Despite many advances in Ireland - most notably, marriage equality - and worldwide, lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, intersex and in particular, trans rights, are under threat in dozens of countries, while there are plenty of people in Ireland who continue to oppose LGBTIQ rights and protections.
In the UK, trans people are experiencing a concerted effort to push back on their rights - a cause of concern to the UK’s leading LGBTQI rights group, Stonewall. In Hungary, Parliament has voted in favour of a bill that outlaws legal gender recognition for trans and intersex people. Around 100 Polish municipalities have declared themselves to be “LGBT-free zones”. In Uganda, homeless LGBT people have been targeted by the authorities for merely sharing a shelter during Covid-19.
There have been advances worth celebrating, too: trans rights and parental rights have moved forward in Israel, Hong Kong has banned housing discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and same sex marriage became legal in Costa Rica.
This year, however, hundreds of LGBTQI Pride events have been cancelled as a result of the coronavirus crisis.
It comes during a month when trans rights, black rights and police oppression are among the stories dominating global news headlines - and it’s a timely reminder that Pride began as a commemoration of the Stonewall riots in New York where, on June 28, 1969, black trans women led a fightback against police oppression.
Visibility is important and there’s no doubt that these cancellations are a loss to LGBTQI people and organisations, but the show goes on online, while some events have been rescheduled for later in the year.
While numerous global events will highlight ongoing oppression, there are many others that will celebrate diversity.
Global Pride: The biggest event on the Pride calendar across the world. Bearing the motto “exist, persist, resist”, this is an international response to the necessary restrictions on Pride parades during the Covid crisis. On Saturday June 27, LGBTQI Pride organisations, including Dublin Pride, will join together for an 24-hour online celebration. There will be musical and artistic performances, activist and campaign speeches and addresses by public figures. Anyone with a mobile phone or internet connection can join in. For more information, to donate or to sign up, see GlobalPride2020.org
Pride Inside - Amnesty International: Taking place on June 28, this is a collaboration between numerous UK groups including Stonewall, ParaPride, Black Pride UK and Amnesty International UK, bringing together LGBTIQ musicians, DJs, artists, comedians and activists for performances, talks and workshops. For moe information, see Amnesty.org.uk
Budapest Pride: Taking place from August 14 to 23, Budapest Pride’s event is less of a celebration and more of a protest in a country where a far-right government - described by many human rights bodies as the European Union’s first dictatorship - is pushing back on LGBT rights. It culminates in a Pride march on August 22. This year’s theme is “claim back your future.” For more information, see BudapestPride.com
It Gets Better digital pride event: For many LGBTIQ children and young people, harassment, bullying and persecution begins at a young age and can be at its worst in school. But in many countries, it really does get better when they get a little older and find support and acceptance among friends in college or through LGBTIQ support groups. The non-profit It Gets Better Project, created after advice columnist and activist Dan Savage and his partner Terry Miller posted a YouTube video called “It Gets Better”, is running a three-day online experience to celebrate LGBTQI pride. Hosted by activist and Broadway actor Peppermint - the first transgender woman to originate a principle role on Broadway - it will feature young musicians including singer Rebecca Black, TikTok stars including Rob Anderson, drag performer Crystal Methyd from Ru Paul’s Drag Race, lifestyle bloggers The Angelinos and much more.
The event takes place from June 24-26. See ItGetsBetter.org for more details.
For a more detailed list of events across the world, check out InterPride.org and EuroPride (epoa.eu).