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Still marching on: How Global Pride Month is rising above a pandemic

June is recognised as the global pride month. However, the COVID-19 pandemic means parades and all other initiatives involving large gatherings are off the table. That doesn’t mean that you can’t show support for the LGBTQIA+ community–here’s how to be a part of the celebrations for Pride Month 2020.

Starting today, the Global Pride Month 2020 begins. And as people can’t come together in groups to support and celebrate the community, as with most things during the pandemic, it’s all going virtual. Organisations from across the world are taking initiatives to bring together the community and the world, and ensuring that COVID-19 doesn’t mute their voice.

For one, there’s the #21DaysAllyChallenge by Pride Circle, India’s premier diversity consultancy that helps corporates be more inclusive. Taking on from the social media challenges that have the power of uniting people through fun activities, they have organised 21 challenges for people to undertake, starting on June 1 till June 30.

pride month 2020
A supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community participates in the Equality March in Mumbai on February 1, 2020. Image: Courtesy Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Influencers and individuals from over 28 countries and 70 organisations are expected to come together for this exercise. The mini challenges will include wearing something to show your support, testing your bias towards the community, talk about the discrimination they face, knowing the coming out story of an LGBTQIA+ person, and such.

Pride Circle has a three-pronged outcome in mind through this, i.e., build a community of passionate LGBT+ allies, take conscious steps to recognise and neutralise biases and stereotypes about LGBT+ community, and a holistic social impact. And they’ve chosen the duration basis the scientific fact that it takes 21 days to form a new habit, to build a new thought process or perspective. They aim to have at least 1,00,000 allies by the end of the month and already had 1,702 as of May 31.

pride month 2020
Member and supporter of the LGBTQIA+ community take part in the annual pride parade in New Delhi on November 24, 2019. Image: Courtesy Mayank Makhija/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Then there are pride organisations from all over the world coming together on June 27 for a virtual celebration. Led by the European Pride Organisers Association, the Global Pride will be a 24-hour long live stream of content. There will be musical and artistic performances, speeches from activists and campaigners, and addresses by public figures. Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil of India, Prime Ministers of Norway and Luxembourg, and President of Costa Rica are few of the speakers.

pride month 2020
A supporter of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community participates in the Equality March in Mumbai, India on 01 February 2020. (Photo by Himanshu Bhatt/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The digital commemoration is set to garner over 300 million viewers from across the globe. Artists including Pabllo Vittar, Ava Max, Olivia Newton-John, Deborah Cox, Kristine W, Dixie Chicks, Thelma Houston, Bright Light, Courtney Act, Steve Grand, and Rachel Sage are already scheduled to appear, together with audio and visual content by the artist George Michael to celebrate a community that he was very proud to be a part of. More leading names from the world of entertainment including international musicians and bands and performers from the LGBTQIA+ community will be announced throughout June, the organisation said in a statement.

pride month 2020
Participants take part in the Queer Azaadi Pride Parade on February 2, 2019, in Mumbai. Image: Courtesy Chirag Wakaskar/Getty Images

And the OG pride parade, the NYC Pride that started it all in 1969 is also accessible online this year. Celebrating 50 years this June, they’ve organised a host of initiatives for you to pick from. Music, art & film; politics, family celebrations, parties, drag performances, and a lot more will be explored through the month, culminating in a special broadcast event on the last Sunday of the month, June 28. You can catch all the updates for the varied events on their website, here.

Wherever you are in the world, it’s never been easier to show your support for the LGBTQIA+ community.