New Delhi: June is celebrated as Pride Month across the world. Every year, members and allies of the LGBTQIA community take to the streets, wave rainbow flags and flaunt their real selves. From dressing up in their favourite clothes to painting their cheeks, people from across the world embrace their identities and orientations during pride month.
This year, everything is different. The only constant, however, is the courage, mirth and acceptance shown by the community. This year, the entire world has been feeling locked-down, restrained and curtailed. It must be noted that the pandemic has been extensively hard on queer people who have been forced to live in hostile environments, veiling their own identities.
While the world feels blue due to the pandemic, pride month is an excuse for people to enjoy, love and accept. Pride month is a grand celebration of freedom and expression and this year, it is an excuse for people to channel their pandemic blues into concerts, discussions and conversations.
While most pride parades were either cancelled or postponed, the efforts to end queerphobia were not put on hold. Live streams on social media, posts, debates, discussions, blogs and even conversations on the latest social media platform Clubhouse have become mediums for queer-rights activism.
Activists have been using their reach on social media to educate people on different orientations, gender pronouns and the importance of acknowledgement. On the other hand, members of the community have been coming out to their loved ones through social media and announcing their gender pronouns. Not only this, but digital festivals have also been organised on the internet to provide a safe space to members of the community and to facilitate collaborations as well as workshops with their allies.
On one side, people from the community have been using social media and the internet as a tool to match the fervour of every year's pride month, and on the other hand, brands from across the world have been running queer-centric campaigns. An international giant like WeWork also announced an online pride parade and art exhibition for people. Not only this, LEGO launched its first LGBTQ-themed set, Old Navy announced 'Project WE' in collaboration with diverse artists.