Following in the footsteps of many events in the past year, Pride month has been forced to be moved online for the most part, thanks to the obvious hindrance of coronavirus. With modern day pride events having a reputation for extravagant celebrations, clothing and performances, you may think that it would be hard to celebrate it online with quite the same gusto. But with so many exciting online events coming up next month, there’s no reason that this year’s pride should be any less extraordinary, so we have looked into some of the best online events for you to attend.
Since the last pride month in the UK we have seen progress such as the lift on deferral period in blood donation for gay men, allowing them to donate under the same conditions as the rest of the population and last month the government announced plans to ban conversion therapy, so members of the LGBTQ+ society will finally be protected people from this inhumane practice. It’s positive to see that progress continues to be made but there is still much to be done to make members of LGBTQ+ rights equal to everyone else’s and to stop the discrimintion and hate they face on a daily basis.
Pride has played an important role in promoting equality and visibility since the very first one in 1970, offering a safe space for people to be themselves as well as a platform to raise awareness and speak out against injustices. It’s also a time to remember and acknowledge the people of the past that have allowed society to progress and become more accepting of LGTBTQ+ thanks to their fight for the cause.
This brings us onto the first online event, Legal Pride 2021: The Past Present and Future of LGBTQ+ Rights which takes place on 16th June and tickets are free, so all you need to do is register your interest. This event does as it says on the tin, exploring the past, present and future of LGBTQ+ rights and activism, with each speaker discussing their personal journey and their contributions to LGBTQ+ activism. This is a particularly good event for allies to attend, as it is an opportunity to get a well-rounded education on the cause and they will also be focusing on what more can be done for everyone to be better allies to each other.
Although Pride is celebrated for the whole month of June, the 28th June marks ‘Pride Day’, the anniversary of the day of the 1969 police raid of the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich, NYC. This is regarded as one of the most important days in the history of the fight for LGBTQ+ rights, because of the 6 day riots that followed. The protestors, led by Marsha P.Johnson, a black, trans, bisexual woman, demanded the creation of safe spaces for LGBTQ+ people and the right to be open about their sexuality without fear of arrest and has inspired solidarity amongst LGBTQ+ groups ever since.
This is a very brief overview of the events but there is so much more about Stonewall and the history of the fight for LGBT+ rights as a whole. If you would like to learn more about it then Our History is Your History: LGBTQ+ Pride, held on 28th June, is a great place to start. This event is a webinar in which older members of the LGBTQ+ community share their memories and take a look at the history of Pride as well as LGBTQ+ activism more generally. This includes the Lesbian Strength Marches in the 1980’s, the fight against section 28 (the law that prohibited the promotion of homsexuality in the UK) and the launching of Pride events by trans and bi people in recent years. So as well as learning the history of Pride, this event will give an interesting insight into some of the not so well known fights for LGTBQ+ rights that happened in the past and these are important to recognise and remember.
Pride events are a place of inclusivity for everyone that are free of discrimination and events like Autistic Pride Online (19th June) show that everyone is welcome, not just in terms of gender or sexuality. Organised by the Autistic Pride Alliance, it contains presentations from Aucademy, Spectrum Gaming, the Osime Brown Campaign, Autpad and friends, My Autistic Sparkle and poetry by Callum Brazzo, who was hugely popular at last year’s Pride event. The Autistic Pride Alliance is all about creating a positive community and showing the world that they are proud to be autistic and that they have as much right as neurotypicals to live happy and fulfilled lives. This Autistic Pride Online event is a day for people with autism to ‘cast any shame aside and be ourselves’, which has been one of the underlying messages in Pride events from the start. This is a great event to attend, not just for people with autism, and the quality of the talks and performances make this a stand-out event. It will be hosted on Youtube, so grab some free tickets and use the link sent to you beforehand to access the presentations on the day.
Technology is an industry that has seen many LGBTQ+ trailblazers, such as Alan Turing (computer scientist who helped break the Nazi’s Enigma code), Lynn Conway (pioneer of supercomputer technologies) and Angelica Ross (Founder and CEO of TransTech Social Enterprises). With these inspirational leaders to look up to, it’s no surprise the amount of people with a passion for or interest in working in the tech industry and there is an array of Pride tech events to reflect this. If you’re looking for more inspiration then Pride Week | Trans in Tech: A Panel of Pros is the event for you. Hosted by General Assembly Dallas, this event makes up part of their weeklong festival of free workshops. It includes talks from a panel of tech pros who will be discussing everything from inclusion and representation in the industry and how allies can show up for their LGBTQ+ allies every day – so another great event for allies to attend. LGBTQIA+ Pride Month: OUT in Tech is a free event that takes place on 29th June – 30th June and offers advice for people wanting to break into the tech industry, as well as hearing from LGBTQ+ industry professionals on their career journeys and what it means to be ‘out’ in tech. Also taking place on June 29th is FinTech Pride, which again is free, and hosted by Women of Fintech as they try to build a community for the LGBTQ+ community in the financial technology industry. This is just a selection of Pride tech events but there are many more, so there is something for every tech-head and these events will hopefully help foster a large supportive community for LQBTQ+ people within the industry.
Modern day Pride events tend to revolve around the entertainment aspects and even though everything has moved online, there is still entertainment in abundance this year. If you’re looking for some fun events to let your hair down (virtually) then some of these events might appeal to you.
Indy Pride 2021 offers the full festival experience with a full line-up of entertainment and participatory events and even has its own virtual interactive map to guide you round. It includes LGBTQ+ owned and LGBTQ+ supporting businesses, community meet-ups, LGBTQ+ supporting community organisations and resources and talks with the likes of JP Morgan Chase and the Peabody Parlor Beauty Hub. It will be streamed all day on 12th June on free platforms like Twitch and Zoom, tickets are also free with optional donations to Indy Pride.
PRIDE Virtual Open Mic Night is an event taking place on 23rd June to “celebrate, grieve, laugh, dance and be in space together and share creative expression”. This is a positive and supportive environment for people in the LGBTQ+ community to perform or come along and watch all the talented artists and show some love and support in the community. If music isn’t your thing then Pride Bingo organised by LGBT foundation is bingo with a twist, as instead of numbers they will be calling out LGBTQ+ icons and from the past and present, meaning you’ll get to brush up on your knowledge or see all your favourite icons called out. This is a free 18+ event and it’s sure to be a night of fun – there’ll even be some gift cards up for grabs for the winners!
One of the benefits of moving online is that you can attend events that might not have been possible to attend before due to location and accessibility. This brings us to the last event that has been have picked out, NYC Pride 2021 | RALLY which has been brought into our doorsteps this year, available on NYC Pride’s Facebook and Youtube channels from 6pm on 25th June. This event encourages people to show up in force to advocate for change and rally together to take a stand against hate and violence towards the LGBTQ+ community. It marks the 5 year anniversary of the horrific Orlando Nightclub shooting (which took place at the gay nightclub, Pulse) and this rally will honour the 49 victims of this tragedy as well as demanding ‘transformative reform to protect our community.’
So, whether it be education, entertainment or the opportunity to join a supportive community, the online events for Pride this month offer it all & more. The charities and organisers have done a brilliant job in converting the physical Pride experience into an online one that will enable everyone to continue to take part in this important month of events. So immerse yourself into this experience and you may be surprised by the things you learn, the people you meet and the memories you make.
Chloe is a content creator with a passion for writing, photography, graphic design and making music. She loves experimenting with creative media and has a desire to work in the music and media industries in the future.