Stewart Bell Jr. Archives
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All over the world, Pride celebrations have been postponed or cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our own Winchester Pride has been postponed to October 24th (details here). If you’re anything like me, you’re thinking, “Well, I’m glad we’re being safe, but it’s disappointing having to miss our traditional celebration.” But one of my favorite things about the LGBT community is our ability to make the best of bad situations. With that in mind, here’s a couple of ways you can celebrate Pride from home.
1) Pride online! There are several cities across the US and the world that are hosting virtual events for Pride this year, but the biggest one is Global Pride 2020, a worldwide streaming event featuring musical performances, artists, and speeches from activists and other public figures celebrating LGBTQ+ people of all orientations and backgrounds. It will take place on June 27th (Stonewall Day) and will be a 24-hour event, so tune in whenever you can and get your Pride on!
2) Learn your history! Now is a great time to learn about LGBTQ+ history and the people who helped make it possible. Why not watch some YouTube videos on the Stonewall Riots, considered the beginning of the modern-day LGBTQ+ rights movement? Or hear testimony from someone who was there that day? Consider reading about polari, a secret lingo used by British LGBTQ+ men and women to safely communicate in a time when homosexuality and gender non-conformity were criminal acts. Or how about picking up a book on LGBTQ+ musicians and their influence on popular culture? (If you want more books, check out this LGBTQ+ history and historical fiction book recommendation post!) We have a rich and fascinating history; why not use this time to learn a bit about it?
3) Online drag! If you’re a fan of drag kings and queens, there’s plenty of content to be found online! While actual online drag shows are hard to come by (without a cover charge, anyway), there is a wealth of content to watch on YouTube and Instagram. Personally I have found Instagram to be a great place for this sort of thing, as I can follow my favorite performers (check out Andro Gin! @androginking on Instagram) and not only see photo and video posts, but also livestreams! Many drag kings and queens host livestreams on their Instagram accounts, holding Q&A sessions, makeup process videos, and chats with other kings and queens. It’s a really great way to connect with the performers you love, and to get more invested in the drag community since you can see more of the behind-the-scenes moments that make up their performances!
4) Support the LGBTQ+ community however you can! If you are able, consider donating to organizations that benefit at-risk LGBTQ+ youth such as the Trevor Project. Fly a rainbow flag outside your home, whether as an ally or as a shout-out to your LGBTQ+ compatriots! Support LGBTQ+ friendly businesses, especially small and local businesses such as the Hideaway Café here in Winchester! If you watch a drag king or queen’s Instagram liveshow, consider tipping them to support their art!
2020 has definitely not been a typical year so far, and 2020 Pride hasn’t been typical either. But I think we can use it as an opportunity to grow in love for each other, to gain and reinforce our knowledge of who we are and where we’ve come from, and to support our community in big and small ways. Happy Pride!