This article was published on April 21st, 2020
Vancouver Pride is yet another Pride event going virtual due to disruptions by COVID-19.
The Vancouver Pride Society, the main event organizers, have been exploring innovative ways to bring the LGBT + allies community together, while still observing safety and laid out health guidelines.
From a statement on April 18, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry, the Public Health Officer for the Province of British Columbia, announced large-scale events, including the Vancouver Pride Parade, will not be able to proceed due to COVID-19. In the same statement, she expressed sincere gratitude to the public health officials and medical personnel who’ve been working day and night to keep all of us safe.
Pride Goes On
“Pride can’t be canceled.” That’s according to Andrea Arnot, executive director of the VPS. She continues, “LGBTQAI2S+ communities still face discrimination regularly – we still need a sense of connection and belonging. These values are what lay at the heart of Pride. Our community has always found resilient ways to adapt to challenging situations – we will adapt together through this one.”
Despite the community’s resilience, more than 350 Pride celebrations around the world have been affected by COVID-19.
Now more than ever, the LGBT community must stand united. This is of crucial importance, and an act of love since COVID-19 disproportionately affects marginalized communities, including people of color, trans people, sex workers, and people living with HIV/AIDS.
Holding gatherings would expose them and pose increased risks to them, which is against Pride’s very ethos.
“We know this year will be a challenging one for LGBTQAI2S+ communities,” says Arnot, “We hope that you will join VPS in celebrating with all of our interactive, online programming or with your loved ones in a way that is meaningful to you.”
Adapting to COVID-19
The Vancouver Pride parade isn’t the only one going virtual. Other Pride events and celebrations have been canceled, with organizations exploring virtual and other options to celebrate and safely bring people together.
For example, the NYC Pride March was canceled for the first time in half a century. It’s usually one of the most packed, drawing millions of revelers and participants every year.
Despite the setbacks, the LGBT+ community is showing its resilience in finding creative ways to celebrate Pride and express solidarity and support to the most vulnerable members of society.
Vancouver Pride Society
The VPS brings together members of LGBT communities, friends, allies, and supporters in celebration of the unique spirit and culture of LGBT communities. They do this by organizing quality and inclusive events such as the Pride Parade and festivals.
This year, VPS is reaching out and working with all partners, vendors, and parade participants in the coming weeks and providing up-to-date info on new plans.
VPS relies on support from businesses and community organizations to deliver free and accessible events to LGBT communities throughout the year. As such, VPS greatly appreciates the support and encourages organizations with the financial ability to continue supporting the organization financially as they host the first, one-of-its-kind virtual Pride.
Learn more about the Vancouver Pride Society.