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How are pride events in Australia adapting to the pandemic?

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN DRYSDALE
WORDS BY ISABELLE SACKS

Pride Month is taking things online this year.

The start of Pride Month on June 1 is something of a spiritual homecoming for members of the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies, but it’s looking a little different this year.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on Pride organisations worldwide, with hundreds of marches and events cancelled or postponed in Australia alone. The events this year were set to be as big as ever – the 50 year anniversary of the Stonewall Riots last year saw attendance records shattered at Pride events all over the world.

Nevertheless, Pride lives on in an online form this month with Global Pride, Sydney Pride Festival, Victoria’s Pride-solation and Brisbane Pride Queen’s Ball providing plenty of joyous ways to celebrate. Aside from parties and parades, Pride’s truest value comes from generating awareness and funds for queer causes, which we’re able to do from home during Pride Month and well beyond it.

And, for those of us who have been loving all the time spent indoors lately, a silver lining of Pride going virtual is that you can participate in celebrations all over the country (and the world) without leaving your couch. 

Global Pride

Global Pride provides an opportunity for the LGBTI+ community around the world to come together on June 27 and celebrate diversity and equality during these challenging times. Over 300 million viewers are expected to tune into the 24-hour live stream, which will be an unprecedented worldwide Pride event organised as a partnership between InterPride, the European Pride Organisers Association, and national Pride networks in several countries.

It’ll feature appearances from drag artists like Pabllo Vittar and Australia’s Courtney Act, as well as queer icons like Olivia Newton-John and Deborah Cox, and a highly anticipated musical performance by the Dixie Chicks. World leaders like Prime Minister Xavier Bettel of Luxembourg, India’s first openly gay prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, and President Carlos Alvarado Quesada of Costa Rica will also make appearances and remarks.

globalpride2020.org

Sydney Pride Festival

The Sydney Pride Festival 2020 Love Stream launched on Sydney Pride’s Facebook on June 4 and will run until June 30. The online offering has a stellar lineup, with multiple events every day ranging from Drag Bingo to interviews with activists.

sydneypride.com

Pride-Solation

In an Australian first, Pride-Solation will bring together 15 Victorian Regional Festivals and organisations to celebrate Pride Month on Saturday June 20. Each festival is programming content to highlight local artists and community members from their regions. This Facebook live event will truly be a best of Victoria’s LGBTQIA+ community showcase, featuring musicians, artists, burlesque and cabaret performances and interviews with community members.

australianpridenetwork.com.au

Brisbane Pride Queens Ball Virtual Awards

The Queen’s Ball is the longest-running LGBTQIA+ event in the world and no pandemic was going to stop it going ahead. The event, which has been held every year since 1962, will take place on June 27 and will include the presentation of awards for Activist of the Year, Community Social Group of the Year, Community Support Group of the Year and Drag Performer of the Year. It will be followed by the Isolation Ball, a costume ball hosted by QNews on Facebook live.

brisbanepride.org.au

australianpridenetwork.com

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