Celebrating Pride from home during Covid-19

From the streets of New York in 1969 to present day, acceptance and celebration of the LGBT+ community has evolved incredibly.

Now considered one of the most important events that contributed to the Gay Liberation Movement, the Stonewall Riots sparked the beginning of an annual Pride month.

Over the last 50 years, the month of June has been dedicated to the recognition, and celebration of the impact that the LGBT+ community has had on the world.

Conor Keogh, a student at Trinity College explained, “For me, anyway, [Pride] is a feeling of togetherness, and acceptance”

World Pride holds the position as the largest Pride event in the world. In 2019, the World Pride parade broke the records of their largest event since its establishment in 2000.

The monumental attendance of this event is surely due to where it was held – New York City, 50 years onward from the Stonewall Riots.

Unfortunately, since Covid-19 is still a major threat across the globe, the majority of Pride events have been cancelled. The world is missing out on yet another vital part of culture, due to this pandemic.

Dublin’s biggest Pride event, the Pride parade, originated in 1983 with a procession of only 200 people. In 2019, Dublin Pride saw the largest participation in the event’s history, with almost 150 groups.

Cian Smith, a member of the LGBT+ community, who attends Pride events each year said, “It’s really disheartening that I won’t get to see [my friends] in the same capacity.”

An individual who asked not to be named, who recently announced they were part of the LGBT+ community explained how Pride events across the country being cancelled affected them, “I was actually pretty disappointed because it was going to be my first year going to [Pride events], and celebrating for myself after hiding [my sexuality] for so long.”

However, while social distancing remains in full swing, Dublin LGBTQ Pride Digital Festival is running from Thursday, June 18th until Sunday, June 28th when the first Virtual Pride parade will be held.

According to dublinpride.ie, although the parade that floods O’Connell street with colour will be unable to take place this year, “Buildings will still light up for Pride, flags will be flying high across the city and our community will be there to support each other.”

Celebrating Pride month from your home can be as easy as opening the Netflix app. Netflix has a designated category to LGBTQ films, here you can find endless hours of entertainment, and education to celebrate the community.

In an ideal world, TV shows, and films should portray a mix of both straight, and LGBT+ characters. Unfortunately, the reality is that predominantly all straight casts exist in the film industry. The anonymous source explained he felt “we should be still pushing for more [representation] as it’s still not enough.”

Although, in 2020, media representation of the LGBT+ community has never been better. TV shows, and films that portray LGBT+ characters tend to discuss real issues the community faces, rather than random inclusion, or purely for diversity.

Smith said “LGBT+ representation is good in television, and art … Orange Is The New Black really brought it to the forefront.”

Shows such as “Sex Education” delve deep into not only the mindsets of these characters, but the hardships they face, their relationships, and their friendships.

When “Sex Education” made its Netflix debut at the beginning of 2019, it attracted an enormity of attention for its discussion of sensitive subjects, but also its diverse portrayal of the LGBT+ community.

On the other hand, a reality show such as RuPaul’s Drag Race has an all LGBT+ cast. Since its launch in 2009, the show has taken on a pivotal role in the representation of the community.

Behind all of the competition, and glamour the message RuPaul’s Drag Race has always translated is to recognise, and appreciate your self worth, “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell are you gonna love somebody else?”

Emma Costigan

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