Out of Lockdown, Pride 2021 Getting Back to Our Queer Roots and History

By David T. Valentin


Let’s be honest about last year, 2020 and Pride. For a lot of people, it sucked. Isolated and quarantined in their homes, many queer people felt disconnected from their found families and the communities they locally feel connected to. Many queer young adults were forced to move back into homes they either didn’t feel safe in, or didn’t feel as though they could be completely themselves.


For queer teens and young adults where those years are spent away from home in college forming long lasting friendships and plenty of experimenting, the year was instead spent at home, their schooling experiences reduced to virtual learning and their dating and sex life practically nonexistent.


And yet, 2020 for the queer community was, in a way, a transformative year of a discovery in sexuality. If you spent plenty of time on TikTok, or on social media in general, over the lockdown, you’ll find numerous articles and post about how many people stuck with only their thoughts, discovered their sexuality and gender expression a bit deeper than they ever would during normal times.


But also, collectively, even when Pride parades were cancelled all over the world last June, organizers and activists mobilized protests during the George Floyd protests to highlight the increasing violence against Black trans women and trans women of color, and once again reinvigorating the fires of liberation and protest, not assimilation and corporate sponsors.


With many LGBTQ+ organizations forced to really reinvent the virtual space to accommodate Pride month and what it means not only in the present moment of 2020, but also going forward into the future, the moment was used to remind us Pride is not just an excuse to party, but an active protest of liberation for queer people.


And that’s why the theme for New York City’s 2021 Pride has been titled “The Fight Continues.”


“With the coronavirus pandemic still ongoing, issues of police brutality, the alarming murder rate for trans POC, economic hardship, climate disasters, violent efforts to disenfranchise voters, our rights as a community being questioned at the level of the Supreme Court, and more, we are in the midst of many different fights,” the NYC.org writes.


André Thomas, NYC Pride Co-chair went on to explain, “By making this the 2021 theme for NYC Pride, we acknowledge all that we’ve accomplished and look towards what still needs to be done. NYC Pride events offer an opportunity to gather in community and highlight the diversity, resilience, and power of the LGBTQIA+ community, giving us the energy and spirit we need to continue the fight.”


According to the website, there will be a vast array of events, both in person and virtually, which people can attend. The traditional rally on June 25th will feature a diverse array of speakers and activists in a virtual format. Other events they note will include Pride Presents, the Human Rights Conference, and Family Movie Night, which will all be held virtually.


David A. Correa, Interim Executive Director of NYC Pride, said, “In 2020 our world dramatically changed very quickly and in a matter of weeks we were forced to pivot to virtual programming and cancel many of our events. With much more time to prepare in 2021, we’re bringing back many of the events we were forced to cancel last year, most notably Youth Pride which will engage LGBTQIA+ youth, many of whom are grappling with the absence of in-person connection.”


Outside of NYC Pride, you can find an array of events on Eventbrite.com where you can choose your location and find pride events in your area and even filter events to find events based on being online or in-person, date, category, and price.


Some interesting events to consider is Pride Con: Movie Screening tomorrow at 9 PM EDT, Indy Pride 2021 Virtual Festival on June 12th where you’ll learn to support the LGBTQ+ businesses, and Pride Con: Open Mic Night! today at 9 PM EDT.