Illustration by Isabella Carapella/HuffPost
The first Pride wasn’t a parade. It was a riot and a rebellion that led to a revolution.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of regularly scheduled festivities around the world, from New York and San Francisco to London and Toronto, you can’t cancel Pride, because Pride is within all of us.
The LGBTQ community is creative and strong, with a long history of turning tragedy and struggle into triumph and affirmation. Look no further than the anti-racism demonstrations across the country in recent days as evidence that making history often means making people uncomfortable. This year is no different. Activists, artists, drag performers, politicians, filmmakers, community members, fitness gurus and more have all found ways to reimagine Pride as a virtual gathering that leaves no one behind.
And the silver lining is that you don’t need to be a local to represent like one. Interested in New York City’s 92nd Street Y panel on queer voices in YA? You can listen to that from your bed in Vancouver. Looking to leave it all on the dance floor during a QPOC party in Toronto? No ticket required, just a Zoom link. Want to know your rights if you’re stopped by police? Tune into a teach-in hosted by the Audre Lorde Project from anywhere around the globe.
As “RuPaul’s Drag Race” star Monét X Change told us last month, “Even though we’re isolating and social distancing, we are going to find a way to be even gayer this year. We’re not gonna let it get us down.”
HuffPost has curated ways to bring Pride alive in your home all month. This is a living document; we’ll keep updating it with new events as they get announced. So please check back daily for updates. And feel free to send us tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pride traces its roots back to uprisings against police brutality by Black and brown trans and queer people. As nationwide anti-racism protests continue, join In Defense of Black Life, a week of action organized for the Movement For Black Lives, a coalition of community groups across the country, including the queer-led Black Visions Collective. From June 1 to 5, stand virtually or otherwise “in solidarity with activists and organizers across the country and world saying enough is enough.” Follow the Movement For Black Lives’ Instagram for more updates about how you can demonstrate, donate and uplift each other throughout the week.
Kick off your month with Pride Toronto, one of the largest and most well-attended celebrations in the world. It all begins with a virtual flag raising ceremony and the online gala Club Quarantine, but don’t expect the fun to slow down throughout the month: There will be ongoing innovative and inclusive online programming celebrating local queer and trans trailblazers. Stop by a queer Latinx or South Asian dance party, try your luck at drag bingo, engage with a youth group highlighting the stories of the Black queer and trans community, express yourself at a cabaret, test your knowledge with LGBTQ trivia and refresh at a virtual sober oasis. The Dyke March, Trans Rally and Pride parade are still on, as well as a jam-packed festival weekend later in the month overflowing with queer excellence.
Redecorating your apartment into oblivion? Well, now you can build that gallery wall of your dreams after dropping by these digital art fairs: the NYC Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center’s “Queer Art Benefit” and Queer|Art. Spruce up your digs with paintings, books, zines, photography, sketches, garments, prints and more created or donated by a diverse group of queer creators. All proceeds go to the center or directly to the artists themselves.
Gather for a rally at The Stonewall Inn in honor of Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was fatally shot by police last week in Tallahassee, Florida, and Nina Pop, Black a trans woman who was murdered in Missouri last month. The protest to seek justice for “all Black trans people murdered by violence and the police” will take place at 5 p.m.
Vote! Exercise your civic duty in the 2020 presidential primary, which takes place throughout the month of June. Since numerous states and territories have rescheduled their primaries due to the coronavirus outbreak, check this calendar to see when and how you can cast your ballot.
Get your head into the game with former NBA star Jason Collins — the first openly gay athlete to play a major American team sport — and trailblazers Nancy Lieberman and Billy Bean for a panel about ”The History and Future of LGBT in Sports” as part of Out Leadership’s monthlong speaker series.
Choose Matt Ortile’s “The Groom Will Keep His Name and Other Vows I’ve Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance” for your next book club read. The author’s debut essay collection details his experience growing up gay, embracing his Filipino identity and his adventures in sex and dating. He’ll also be chatting with “Saturday Night Live” star Bowen Yang during a Zoom sit down and Q&A.
Hear from community historians, harm-reduction experts and AIDS educators on the virtual panel ”Fighting Back: Lessons From AIDS for COVID-19,” about how strategies used to combat the AIDS crisis might inform how we respond to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Hosted by the GLBT Historical Society, this free conversation hopes to explore the issue through the lens of activism and mental health.
Nashville knows best when it comes to singer-songwriters, so hear from local queer talent in Sing Me A Song, a weekly livestreamed concert as part of the city’s official Pride celebration. Each performer will sing up to five songs, which will run on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram Live.
Join the Audre Lorde Project and the New York City Anti-Violence Project for “Know Your Rights With Police During COVID,” a Zoom discussion about what to do if you’re stopped by police during the coronavirus pandemic. The event primarily focuses on how people of color in LGBTQ communities can “learn how to exercise their rights safely, recognize when they have been violated and know what to do about it.”
Bask in the talents of performers such as Titus Burgess and Alex Newell for a good cause, and tune into Beyond the Shelter, an interactive virtual Pride kickoff party. Streamed live on YouTube, the event will feature a slew of diverse and talented performers who’ve come together to benefit New Alternatives, an organization that provides crucial services to LGBTQ homeless youth, from basic survival needs to long-term support.
Recharge during MOBIfest, a virtual festival organized by Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative (MOBI) that celebrates “queer contributions to the arts, wellness, community and culture.” In an effort to center queer people of color, MOBIfest will bring together Black Pride organizers from across the country to curate DJ sets, comedy segments and performances from dancers, musicians, and the house and ballroom community featuring queer-only talent. Headliners include Kidd Kenn and Mila Jam.
Open your mind and celebrate the release of Pocket Change Collective, a series of pocket-sized books targeted for teen readers about topical issues. Authors Kimberly Drew, Adam Eli, Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, and Alok Vaid-Menon will gather “in recognition of the ongoing protests and the Black Lives Matter movement to discuss the current moment, the ways in which their communities are involved and affected, and their continued advocacy to dismantle systemic oppression and promote social justice.” The live conversation will be streamed on YouTube with special guests and a Q&A.
Tap into your inner theater geek for the 65th Annual Obie Awards, honoring theater off- and off-off-Broadway. The Tony Awards’ cooler, edgier cousin is putting together a free virtual ceremony hosted by Cole Escola, with this year’s recipients delivering prerecorded acceptance speeches at the ceremony. And if you do have some cash to spare, fork it over to get into a virtual fundraiser featuring … drumroll please ... Patti freakin’ LuPone.
Pencil in an ugly crying session because The Fab Five are back and Philadelphia-bound in the biggest season of Netflix’s “Queer Eye” yet. (Deep sigh) Yaaaaaaaaaaaaas, queen.
Pride just isn’t the same without an appearance from drag icon Lady Bunny, who’s back with a topical and presumably filthy new comedy special, “Lady Bunny in Cuntagious.” The 35-minute stand-up set will see the legendary performer “attempt to give what may be your last laugh before the apocalypse.” If anyone can, it’s Bunny.
Guess who’s back in the house? “RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars” is sashaying onto your TV screens for what’s sure to be another gagworthy season. Returning favorites include Shea Couleé, Miz Cracker, Ongina, Jujubee, Blair St. Clair and more. (And if you miss watching the show with friends, head over to a Zoom viewing party hosted by Chicago’s very own Roscoe’s Tavern to kiki with Detox, Willam and Derrick Barry.)
Livestreamed for your pleasure, this ”Live From Lincoln Center” concert of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “Carousel” gives you two Broadway legends, Kelli O’Hara and Jessie Mueller, for the price of one. Just kidding, it’s free!
Sweat it out with a 305 Pride: Live Cardio Class co-hosted by drag queen and activist Marti Gould Cummings. The 45-minute workout is streamed free on YouTube and will get your heart pumping to a soundtrack of classic Pride singalongs, tracks by your favorite drag queens and, let’s be honest, probably “Rain on Me.”
Flow through the motions during Third Root’s Online Queer and Trans Yoga, specifically hosted for the LGBTQ community that leaves heterosexism and transphobia at the door.
Happy would-be Tony Awards? Instead of the annual ceremony, which has been delayed until next year, CBS is airing a singalong screening of “Grease,” which (checks notes) never won any Tony Awards.
A staple of every Pride month, the New York City AIDS Walk is being reimagined for your home as an interactive webcast featuring celebrity guests, surprise performances and a DJ-led dance party. Part of the proceeds this year will help fund the special efforts the group is making in response to the coronavirus crisis.
Take a seat at “Queer the Table: A Virtual Roundtable” with food industry experts exploring the role the queer community plays in the world of food and hospitality. Hosted by Nico Wisler in collaboration with the Hetrick-Martin Institute, this virtual event aims for an “honest, celebratory, and inspiring conversation about finding and building community and claiming queer identity in the food space.”
Remember those we lost to the HIV/AIDS epidemic during Boston’s Pride Lights ceremony, which will be livestreamed this year as part of the city’s official Pride lineup. The annual lighting of Blackstone Park is a signature tradition for the Boston LGBTQ community and is meant to “commemorate departed friends, family and coworkers and to increase awareness of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, which is still affecting our community today.”
Join in a conversation with journalist and activist George Johnson celebrating a new young-adult essay collection “All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” hosted by NYC LGBT Community Center’s youth program. The author said he hopes his latest work provides “the story I didn’t have but always needed” growing up as a gay Black man.
Just like Versayce, “Showgirls” never goes out of style. The cult phenomenon is finally getting its due with the documentary “You Don’t Nomi,” now available on demand and digital, which explores how Paul Verhoeven’s glitzy flop found a second life in the camp-classic canon.
If you liked his addiction memoir, “The Gilded Razor,” get yourself a copy of Sam Lansky’s debut novel, “Broken People,” which follows a young gay man’s journey to seeking a shaman who “fixes everything wrong with you in three days.” Complications, we imagine, naturally arise.
Narrated by a 20-something queer Palestinian woman, Zaina Arafat’s debut novel, “You Exist Too Much,” is already getting rave reviews for how it explores the tension between various cultural, religious and sexual identities. Taking place through time and across the United States and the Middle East, the book traces a woman’s life as she battles a “love addiction” through a series of vignettes.
Tour San Francisco with James Baldwin in this powerful 1963 documentary “Take This Hammer,” as he exposes what he called, “the real situation of Negroes in the city, as opposed to the image San Francisco would like to present.” Screened virtually as part of All ArtsLGBTQ+ 2020 Pride Month programming, the documentary sees the famous author and activist engaging with various Black community leaders in an all too relevant dialogue about the limits of American liberalism and who often gets left behind.
No need to travel all the way uptown because the 92Y is hosting the virtual discussion ”Celebrate Pride Month: Queer Voices in YA Lit,” featuring four prominent voices in the genre committed to centering marginalized voices for readers of all ages.
Quibi who? Check out the second annual “Pride Shorts With Vimeo,” showcasing stories from emerging artists that are all under 20 minutes. Curated by the LGBTQ film festival NewFest, the livestreamed event will also feature a Q&A with the filmmakers and other guests.
“Pose” actor Dyllón Burnside takes you on a journey through the American South in PBS’ “Prideland.” The short-form digital series puts the spotlight on everyday LGBTQ people and allies creating change in their own communities through the radical act of living authentically.
Make your own watered-down vodka soda and pop into The Stonewall Inn’s virtual happy hour, where they’ll be toasting to the historic nightlife spot.
National treasure Nathan Lane stars as a burlesque performer in the Tony-winning dark comedy “The Nance.” Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic will stream the 2013 production that is set in the secretive and dangerous gay world of 1930s New York.
Catch some virtual rays during Los Angeles’ first-ever virtual Pride Parade co-hosted by Raven-Symone. The 90-minute primetime special will include special performances and appearances by The Pussycat Dolls, Trixie Mattel, Mj Rodriguez, Sandra Bernhard, Bob the Drag Queen, Hayley Kiyoko, Justin Tranter and more. Also, look out for historical vignettes and in-depth interviews with changemakers that explore “the central role of the LGBTQ+ community in the culture and history of Los Angeles.”
This year’s Pride Summit is basically bursting at the seams with celebs Billy Porter, Cyndi Lauper, Erika Jayne, Todrick Hall, Lauren Jauregui and more coming together to celebrate the influence of the LGBTQ community in entertainment. Hosted by Billboard and The Hollywood Reporter, the streaming event will not only feature panels and conversations about the importance of representation in media but also a virtual prom party with DJ sets, glam sessions, performances and a drag queen contest.
Connect with fellow LGBTQ professionals for this edition of “Out in Tech Talks: Career Edition,” dedicated to those who’ve lost their jobs in recent months because of the coronavirus pandemic. Experts from LinkedIn, Nike and Stack Overflow will help you give your resume a glow up, retool your profile and field any other job-related questions. And stick around to get your network on.
March in a Black Lives Matter solidarity protest in Los Angeles. Now led by the newly formed Black Advisory Board made up of Black LGBTQ+ leaders, the march will be held in honor of Tony McDade, a Black trans man who was fatally shot by police, and in direct response to racial injustice, systemic racism, and all forms of oppression. The rally will trace the same streets where the city’s first-ever official Pride march took place 50 years ago to pay tribute to the heroes of the Stonewall uprising, including Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera.
Walk in the steps of activists of generations past with ZAP!: A Virtual Tour of Post-Stonewall Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) Actions organized by the NYC LGBT Historic Sites Project. You’ll see how activist groups like the Gay Liberation Front (GLF) and Gay Activists Alliance “challenged the politics of civility with non-violent ― but militant ― resistance” by holding people, politicians and institutions accountable to drum up media attention. Hosted by co-director Jay Shockley, the virtual event will also feature a Q&A and post-tour conversation.
Support the Marsha P. Johnson Institute and the National Bail Out by spending some extra cash at the Reframing the Future print sale. Running through the end of June, the sale features stunning photography from over 50 talented artists and creators who joined together to support Black communities in response to systemic racism and police brutality. Prices for the photos range from $25 to $100.
Dive deep into Oscar Wilde’s literary classic “The Picture of Dorian Gray” during this online book discussion hosted by the New York Public Library. And if Victorian-era homoeroticism doesn’t do it for you, catch a virtual conversation about Leslie Feinberg’s “Stone Butch Blues” later this month.
You can exhale now … the “Love Simon” series is here. After a controversial move from Disney+, “Love, Victor” has made its home on Hulu, where its awkward teen hormones can run free. Check out a first look here.
Make history with the first-ever Black Queer Town Hall, which has replaced the previously scheduled “Pride 2020 DragFest.” In light of the demonstrations against racial injustice, “Drag Race” alums Bob The Drag Queen and Peppermint are banding together for a three-day virtual event centered around “healing, rejoicing, mourning and love” in the Black queer community. Tune in for performances, roundtable discussions, and fundraising opportunities for Black Lives Matter, Black LGBTQ organizations, and local Black LGBTQ drag performers. Expect to see Laverne Cox, Mj Rodriguez, Angelica Ross, Todrick Hall, Monet X Change, Isis King, Shea Diamond, Tiq Milan, Alex Newell, Basit and more.
Get your gaymer on with the long-awaited sequel to “The Last of Us,” the rare video game that doesn’t erase a character’s queer identity. Play as Ellie, a young woman fighting for her life in an ultraviolent dystopia. Plus, zombies!
Show up and show out for the transgender and nonbinary community with Trans Pride LA, one of the nation’s oldest and largest trans celebrations. Hosted by the Los Angeles LGBT Center, the virtual two-day event is keeping spirits high during lockdown by kicking off the festivities with an enlightening conversation between trans icons Isis King and Alexandra Billings. Make sure to stop by community forums, interactive workshops on trans history, gallery exhibits, resource fairs, variety shows and more.
Just because Gwyneth Paltrow probably won’t remember “The Politician” doesn’t mean you don’t have to watch. If you weren’t feeling the at best inconsistent first season of Ryan Murphy’s Ben Platt-starring Netflix series, Bette Midler and Judith Light are major players in a new batch of episodes. Now that’s what you call a glow up!
Netflix and ... educate yourself about transgender representation in media with the release of the eye-opening documentary “Disclosure.” Executive-produced by Laverne Cox, the documentary features Lilly Wachowski, Yance Ford, Mj Rodriguez, Jen Richards, Jamie Clayton and Chaz Bono as they grapple with the highs and lows of trans stories on-screen and traces a “history that is at once dehumanizing, yet also evolving, complex, and sometimes humorous.”
There’s life outside your apartment, so why not stay active with Denver Pride’s Virtual 5K Run/Walk? The run is the kick-off event for the city’s reimagined Pride festivities. You’ll have a week to complete the race at your own leisure, but register in time to get your bib, shirt and medal.
Nobody reads better than a drag queen, so why not get kids involved? Miz Jade is at the helm for Brooklyn Public Library’s Drag Queen Story Hour, filled with stories and songs for kids ages 3-8.
Tune into them’s “Out Now Live,” a virtual Pride celebration that broadcasts performances, uplifting speeches, storytelling, messages and more from members of the LGBTQ community. The lineup includes Naomi Campbell, Shangela, Asia Kate Dillon, Aquaria and more.
Sign up for Lesbians Who Tech’s ”(Not IRL) Pride Summit” to join a community of more than 50,000 women and gender-nonconforming people for the largest LGBTQ tech gathering in history. You’ll hear from Stacey Abrams, Jennifer Beals, Angelica Ross, Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, Glennon Doyle and the original cast of “The L Word” over the course of the five-day event.
Dig into some new recipes with Feed Feed’s Virtual Pride Potluck. From June 22-26, a different queer chef will take over the company’s Instagram account each day to show how they express themselves in the kitchen with editorial director Jake Cohen. In addition to sharing your own recipes on social media, everybody is encouraged to whip up some donations for a variety of causes supporting the LGBTQ community, including GLAAD and Lighthouse Safe and Supported.
Catch the premiere of “Transhood” on HBO Max, which traces the lives of four Kansas City-based transgender kids at the ages of 4, 7, 12 and 15. Filmed over the course of four years, the documentary chronicles their lives in the heart of the country as they navigate adolescent angst, relationships and body dysphoria in a volatile political environment.
Since you definitely have the time, catch up on the first two seasons of the brilliant “Search Party.” The series, starring the very hilarious John Early, finally returns for a third season on HBO Max and kicks off with a big ol’ gay wedding.
Cincinnati Black Pride is rising to the challenge this year by aiming to be among the “pioneering and afrofuturistic black prides building virtual programming and events.” And its already got a head start with a jam-packed four-day schedule including the 3rd Annual Black Alphabet Film Festival, centering the experiences of the Black LGBTQ community onscreen, and The Vizazi Torch Awards, which honors 12 Cincinnatians committed to advancing and improving the quality of life for Black Queer and Trans people. Don’t forget to have a little fun during the slew of genre-spanning DJ sets, bumping music late into the evening.
It’s never too late to party, so dress your best for the Openhouse-SF “LGBTQ Senior Prom,” which brings together older Bay Area people for a night of fun. Prom night can be fraught for many LGBTQ youths, so this event aims to reclaim the big dance for those who might’ve missed out all those years ago.
Attend a Virtual Human Rights Conference to learn about a host of issues impacting the community today. Organized as an official event during NYC Pride, the panels will explore everything from how COVID-19 uniquely impacts communities of color to the state of LGBTQ media to how guns play a role in anti-trans violence and what we can all do to foster intersectional equality as LGBTQ folk. The conference, which features community luminaries like Raquel Willis, Peppermint and more, will also include a fireside chat between “Queer Eye” star Jonathan Van Ness and trains journalist Ashlee Marie Preston. Can you believe?
Get in touch with the spirit of Pride’s origins at the virtual NYC 2020 Pride Rally led by trans journalist Ashlee Marie Preston and trans actor Brian Michael Smith. In response to the current protests surrounding the police killinng of George Floyd, the rally will be focused on taking a “stand against police brutality and discrimination.” The event will also feature appearances from activists, organizers, and politicians like Ceyenne Doroshow, Annie Segarra, Edafe Okporo, Leandro E. Rodriguez Ramosand, and more.
See if the West Coast does it best with San Francisco Pride, which is hosting a slate of online programming in a two-day extravaganza. Expect to enjoy everything from the kick-off event and pride flag-raising ceremony with speeches from LGBTQ community members, elected officials and celebrities, to a queer film festival showcase in coordination with the historic Castro Theater, the lighting of the famous pink triangle installation, and an online-only Trans March.
You don’t have to leave your living room to travel to cities around the world during Global Pride 2020, a 24-hour livestreamed event uniting pride celebrations near and far together as one huge celebration. Featuring musical and artistic performances, speeches from activists and campaigners and addresses by public figures, pop in and out throughout the day to see how each community makes pride their own. The lineup will be announced in early June.
Dance the night away … from the comfort of your apartment with DJ Ty Sunderland’s digital dance party “Devil’s Playground.”
For the first time in 50 years, NYC Pride is going virtual. The silver lining? Now you’ll actually be able to see headliner Janelle Monáe, as well as LGBTQ icons Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Wilson Cruz and Margaret Cho. “Schitt’s Creek” star Dan Levy will serve as one of the grand marshals of the parade, along with human rights activists Yanzi Peng and Victoria Cruz and the Ali Forney Center. The TV special will be hosted by Carson Kressley. Attend everything from a re-imagined virtual rally to a human rights conference addressing the state of LGBTQ rights.
From the filmmaker behind the “How to Survive a Plague” documentary, HBO Max’s “Welcome to Chechnya” takes an unwavering look at the persecution of LGBTQ people in the Russian region of Chechnya. The film, which was celebrated last year at Sundance, follows a group of brave activists risking their safety to save the lives of LGBTQ people under unimaginable circumstances.