How to celebrate Pride Month in 2021
When you think of Pride Month, you might conjure up images of colorful balloons and confetti, large, boisterous crowds, and creative, captivating rainbow-themed floats. Since 1970, every June has indeed marked a month-long celebration of the LGBTQ+ community filled with parades, parties, and more. But, as the world continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic, and as the Black Lives Matter movement continues to gain momentum, social events continue to look very different compared to previous years.
Safe celebrations across the country
As more and more people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, many cities across the United States are celebrating Pride with a mix of in-person and virtual events. Pride organizers are balancing concerns about safety with increased vaccination rates and the LGBTQ+ community's excitement to return to Pride after more than a year of social distancing.
Last spring, right as cities were going into lockdown due to COVID-19, Heritage of Pride decided to cancel NYC Pride in person. This is the country’s largest annual Pride celebration. Instead, they created a virtual event in June. However, this year, Heritage of Pride will host some in-person events, such as a street fair, but its march won't be coming back just yet. NYC Pride organizers also plan on holding virtual events, like a family movie night, a human rights conference, and a rally. There will be a virtual Pride march as the main event.
Other groups in large cities also plan on organizing similar events, playing it safe this year since the pandemic still isn't over:
Los Angeles Pride will host a free streaming concert on June 10 and will launch a volunteer calendar that enables people to volunteer for local nonprofits both in-person and virtually that support the LGBTQ community.
Capital Alliance Pride in Washington, D.C., is also playing it safe with a Pridemobile Parade on June 12.
This year's celebrations embrace intersectionality
Regardless of whether you plan on celebrating Pride Month in-person, virtually, or a mixture of both, many events will focus on the intersectionality of marginalized identities, such as trans people of color. In the wake of unjust murders of people of color by police, Pride Month continues to be used to elevate issues like discrimination, police brutality, and racism. This year, you'll find Black Pride celebrations in many different cities, including DC Black Pride, NYC Black Pride, Austin Black Pride, Atlanta Black Pride Weekend, Chicago Black Pride, and Boston Black Pride. For a complete listing of events in 2021 focused on the queer black community, visit the Center for Black Equality.