Celebrate Pride Month at Home With These Virtual Events + Performances
Parades may be canceled, but Pride isn't.
Photo By: The Center/Carey Wagner Photography
Photo By: Google Arts & Culture/Keith Haring
Photo By: Drag Queen Story Hour
Photo By: Rachael A. Jones
Photo By: Getty Images/Bruce Glikas
Photo By: Google Arts & Culture
Photo By: NYX
Photo By: GettyImages/Boston Globe
Photo By: Noam Galai
Photo By: The LGBT Community Center
Attend a Virtual Garden Party
This June will be different. Cities across the country, known for their month-long LGBTQ+ festivals, marquee parades and lively parties, canceled events amid the COVID-19 pandemic. But that doesn't mean Pride is canceled. The celebration is just going online. If you're looking for ways to celebrate Pride Month at home with your family, there are tons of organizations throwing virtual events such as New York City non-profit The Center's annual Garden Party event which will take place virtually this year on June 22 at 6 p.m. EST. Don your rainbow best and follow along with NYC chefs with their Pride-inspired food menus and cocktails and mocktails to make at home.
Check Out Art by LGBTQ+ Artists
Museum buildings may be shuttered amid the pandemic, but museums around the world have launched virtual exhibitions to browse online and keep art alive. And during Pride Month, you can learn more about LGBTQ+ artists through Google Arts & Culture's virtual collections, from Frida Kahlo to Keith Haring. New York's Columbus Museum of Art even released a virtual walkthrough of their Art After Stonewall exhibit, which chronicles how the LGBT liberation movement impacted art in the '70s and '80s.
Listen to Drag Queens Read Your Favorite Stories
If you've never heard of Drag Queen Story Hour, it's exactly what it sounds like. Drag queens visit libraries and schools to read popular children's books and interact with kids. The events help children learn about gender fluidity and the acceptance of people's differences all while creating a positive literary experience. And while DQSH's in-person readings have been canceled throughout the summer, many drag queens are still reading online through the organization's Facebook page and chapter pages. These streams are a great way to teach children about acceptance and start a conversation about not bullying at school.
Run a Pride 5K
Going for a walk or a run, while following safe, socially distanced recommendations, is one of the best ways to let off steam and combat stress during this pandemic. And this June, the city of Denver is calling on LGBTQ runners around the world to take part in their virtual Pride 5K on June 20 and 21 to raise money for Colorado LGBTQ communities. The "race" will have a virtual leaderboard and prizes will be awarded to runners with the top 10 finishing times.
Watch LGBTQ+ Broadway Shows at Home
Broadway and West End have been shuttered for months amid the pandemic, but you can still support LGBTQ+ stories and performers by watching popular shows at home. With a BroadwayHD subscription, you can stream plays and musicals at home. It's kind of like Netflix for Broadway. And the collection includes family-friendly, LGBTQ+ shows such as Kinky Boots and The Prom.
Learn About LGBTQ+ History
Beyond the parade floats and balloons, it's important to understand the history of the LGBTQ+ community, whether you are in the community or an ally. And if you have kids or teens who want to learn more about the gay liberation and equal rights movement, the Smithsonian Institution is a great place to start online. The Museum of American History now features an online database with virtual exhibitions on LGBTQ history. In the last five years, the museum has acquired many artifacts from the LGBT civil rights movement, from vintage protest pins to the original transgender pride flag. And Google Arts & Culture, Google's online history and culture hub, has several collections dedicated to the LGBTQ civil rights movement with artwork and artifacts from the GLBT Historical Society, The Center, the National Park Service and more. The collection even includes thousands of photos by and of Leonard Fink, activist, photographer, and the "unofficial mayor of Christopher Street," who took thousands of photographs chronicling the gay liberation movements.
March in a Virtual Parade
When you think of Pride Month, you think of people coming together for vibrant parades. And while those can't happen this year, many organizations are reimagining parades for social media. Cities across the country are producing virtual Pride parades, from Seattle to the Twin Cities to LA. In fact, LA Pride is celebrating its 50th anniversary with a primetime virtual parade that will air on ABC7 on Sat., June 13. Celebrities such as Lance Bass, Lee Daniels and Raven Symoné are already confirmed for the broadcast. The International Gay and Lesbian Travel Association, or IGLTA, has a massive calendar for virtual Prides all around the world so definitely bookmark their list for more events this month.
And you can still get dolled-up and decked-out for a parade at home! NYX Professional Makeup has launched a virtual Pride march to educate audiences about what it means to be an ally to the LGBTQ community with the hashtag #ProudAlliesForAll. They've created an "I March For" Instagram filter to use in stories that allows you to say who you're virtually marching for and NYX will repost these stories throughout the month of June.
Watch the Raising of the Flag
A great way to kick off your Pride celebrations at home could be as simple as watching the raising of the Pride flag. Boston will livestream the raising of their rainbow pride flag in City Hall Plaza on June 5 at noon EST. And, for the first time, they will also livestream a very special tradition for Boston Pride on June 9: the Pink Lights. This lighting ceremony turns Boston's Blackstone Square pink to commemorate those in the LGBTQ community impacted by the AIDS pandemic.
Livestream a Pride Festival
Pride Month is typically packed with family picnics, music festivals and even Pride outings at major sports venues across the country. And while you can't replace that, many organizations are producing virtual festivals packed with celebrities and free performances. LGBTQ+ publication Them has joined forces with music publication Pitchfork to produce "Out Now Live." The event will be livestreamed on June 22 on YouTube and will include appearances by Kate Moennig, Antoni Porowski, Zac Posen, Tegan and Sara and more. And the largest pride celebration in the country, NYC Pride, will celebrate its 50th anniversary with a special broadcast on WABC Channel 7 on June 28 from noon to 2 p.m. EST. Celebrity appearances and performances include Janelle Monaé, Billy Porter, Margaret Cho and more.
Visit Stonewall From Afar
We wouldn’t have a Pride Month today without the Stonewall uprising that happened 51 years ago. And while you can't visit the Stonewall National Monument in person right now, you can visit virtually via Google Street View. Google’s Arts & Culture section has a virtual, guided walking tour of New York City’s Christopher Street, Christopher Park and other surrounding areas of the historic site. And Stonewall Forever is a great way to explore Stonewall from afar. The online exhibit presents the Stonewall Inn and the surrounding area in augmented reality with recorded interviews and soundbites that are presented in colorful prisms as part of one giant, shattered rainbow. It’s powerful, moving, heavy and a beautiful way to commemorate the fight for LGBT rights. You even have the opportunity to add your own memory or tribute to a prism and become part of the exhibit.