Pride Month is usually celebrated in June across the world to coincide with the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots that happened on the 28th June 1969. The Stonewall Riots are a pivotal moment in LGBTQ+ history when the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York City, was raided by the police. After years of violence and criminalisation perpetrated against the LGBTQ+ people, the Stonewall Riots marked a turning point which led to the gay liberation movement, paving the way for the modern peaceful LGBTQ+ movements that continue today.
A video we made for #BradfordVirtualPride which was due to be the launch of the second phase of our Peace OUT exhibition, all about LGBTQ+ activism and peace.
Many Pride events across the world are now huge celebrations with thousands of people celebrating and provide a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ to be visible and to campaign for the issues which still remain within the community. However, the coronavirus pandemic has meant that such events have been cancelled and instead people have found new ways to participate in Pride. Some have taken place virtually, and people have used the time to raise awareness of issues still facing LGBTQ+ communities, speaking out against the commercialisation of Pride and ensuring that people remain connected with friends and allies. This has been made all the more important by the pandemic, as some LGBTQ+ people feel their experiences of the covid-19 pandemic are not being reported by the wider media. People could be isolating at home with unsupportive families which could have a long term impact on mental health. Surgeries for trans people have been put on hold, and access to healthcare, in a community which has long felt discriminated against by the health system, is limited.
The advert for Bradford Virtual Pride that took place in May 2020. Credit: Bradford Council and Bradford Pride.
Watch this video from Rosie Freeman and May McQuade about the Virtual Pride March they organised as part of Bradford Virtual Pride held in May 2020 and their views on how important Pride 2020 is.
Image Banner Credit: Virtual Pride Poster: Jack Lynch