LGBT Pride Month is held in June to commemorate the Stonewall Riots in New York City in 1969, which were pivotal in the LGBT rights movement.
However, while rainbows continue to shine through alternate means during the COVID-19 outbreak, the pandemic has thrown many Pride plans around the world askew, resulting in postponements and even some cancellations.
On the international front, Pride cancellations have been announced in the Philippines, Australia, France, Germany, Sweden, and more.
One of the world’s largest Pride celebrations, England’s Pride in London, announced on March 22 that it would postpone its events and parade scheduled for June 27, with a new date to be determined.
In the U.S., postponements include Pride events in Phoenix, Arizona; Miami and Tampa, Florida; Washington, D.C.; and Anaheim, Santa Cruz, and Long Beach, California.
Here in British Columbia, Kelowna’s Peak Pride at Big White scheduled for April 1 to 5 and Alberta’s 11th annual Jasper Pride Festival slated for April 23 to 26 were both cancelled.
Vancouver Pride issued a statement on March 17 that it is postponing all scheduled Pop-Up Pride events with plans to reschedule in later summer or early autumn, depending on conditions. The Pride Game with the Vancouver Canucks has been cancelled and remains in question if it will be rescheduled.
The 2020 Unicorn Ball scheduled for March 14, which Vancouver Pride’s largest annual fundraiser to support LGBT community groups and organizations, was cancelled. While the nonprofit organization is considering other fundraising options, it is accepting donations to its bursary program.
As Vancouver Pride is continuing to plan its summer events, staff are also monitoring the situation and may make changes accordingly.
The Vancouver Pride parade is scheduled for August 2, with events scheduled throughout the summer to lead up to it.
Meanwhile, Vancouver Pride has created a resource guide for LGBT people during the pandemic. (Vancouver’s Health Initiative for Men has also created a COVID-19 resource website for queer men, and B.C. queer resource centre Qmunity is continuing to offer support through remote means.)
Similarly, Pride Toronto also created a COVID-19 resource webpage for LGBT people.
Pride Toronto stated on March 17 that it has not made a decision to postpone or cancel the festival yet as staff are continuing to assess the situation, and is continuing to plan for the festival.
Pride Toronto’s festival weekend is scheduled for June 26 to 28.
Meanwhile, Fierté Montréal had previously cancelled some panel discussions and stated on March 18 that it is continuing planning for its Pride events scheduled for from August 6 to 16 “but with extra caution”. Updates will be provided.