The Pride March would have been in its 50th year of celebration. Nonetheless, the major public event is being moved online as part of a "Global Pride" initiative.
The first-ever official Pride March in New York City took place in the year 1970. Ever since then, one of the largest cities in the United States has celebrated its colorful LGBTQ+ family every single year. Unfortunately, however, due to the ongoing pandemic, the March will be canceled this year, NBC News reports. This is especially sad news as this would have been the city's 50th annual Pride March. Though the celebrations will be moved online, the event's vibrancy and inclusivity will not be fully captured via a Zoom session. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio held a press conference in order to announce the sad news while reassuring New Yorkers that their beloved Pride March will return bigger and better when it is safe to do so.
NEW YORK CITY Mayor Bill de Blasio announces the cancelation of the NYC Pride on Sunday 28 June 2020 "it's an important event (50th anniversary of the NYC Pride March) therefore it will take place at a later date" #NYCPride #lgbtq 🏳️🌈 @NYCPride https://t.co/S92EIzOCXA— Zander Doyle 🏳️🌈 (@zandoyle_) April 20, 2020
New York City thus joins Los Angeles, Seattle, and San Francisco, which have all either canceled their Pride events or postponed them. In addition to the March itself, all in-person events leading up to the Pride March have been canceled. This is the first time in the March's half-century history that it has been canceled. The organization that plans and executes the event every year, Heritage of Pride, announced the cancellation on Monday. Prior to the announcement, Mayor De Blasio disclosed that all major public events scheduled for the month of June would have their permits revoked. He said at a Coronavirus briefing before announcing that the Celebrate Israel, Puerto Rican Day, and LGBTQ+ pride parades were canceled, "This probably will not surprise you."
NEW: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says permits for June events cancelled, a move that affects Pride March among other events.— ABC News (@ABC) April 20, 2020
De Blasio says event organizers are looking to hold the events later in 2020. "We're going to work with them on that." https://t.co/AOZ6lzXiU0 pic.twitter.com/cBWPuqRxCl
Nonetheless, the Mayor promised that the events would return in some format "when it's the right time." He added about the Pride March specifically, "This year is the 50th anniversary of the pride parade, and it's a very, very big deal. That march is such an important part of life in this city, but this year, in particular, it was going to be something that was a historic moment." Indeed it was. While details about the plans in store had not been revealed, several members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community were looking forward to the special occasion. However, a celebration of that magnitude in the midst of a public health crisis would only worsen the situation.
Never could have imagined in 2019 when I covered #Pride March that 2020 would be cancelled. @NYCMayor cancels June permits for National Puerto Rican Day Parade, Salute to Israel & Pride March due to #coronavirus #pandemic. #hot97 @HOT97 #fox5ny @fox5ny pic.twitter.com/6bZdwS9Ewy— Lisa Evers (@LisaEvers) April 20, 2020
The LGBTQ+ community will have some reason to celebrate, however. Heritage of Pride has, in the light of the ongoing pandemic, endorsed an effort led by InterPride, an international organization consisted of local, regional, and national pride planning groups. Across the world, cities have had to cancel their Pride Marches. Therefore, they are going virtual. The organizations are working closely together in order to execute a 24-hour virtual "Global Pride" event on June 27. This online event will be broadcast to folks around the world, which means anyone, from anywhere, can be part of a universal celebration of the worldwide LGBTQ+ celebration.
Ron deHarte, the co-president of the United States Association of Prides and a member of the InterPride organizing committee, stated, "The plan is to have this 24-hour program that will be a worldwide celebration of pride. It will peak in time zones around the world, and in each of those time zones, those regional pride organizations and those local pride organizations will be directly involved in that programming component." According to Cathy Renna, a representative of Heritage of Pride, the event may parallel televised New Year's Eve celebrations, which "cascade around the world's time zones."