People gather, some wearing rainbow-themed masks, to take photos with the giant LGBTQ flag during the “Taiwan Pride Parade For the World” rally in Taipei, Taiwan, June 28, 2020. REUTERS/Ann Wang

THE NEUTRAL ZONE

Over 500 in-person pride events were replaced by digital drag shows and live stream concerts on Sunday, marking the 50th anniversary of the first Pride Parade. Despite restrictions, marches took place around the country, from San Francisco to Chicago to Miami. After successfully overcoming the coronavirus, Taipei held a “Pride Parade for the World” with over 1,200 people in attendance. At that rally, a smaller group of protestors displayed a large gay pride flag in front of the memorial of former autocrat Chiang Kai-shek. To personally observe the anniversary, “Hairspray” star Nikki Blonsky came out via TikTok with a lipsynch and dance to Diana Ross’ song, “I’m Coming Out.” 

While some New Yorkers witnessed a symbolic double rainbow and a rainbow light display from snack maker Kind over Manhattan this weekend, police clashed with protestors at the Queer Liberation March. Reclaim Pride, the group that organized the march, decided to move forward with the peaceful protest in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Videos show police allegedly using pepper spray and batons on the protestors, while other police purposefully ran into protestors blocking traffic. Many protestors discussed the irony of violent police attacks on the anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising, a demonstration against police violence.

Internationally, pride celebrations faced some backlash from governments. Last week, Phillippine police arrested 20 protestors who participated in a march to demand government aid for poor citizens affected by the coronavirus. “This should be a significant reminder as to why Pride isn’t just mere celebration, but rather a protest. Pride has and always will be a protest,” Tetsu Komatsuzaki, advocacy officer for Pioneer Filipino Transgender Men Movement, told Vice News. Local police in Villanueva de Algaidas, Spain, told the city’s mayor that flying the gay pride flag was illegal, per a Spanish federal law that only allows official flags of Spain, its regions, or the European Union to be flown on government buildings. In response, over 300 households flew their own flags. 

MEDIA PERSPECTIVE

How the Virus and Protests Changed a 50-Year Celebration of Pride – The New York Times – 6/28/2020
Not six months ago, the idea of this year’s Pride March in New York City, on the 50th anniversary of the first parade, would have conjured images of colorful floats, elaborate costumes and hundreds of thousands of revelers packed into city streets. But the festivities on Sunday barely resembled those of years past, drawing far fewer participants and bearing the hallmarks of a year rocked by turmoil.

Pandemic curtails most U.S. Pride events, but some march on – Reuters – 6/28/2020
The coronavirus pandemic forced the cancellation of most in-person Pride events this year, but a march in Manhattan on Sunday drew thousands to the streets in solidarity with protesters demanding an end to racial injustice and police brutality.

Stonewall-inspired gay rights activists launched DIY pride march 50 years ago, with thousands joining on Manhattan streets – NY Daily News – 6/28/2020
Fred Sargeant, free of expectations, climbed the base of a Manhattan light pole to look south toward Greenwich Village. The gay rights activist, one of the organizers of the Christopher Street Liberation Day March, was both thrilled and stunned by the view: A line of militant protesters stretching for blocks toward its starting point at Waverly St. and Sixth Ave., a loud and unapologetic display that the spirit of the Stonewall riots was alive and growing one year later.

Luma Mufleh: Pride 50th anniversary – What this proud American has learned about resilience – Fox News – 6/28/2020
As a gay Muslim woman, who came to America fleeing bigotry in my native Jordan, this day means everything to me. Back there, being gay is punishable by death. Over here, police raids against the LGBTQ community led to a national movement—one that recently saw civil rights protections extended to my community.

INFLUENCER PERSPECTIVE

Bernie Sanders on Twitter, 6/28/2020: Happy #Pride to our LGBTQ+ family celebrating today. Fifty-one years after the Stonewall uprising, we remember the many LGBTQ+ activists who have fought for justice, equality and civil rights. The struggle continues and we stand with you.

Ron Paul on Twitter, 6/29/2020: Lockdown Hypocrisy: Why Are BLM And ‘Pride’ Exempt? – today on the Liberty Report

Eliel Cruz on Twitter, 6/29/2020: If you’re an LGBTQ person and are not sharing everywhere today how police attacked LGBTQ people on the anniversary of stonewall, what’s going on?

Michael Tracey on Twitter, 6/29/2020: So the regular Chicago “Pride” march was canceled due to COVID. But once you add “black trans,” the virus is no longer transmissible

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