DIVA chats to the Co-Chair of Global Pride 2020 to find out how it will bring the LGBTQI community together this month
BY SOPHIE GRIFFITHS
If you’re looking for a way to feel connected to the LGBTQI community this Pride season, Global Pride is the virtual event for you.
A 24-hour stream of music, performances, speeches and messages of support, taking place 27 June, will be hosted by the one and only Todrick Hall over on his YouTube channel.
Organisers announced they will amplify black voices during the event, acknowledging the international response to the death of George Floyd and the unprecedented demand for racial justice by working with founders of the Black Lives Matter movement.
All content has been curated by Pride organisations across the globe who came together to organise Global Pride after the COVID-19 pandemic caused the cancellation or postponement of more than 500 Pride events worldwide. Expect to see some familiar faces such as Stephen Fry, Laverne Cox and Lucy Spraggan all from the comfort of your own sofa.
We caught up the Co-Chair of Global Pride, Natalie Thompson, to find out what you can expect from Global Pride 2020! 🌈
DIVA: How did the idea for Global Pride come about?
NATALIE THOMPSON: When COVID-19 hit, a group of global leaders who saw that Pride was going to be heavily impacted by the crisis came together. We’d been having weekly meetings to discuss what resources were available, how we could support our local community. With that, we said, “What would it look like to actually do something virtually?” Then the idea of Global Pride was formed.
We’ve really been hitting the ground running to find a way to create an event that’s not only celebratory of Pride, but highlights the different regions from around the world and the origination of Pride, whilst highlighting that we still have work to do.
Are you working with Pride organisers all over the world?
The whole goal was not to inform what story that we wanted to tell, but let the Pride’s from around the world tell their own stories. Giving them the opportunity to create their own content was really important to us.
What makes this different from other Pride celebrations, except for obviously being online?
What I think makes a difference is that this is a time where we want to make sure it’s accessible to everybody. We want to make sure that it’s completely free. You get to see regions of the world that you may not even know how they celebrate Pride. You also get to see different leaders from around the world and how they address the issues their country is facing. You get to see celebrities who are supporting this movement. It’s almost like a big party, but with a message. It’s the first time that the entire world gets to come together for Pride.
How can people get involved with Global Pride?
Share on social media, this is just the jumping off point for what happens next. There are volunteer opportunities still on the website if people want to look that. Help us to start watch parties, do fundraisers or tell your friends about this movement. These funds really go to help our community.
Make sure that people know that they have a space, they have a community, and they get to have some sense of Pride this month.
What can people expect from Global Pride?
You can expect lots of rainbows. You can expect content that is real. This is a grassroots initiative. This is what real Pride is. Nothing is off limits. We have representation from groups in Europe, from groups in Australia, the United States, in Asia. You can expect to see celebrity performances. You can expect to see messaging around the origination of Pride and how this was started by black and brown trans leaders who said “Enough is enough.” It’s super important for us to show that we will never forget our history and that everybody can be a leader. There’s going to be lots of fun and partying too!
What are you most excited about?
I’m super excited about seeing the content from our smaller Prides from around the world, those who took the time to contribute to this initiative. It might only be a picnic or a block party but they get to be a part of something really amazing and they get to spread their message to everyone around the world.
What impact do you think COVID-19 has had on the LGBTQI community?
We are part of a marginalised group in this world and resources have always not necessarily been optimal for the LGBTQI community, especially the LGBTQI individuals of colour or individuals with disabilities. Coronavirus has definitely taken a toll. You can see that injustices have already been existing have been exacerbated by Coronavirus, by lack of access to healthcare. COVID-19 has greatly impacted our community. Pride’s really do support initiatives and if there’s no money coming in for Pride, that external sharing of resources cannot happen anymore and that is detrimental to our community.
What do you think could be the silver lining at the end of all of this?
I think the silver lining is now people’s eyes are open to what’s happening in the world. What’s happening specifically in the States around George Floyd. I keep telling people that the protests and COVID-19 are more connected than you think. This movement around racial inequality, you can often see it within the Coronavirus movement. I see that people are taking action. It’s not just lip service anymore. We can take that to really address all of the civil rights and human rights concerns that we have around the world. That’s what the silver lining is. That people’s eyes are open and that there are ways for us to collectively change the narrative and change the world.