International

Global Pride aims to be world’s largest virtual queer celebration

Fight for freedom: Sarah Hegazi raising a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo in 2017; (below) Vladimir Luxuria  

Queer organisations across the world world, led primarily by the Global North, have come together to organise a 24-hour virtual Pride. This virtual celebration of queerness comes in light of several parades being cancelled or postponed in cities like London, New York and Madrid, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The first of its kind, Global Pride, includes non-stop streaming of content from Pride organisations, activists, civil society groups, politicians and world leaders. The digital Pride will replace live gatherings and seek global participation, even from countries where homosexuality is criminalised. Taking place across various time zones, the virtual Pride event will begin at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday, June 27 and go on till 12.41 p.m. on Sunday, June 28 in India. More than 20 Pride organisations in India will feature in this event, alongside Trans Pride Pakistan and Nemat Sadat from Afghanistan.

Political support

Politicians like former American Vice President Joe Biden, who is gunning for the Presidential seat in the upcoming November elections; Canadian PM Justin Trudeau; and Austrian President Alexander Van der Bellen will participate in the virtual event. They will band for queer pride alongside political leaders like the only openly transgender MP in Europe Vladimir Luxuria; Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio; and Argentinian government legislator, Vilma Ibarra.

Since the outbreak of COVID-19, more than an estimated 200 Prides have been cancelled or postponed globally, compelling queer organisations to find quick and relevant alternatives. “I remember the first conversation we had about this project, and how so many people thought it would be an impossible task to deliver, especially in less than three months,” said Steve Taylor of European Pride Organisers Association. “But yet again the grit and determination of the LGBTQIA+ community have ensured we will have a historic, ground-breaking show that will bring our community together in these trying times.”

Queer resistance

The Global Pride line-up includes Denise Ho, a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer and actress who is also a pro-democracy and Hong Kong human rights activist. Ho has been blacklisted by the Chinese government for her active participation in the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong. Ahmed Alaa, was jailed in Egypt after raising a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo in 2017, will also participate. During the Global Pride broadcast, there will be a tribute to Sarah Hegazi, a lesbian activist jailed with Alaa, who took her own life earlier this month. She had reportedly suffered post-traumatic stress disorder following torture while in prison. Sophia Jimémez, a singer and drag queen from Mexico is part of the line-up as well. She has performed with contestants of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and was a finalist in La Más Draga 2, a television talent show of drag queens.

Among 40 contributions from Africa: there is Ahmed Umar, a sculptor from Sudan who will talk about the fight for LGBTI+ equality in his country where homosexuality can still attract the death penalty. LGBTQIA+ people, who face severe social and legal restrictions in countries like Iraq, Azerbaijan, Turkey, Syria, Iran, Palestine, Libya, Tunisia, Morocco and Jamaica, have also made their contributions. The show will also feature a contribution from Antarctica. “Global Pride is our movement's response to the COVID-19 crisis,” says J. Andrew Baker of InterPride, one of the organisers of Global Pride. The hope is to create the largest virtual queer event in history and raise funds for Pride and queer organisations that may find it difficult to survive the pandemic.

Global Pride will be broadcast on Saturday, June 27 at globalpride2020.org; on Todrick Hall’s YouTube channel; and on Facebook page: GlobalPride2020

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Printable version | Apr 15, 2021 8:47:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/global-pride-aims-to-be-worlds-largest-virtual-queer-celebration/article31908811.ece

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