This article was published on June 25th, 2020
More renowned artists, celebrities, and public figures are set to grace this year’s Global Pride – a virtual event organized in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent cancellation of most Pride events and activities.
The event will also amplify black voices by working with the #BlackLivesMatter movement founders in the event slated for June 27. Pride leaders acknowledge the international response to the death of George Floyd, Tony McCabe and others and the demand for racial justice in the black community.
Co-Chair of the Global Pride organizing committee, Natalie Thompson, said: “As a Black woman in the LGBTQIA+ community, I feel we must confront the systemic racism and violence facing my Black brothers, sisters, and non-binary siblings. I could not think of a larger platform than Global Pride to do this.”
Global Pride 2020
Global Pride is a 24-hour stream of music, performances, speeches, and messages of support. Todrick Hall will host it on his YouTube channel on June 27. The event will also air on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and the Global Pride website. All content has been curated by Pride organizations across the globe who came together to organize Global Pride after the COVID19 pandemic caused the cancellation or postponement of more than 500 Pride events worldwide.
The event will shine a light on the global diversity in the LGBTqIA+ community. More than 500 Pride and LGBTQIA+ community organizations contributed more than 1,500 films to the Global Pride project, which launched on April 1.
Some public figures and world politicians expected to address the event include former US Vice President Joe Biden, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Icelandic President Guðni Jóhannesson, and Irish Taoiseach Leo Varadkar. Others include Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, UK, Prince Manvendra Singh Gohil, India, Erna Solberg, Prime Minister, Norway, Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for Equality, Ann Linde, Foreign Minister, Sweden, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister of Luxembourg.
The broadcast will also include many more political leaders, including the only openly transgender MP in Europe Vladimir Luxuria, Mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, and Argentinian government legislator Vilma Ibarra.
Organizers also announced that Adam Lambert, Kesha, Rita Ora, The Village People, Mel C, Leann Rimes, Pussy Riot, Calum Scott, Natasha Bedingfield, and Mary Lambert were joining the already-impressive line-up. Speakers from the world of entertainmentinclude Pussycat Dolls, Rita Ora, Bebe Rexha, Stephen Fry, Leslie Jorden, and Russell Tovey.
A complete list of participants will be posted before June 27. However, several other additional talents represent the extraordinary diversity of Global Pride. They include;
Sophia Jimémez, a singer and drag queen from Mexico who has performed with stars of Ru Paul’s Drag Race and was a finalist in La Más Draga 2, a television talent show of drag queens.
Denise Ho, a Hong Kong-based Cantopop singer and actress and a pro-democracy and Hong Kong human rights activist. The Chinese government has blacklisted Ho for her active participation in the 2014 Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong.
Others include Ahmed Alaa, who was jailed in Egypt after raising a rainbow flag at a concert in Cairo 2017. In the Global Pride broadcast, he gives a moving tribute to Sarah Hegazi, a lesbian activist jailed with him, but who took her own life earlier this month because of post-traumatic stress disorder following torture.
Also, from Africa, Ahmed Umar is a sculptor from Sudan who talks about the fight for LGBTI+ equality in his country where homosexuality can still attract the death penalty.
Contributions have come from across the world with almost all countries in Asia included, as well as over 40 contributions from Africa.
Exist, persist, resist
Despite the challenges the world is facing right now due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the LGBTQIA+ community has yet again shown grit and determination in bringing the community together in these trying times. According to Steve Taylor of the European Pride Organisers Association, “Global Pride is our time to shine, our time to show the enormous and beautiful diversity of LGBTQIA+ people in every corner of the world.”
Executive Producer for Global Pride, Michelle Meow, said: “Fifty years ago, grassroots organizations came together to plan the first Gay Liberation Day that changed the world, including the Daughters of Bilitis, Gay Liberation Front, Mattachine Society, and Lavender Menace. The production of Global Pride has been planned in the same grassroots manner, but with a 21st-century technological twist. LGBTQIA+ people from around the world will come together virtually during this crisis of racial injustice and a pandemic.”
Global Pride is supported by partners YouTube, and We Are Social, and media partners DIVA, Q.Media, iHeartRadio, and Time Out. Other support has been through partnerships with AARP, George Michael, Facebook, Gilead Sciences, and Pride Basics.