The 2019 Rainbow Festival was once a colorful time of the year, with colors lining up our streets. However, the recent coronavirus outbreak has caused organizers to cancel or suspend this year’s scheduled events indefinitely.
With Pride Month approaching, what can we do now to celebrate while most of us are still isolated? Even though we’re physically apart, we can always show our support. Here are some ideas.
Despite canceling scheduled events, InterPride and the European Pride Organizers Association have spearheaded Global Pride. The two groups are working with other LGBTQ organizations to hold activities through online platforms. Scheduling it for June 27, 2020, InterPride compares the new event to broadcasts of New Year’s Eve.
What do they have lined up for us? You can expect musical performances, political speakers, and celebrity appearances. Participants will also be able to share at-home videos. To top it all off, they’ll be running a relief fund for LGBTQ communities. You’ll be providing aid to households, independent artists, community centers, and small businesses.
Pride has always been a place to showcase creativity and support within the community. As we stay at home, we have even more time to try out a DIY project.
We can celebrate Pride while in isolation through artistic means. If you’re looking for ideas, one of them is to try your hand at making a Pride flag. Find some spare cloth at home or repurpose old clothing to make a rainbow. Another is through practicing your abilities with makeup. It’s been the custom to share Pride-inspired looks on Instagram and Facebook the past years, and this time, it’s no different.
Watch LGBTQ-Focused Films
Being stuck at home doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a movie night with friends. Chrome extension Netflix party lets users watch movies together with other people. Similar websites can also do the same.
This upcoming Pride month, come stream LGBTQ-relevant films with the community. Some movie suggestions include Love, Simon (2018), Moonlight (2016), and The Half of It (2020).
Even COVID-19 can’t stop the LGBTQ community. Thanks to Pride groups’ initiative, we can still show our love and support while in isolation. Watch out for this year’s Global Pride, tap into your artistic side, and enjoy relevant films with friends. Through these small acts, Pride lives through each of us in our own homes.
June is practically like December for the members of the LGBTQ+ community. You see, this is the month when we celebrate Pride. We remember the colorful individuals who have given their lives the ensure that no one will get prosecuted again for being gay. In almost every major city around the globe, we come together and hold massive parades and concerts to celebrate, well, ourselves.
Every year, I join the New York parade with all my friends, whether they are members of the third sex or not. That’s the beauty of Pride—it welcomes everyone who wants to spread joy and love. You can wear whatever you want, dance however you want, and people will support you for it.
The month of June is still a month away at the time of writing this blog, but the entire world seems to be somewhat frozen. Only a few people can leave the house; even business owners cannot open their establishments unless they sell food and other essentials. Here’s what it means for the 2020 Pride celebration.
The Bad News
When the actual Gay Pride rolls in, the quarantine regulations may have eased significantly by then. Various governors are already thinking of doing that in the coming weeks to keep the economy from crashing. Pharmaceutical companies are also close to starting their clinical trials for the new vaccines that may save people from COVID-19.
The problem, however, is that mass gathering may not be allowed until the end of the year or early next year. It is still too risky to insist on doing so, especially since no one can see the coronavirus. A person can transmit it to others unintentionally, and then another wave of pandemic takes place. Thus, there will be no parades in 2020 to celebrate Pride.
The Good News
Despite the lack of events on the streets, the gay community will undoubtedly not let a year pass without commemorating Pride in some way. What the leaders of different LGBT organizations have agreed on is to do everything online.
On the 27th of June, they will be streaming musical numbers every hour. Some well-known members and supporters of the gay community will also be doing speeches in between performances. All the performers and guest speakers will be safe because they will perform in their own homes.
A unique thing about this occasion—aside from the fact that it occurs on the Stonewall anniversary—is that it will be a worldwide effort. The organizations in Oceania, North America, South America, Asia, Africa, and Europe are teaming up to make this 24-hour streaming possible. They even intend to feature performances from every participating country, which makes this celebration more united than ever.
Of course, no one feels happy about being unable to parade around the city. That’s what we have all been doing in the last 50 years. It is already part of the culture.
However, we happen to know very well that prohibiting mass gatherings is for the greater good. As much as we want to party on the streets, we surely don’t want to test positive for COVID-19 a few days later. Especially in the United States, there are hundreds of thousands of infected people, and it may increase exponentially if we don’t follow the government’s orders.
It is indeed saddening to realize that the major cities around the world will not be filled with colors in June this year. Everyone will most likely be at home, watching the festivities in various countries, wishing that you can go there.
Still, we should all be glad that there is at least a streaming party on Pride Day. That’s the best we can do right now, given the current circumstances. Once the pandemic is over, though, I have every reason to believe that the next celebration will be bigger and brighter than you can ever imagine.
The 2017 LGBT Festival shines a light on the community’s plight against discrimination. In pure LGBT fashion, people celebrate Pride events with a unique and colorful flair with parades, celebrity live performances, and, of course, open bars. However fun and endearing it is to organize such events, we must not lose the bigger picture of it all. We should all go back to the question, “why are we doing this?”
Although acceptance of homosexuality has grown over the years, the LGBT community still gets the flak for their being. With the sheer number of people uneducated and unaware of the community’s fight for acceptance, events like this can stimulate discussion and present valuable information for LGBT acceptance.
Educate Them With Pride History
A study from Pew Research uncovers that 48% of LGBT adults believe Pride events only help promote social acceptance by a little. Pride Events do hold significance in creating awareness. But aiming for social acceptance requires a confident and robust support system coming from the community themselves. The LGBT community carries a colorful past. Efforts, struggles, and years of advocacies led to how the Pride Empire is now. We should flaunt it, and say, “this is what we’ve gone through, and this is what we are today.” We should share this pride with our community.
Be Open To Dialogue
The community and its alliances should include stimulating and enlightening discussions with people outside the community. There are strong-headed traditionalists we can educate, and there are still some iffy people we can inform. Pride events are avenues to start a dialogue with them. Admittedly, some people are timid to ask questions about topics seemingly foreign to them. Let’s take this opportunity by the reigns and openly invite these curious people to panel discussions. Such communication initiatives are encouraging as long as both parties put on respectful attitudes towards others’ opinions. The goal here is not necessarily to persuade to be on our side but to share our experiences why we choose to be here.
Pride events are already loud celebrations of love and equality, but some people are not yet ready to hear it. Let’s not stop these nay-sayers from dampening our spirits. Instead, let’s celebrate and educate them at the same time. Pride education and dialogues help us strengthen our team and remain open for those who want to listen.
Whenever the story of a gay man falling in love with a straight woman becomes public, it always baffles people. They may ask, “Why will you go in that direction if you already announced your homosexuality?” Some even fear that the queer will eventually get tired of the relationship with his wife and look for another man.
Husbands and wives who want to be together for eternity do not let simple arguments become the cause of their split. They may yell at each other from time to time, yet they never go in for the kill, if you know what I mean. Nevertheless, there’s one deal-breaker that couples may not be able to get back from one of the partners comes out as a gay man or woman.
If there is one thing that can scare guys at times, it is a woman’s intuition. It is rare for any juicy detail to get past you, especially if it involves your loved ones. Even when the other person remains in denial, and you do not have pre-existing knowledge of what you feel suspicious about, you tend to know somehow whether the man is lying or not.
Isn’t it delightful to be in a serious gay relationship these days?
The world has become accustomed to the nonconformities that queer folks bring to life. Fewer people will frown or bat an eyelid if they see two guys holding hands on the streets. You do not need to pose as a heterosexual to either retain a job or receive a promotion. More importantly, a growing number of countries are legalizing same-sex marriage, so you may tie the knot with your long-term partner anytime – and almost anywhere – you wish.
If you ask a transgender, lesbian, or gay man how they came out to their parents, the responses you will get do not fit for all. The luckiest of the bunch may say that it was as effortless as telling his folks that he’s set to pursue this or that career. However, the most exciting stories typically originate from the ones whose parents opposed – or will likely reject – their sexual preference.
A straight man like me who advocates for the rights of the members of the LGBT community is not unheard of. I have seen a lot of manly guys rescue a gay colleague from bullies, and their relationships are incredibly platonic. Some men take in the festivities during Pride Month. It’s not because they want to make fun the people who stand under the rainbow flag. Instead, it’s because they believe that being able to reveal one’s identity is a cause for celebration.
Now, the reality is that there are not many individuals who bully LGBT members out in public. Some restaurants may still not let crossdressers in while other public bathrooms don’t have a sign for a third sex, but they are getting lesser and lesser. What increases, though, is the number of people who show their aversion to queers online.
How Can Haters Do That?
The internet is comparable to a double-edged sword. On one side, it is extremely helpful. You can use it to conduct quick research or connect with your loved ones. On the other hand, it gives low-life individuals a chance to hate on others anonymously. After all, you can create multiple accounts on social media as long as you make different email addresses beforehand. They can then be used for the sole purpose of spreading meanness on gay people’s pages.
How Can You Show Support To Your LGBT Friends Online?
It hurts for me to see homophobic posts coming from strangers or even the folks I know, even if they don’t pertain to me. In case you still haven’t caught on, it is a transparent form of cyberbullying. Reports reveal that the people who get bullied online have a higher likelihood of self-harming or, worse, committing suicide. So, if you want to save your LGBT friends from even thinking of doing so, you should do the following and more.
Dislike Bullying Comments
One reason why bullies do not stop posting hateful comments about gay people is that nobody stands up against them. Some get angry and curse them under their breath; others may run in private group chats or front of their friends and family members. However, it is sporadic to find someone who dislikes their actions in public.
What are you afraid of, if I may ask? You may say that you don’t want to pick a fight, but you are enabling the bullies by not doing anything at all. Considering you want to bring them back to the ground, you should not be scared of disagreeing with them on a public page.
Spread Positive Information About The Community
From time to time, it is not wrong to share images, videos, or texts that show your support to the LGBT community. For instance, if you found an article about a gay man who does charity work everywhere, you should post that in your social media account. In case you witnessed the union of two of your lesbian friends, you should upload some photos from the wedding. As little as these activities may be, it becomes apparent to everyone that you are against homophobia.
Staying mum even when your friends get bullied online does not make you a supportive friend. It merely entails that you are saving yourself from potential bashers. If you genuinely want people to stop hating on the members of the LGBT community, you should advocate for them in public actively.
As you can probably tell after browsing through this blog, I am all for gender equality. I aim to encourage people to be who they are meant to be and love whoever they want to love. It does not matter if you are straight or gay at this point. You only get this one life to express yourself. If you allow the social norms to dictate how you should live your life, then you are setting yourself up for misery on end.
The thing is, not everyone is judgmental. Others like me support their friends or family members, especially if they want to come out as gay. It can feel suffocating to keep on hiding your identity, after all. A bisexual man who used to go out with girls wants to date another guy, for instance, or a lesbian is in a secret relationship with a female colleague. Since the individuals they are with are single, and they are not stepping on anyone’s toes, there’s no reason for them to stay in the closet. “I think in some parts of the country it may feel ‘safer’ for LGBTQ-identified youth to come out, but for many, the issues remain the same.” Nicole Issa, PsyD said.
Despite telling people all these things, though, I fail at one thing: making my best friend believe it.
Ian has been with his boyfriend for almost five years now. Every two weeks, he would meet his man, as well as his parents and siblings. They were open with them. But when Ian comes home to his family, he would act as a manly son in front of his mom and dad. They seemed pretty chill to me, so I wondered why gay folks would choose to hide their gender preference.
Here are some of the reasons that Ian gave to me.
1. There’s No Need For Lengthy Explanations This Way
My best friend is admittedly not the most talkative person in the world. He cracks jokes and goes crazy when we are around, but deep conversations are not his thing. In truth, I only heard him talk about his current relationship and past heartbreaks once when he got so drunk. Other times, he would merely listen to us and offer his two cents if asked.
Because of that, Ian does not think it’s a good idea to come out to his parents. “Doing so will require me to mention how or when it started,” he said. It’s not that they don’t deserve to know things about his sexuality, but he’s not ready for lengthy explanations yet.
2. They Are Afraid Of Negative Reaction From Loved Ones
Ian also mentioned that he’s scared that his mom and dad might have an adverse reaction towards his gender preference. A lot of members of the third sex hold on to this fear as far as I can tell. That is especially true if they are deeply attached to their family, and they don’t want to be seen in a bad light. Linda A. Travis, PsyD used to say, “I can’t overstress the potential fears that people have about discrimination,” she says. As a result, she says, “LGBT older adults can be reluctant to see health-care providers until their problems become so bad they can no longer avoid doing so.”
3. They Did Not Want To Hear Stereotypes
Coming out to the parents entails coming out to the neighbors, colleagues, and other people in their circle. According to my best friend, that’s the kind of stress that they don’t need right now. While many of them may accept the truth, after all, others may poke fun at them or typecast them by their sex.
“Discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people is now on the world stage.” Michael Friedman Ph.D. stated. The decision to disclose or hide one’s sexuality is no one else’s but the person who has that sexuality. As much as I say that showing your true colors is not bad, I will never out my best friend in front of anyone. It is something that you should not do either, primarily if someone has trusted you with this information. No reason is invalid in this case; let’s all respect each other and wait for them to be ready to come out of the closet on their own.