Half a century after the first Gay Pride march, the world’s LGBT community and its supporters took many of their events online yesterday in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Although some activists still took to the streets to mark the event, much of the movement’s focus was channelled into Global Pride, a 24 hour online event broadcast live online.
One of the biggest events in the Gay Pride calendar, London Pride, was a major victim of the new restrictions imposed to fight the pandemic. Online events replaced it under the slogan: “Postponed, but still united.” Some events were broadcast on the giant screen in Piccadilly Square and London’s mayor tweeted his support, saying “We may be apart, but we are still united, as neighbours, as allies, and as one city.”
68 year old veteran campaigner Peter Tatchell, wearing a rainbow coloured mask, led a group of 12 fellow activists to mark the 50th anniversary of the founding of the London Gay Liberation Front.
“We are seeking to reclaim Pride as an event for LGBT and human rights.”
Police in Berlin estimated that around 3,500 people turned out to march, in temperatures of around 30°C. German foreign minister Heiko Maas tweeted a message of support to the Global Pride event…
“Be proud of yourself! No matter who you love, no matter where you live.”
In Vienna, some 200 cars and motorbikes decked with rainbow flags and inflatable unicorns paraded down the city’s famous Ringstrasse. Organisers say around 5,000 people turned out to watch the scaled-down event. The city’s Rainbow Parade, which usually attracts hundreds of thousands, was otherwise replaced by online events.
The online Global Pride event, running with the slogan “Exist, persist, resist,” got underway at 0500 GMT in London. Put together by the organisers of several of the major Gay Pride events around the world, it aimed to attract hundreds of millions of viewers around the world.
Former US president Barack Obama released a video message saluting the gay New Yorkers who rioted at the Stonewall Inn in 1969, a series of spontaneous, violent demonstrations, effectively launching the modern gay rights movement. The first Gay Pride march was held in 1970 in New York to mark the first anniversary the Stonewall riots.
“Because of the movement they sparked and the decades of work that followed, marriage equality became the law of the land five years ago and just this month the Supreme Court ruled that employers can no longer discriminate against LGBTQ workers.”
Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden issued his own video, in which he referred to the recent Supreme Court ruling reaffirming the rights LGBT workers.
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