In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and social unrest, this year's NYC Pride celebrations will be different than years past. But as it always does, Pride Month will continue to reflect the times through parties, moments of reflection, and of protest, all with a virtual twist.
Will There Be a Pride Parade This Year?
Not on the streets of Manhattan, but there will be a celebration. In recognition of the 50th anniversary of the city's first Pride March, parade organizers are instead holding a socially distanced televised event on Sunday, June 28 — the date of what would have been the NYC Pride Parade — featuring performances by a number of stars including, Janelle Monae, Billy Porter and more.
The Reclaim Pride Coalition, which staged a counter march to the main pride parade last year, says it plans to hold a physical march on June 28. Organizers say the march will highlight the violence committed against black people by “law enforcement and the mass incarceration state.”
What Are Some of the Other Major Pride Festivals and Events Happening Online?
The NYC Pride Virtual Rally will take place on Friday, June 26 on Facebook and YouTube. This rally for racial justice and the transgender community will be hosted by trans activist Ashlee Marie Preston and trans actor Brian Michael Smith.
Pride 2020 Drag Fest is a three-day digital drag festival celebrating the importance of drag performers. More than 100 queens are set to participate, including many from the popular TV show "RuPaul's Drag Race." It's being held June 19-21. Visit nycpride.org for more information.
How is NYC's Arts Community Re-imagining Pride Month?
The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Art has a full list of virtual events and a digital art project by Jordan Eagles that looks at the restrictions on gay men who want to donate blood. In his imagining, Superman needs a blood transfusion. Visit Leslielohman.org for more information.
Among its Pride offerings, the 92nd Street Y will stream the incredible one-man show by James Lecesne “The Absolute Brightness of Leonard Pelkey,” which is about the disappearance of a flamboyant 14-year-old boy. Its writer says while it could be interpreted as a tragic story, it's really about the triumph of the soul to be able to communicate his value to an entire town. An earlier work by Lecesne, "Trevor," led him to co-find the Trevor Project, a national support and suicide prevention network for LGBTQ young people. Visit 92y.org for more information.
Finally, the second annual Criminal Queerness Festival is now online with plays that explore issues of homophobia globally, specifically in countries that criminalize or censor LGBTQ communities. Visit Dixonplace.org for more information.
NYC Pride and others will continue to add new events throughout the month of June as organizations continue to figure out how to celebrate virtually. Visit nycpride.org for a full calendar of events.