More than 100 pride celebrations across the globe have been canceled or postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Just this morning, InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association announced a new group tasked with responding to the pandemic.
“As we face an unprecedented global threat, our Pride movement will come together to support each other and create community at a time when we need it most,” said Linda DeMarco, co-president of InterPride, in a statement.
Across the United States, Pride events are also either being canceled or postponed, as citizens are being urged to distance themselves from others. LA Pride, typically a week-long festival and parade, has been put on hold, as the city tries to slow the spread of the virus while smaller cities like Charolette, NC have canceled their events altogether. However other cities, including Denver whose PrideFest is set for June 20-21, have yet to make a statement on whether their festivities will be postponed or canceled.
Kristine Garina, president of the European Pride Organisers Association, assured the public that while these cancelations are disappointing, the organization is determined to continue into the future. Pride organizers care for, above all else, the safety and health of the LGBTQ community.
“Right now, we must all be focusing first on our own wellbeing and the welfare of those around us, but we are passionate about Pride, and we will work together and do all we can to help Pride organizers get through this,” Garina said. “Every Pride organizer in the world has a story of someone whose life was changed by coming to a Pride, a story of someone who for the first time felt love and a sense of community.”
But Pride is more than a party; it’s more than a parade. Pride doesn’t stop because we can’t gather in common spaces. Have pride in yourself and your family for making it through these difficult times. Have pride in your community for banding together even when we’re apart. Pride is being proud of who you are and recognizing your accomplishments despite the setbacks.