June 13th. Be sure to tune in to the Pride Lights livestream on June 9th; this solemn tradition takes place to commemorate those who lost their lives during the early HIV/AIDS crisis.
The largest LGBTQ+ Pride celebration in the Rocky Mountain region has transitioned into a purely online event for 2020, with Denver PrideFest taking place on June 20th and 21st. Both days are packed with hours of entertaining and educational events, ranging from a virtual charity 5K to an online parade in which local community members display their own creative and colorful short videos expressing what Denver Pride means to them. Make sure to keep a close eye on the schedule — Drag Race alums Naysha Lopez, Jackie Cox, and Monét X Change are all set to take the stage throughout this star-studded weekend.
Thanks to the blistering hot Arizona sun, Phoenix Pride traditionally takes place in early April rather than June, though this year’s 40th anniversary celebration has been pushed all the way back to November 7th and 8th. In the meantime, those wishing to celebrate the state’s enduring battle for LGBTQ+ equality can check out Virtual Arizona Pride. The organization is planning to release one video for each day of Pride Month, during which LGBTQ+ community members from all across the state explain what Pride means to them personally.
Seattle Pride has developed into one of the nation’s largest Pride gatherings since it first began in 1974, and this year will see the city’s first festival held entirely online. Participants can join Sans Bar on June 19th for a night filled with drag karaoke, mocktails and a speaker series, while June 27th hosts Youth Pink Prom & Pride 2020, a virtual youth event with sessions held on both Minecraft Java Edition and Discord. Keep a close eye on the event calendar — there’s a wide array of storytelling sessions, book club discussions, and GRWM live streams available throughout the month as well.
The largest Pride celebration in all of Texas, the Houston Pride Parade is best known for launching in the evening, allowing participants to celebrate amidst dazzling lights that illuminate the surrounding city streets. Though the 2020 parade has been pushed back to the fall, Pride Houston is offering multiple small-scale events throughout the summer to keep the spirit going strong. On June 20th, film enthusiasts can tune in to Reel Pride, a seven hour event celebrating LGBTQ+ films and documentaries ranging from local to international, while a free Virtual Human Rights Conference can be accessed through Zoom on July 25th.
Oregon’s largest Pride Parade has been postponed for the time being, but that doesn’t mean we can’t still celebrate, especially now that Portland Pride is hosting virtual events all throughout June in lieu of gatherings. Attendants can sing their heart out with Zoom karaoke on Friday the 12th before tuning in to Saturday’s Virtual Festival, an event featuring heartfelt speeches and interviews from LGBTQ+ community members all throughout the city. For a brief glimpse into a Pride of Portland Past, be sure to check out Sunday’s “Parade Like It’s 1999!” featuring a recording of a Pride festival from the turn of the 21st century.
Atlanta is home to one of the largest and oldest pride festivals in the nation, with roughly 300,000 participants joining in on the festivities each year — a far cry from the few hundred people that bravely marched in the city’s initial parade in 1971. While many national parades take place during LGBT Pride month, Atlanta has historically held theirs around National Coming Out Day, meaning that October’s scheduled Pride Parade is still going ahead as planned. Participants are free to join any of the three separate parades on October 10th celebrating the trans community, bisexual and pansexual community, and women loving women community, before all joining forces the next day for the monumental 50th Annual Atlanta Pride Parade.
The Capital Pride Alliance has decided to hold off on any in-person gatherings for June, and is instead offering a series of virtual experiences available for participants all across the nation. Listeners can engage in a Q&A livestream forum with local LGBTQ+ community leaders on June 8th, while the June 13th Capital Pridemobile & Rainbow Blast will take viewers through all eight wards of the district, highlighting the proudest, most colorful storefronts across all of DC. Be sure to watch the Capital Pride website — events for Fall 2020 are currently under development as well.
Nashville’s annual Pride Parade has been postponed, but that doesn’t mean that Music City will be silent during June. For the first time ever, the city has launched Pride At Home, an entirely virtual program rife with social events, educational seminars, and, of course, concerts performed by Nashville’s finest local artists. Participants can tune in each Friday at 9:00 p.m. for Pride Live, a variety show offering live entertainment and interviews, and any aspiring mixologists should be sure to catch ABSOLUT.ely Fabulous Cocktails on Thursday nights for a brief bartending lesson from one of the city’s local LGBTQ+ bartenders.
The bulk of the Beehive State’s events — Utah Pride Parade, Pride Festival, and Youth Pride, to be more specific — have been postponed until September, but that doesn’t mean that June is completely devoid of opportunities to celebrate Utah’s LGBTQ+ community. On June 5th, participants can join in on the fifth annual (and first virtual) Pride Spectacular Gala for a night full of entertainment, relaxation, and recognition of Utah’s most prominent LGBTQ+ leaders. For those wishing to participate in the silent auction, head over to the event’s registration page to reserve your spot now.
In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, Rhode Island Pride has been a major force for good throughout the state, operating a food and supplies drive that provided essential goods to over 13,000 impoverished Rhode Islanders. Hot off the heels of this successful event, the organization is now working to put together a month’s worth of exciting virtual events for the people of Rhode Island, with social media contests, art galleries, a virtual parade, and other festivities in the works.