Connect with us

Arts & Entertainment

U.S. cities think outside the box for Pride 2020 amidst pandemic

Most cities planning some virtual component; some have bumped to fall

Published

on

Pride 2020, gay news, Washington Blade
A scene from the review stand of a past New York City Pride. (Washington Blade file photo by Michael Key)

Pride festivals around the U.S. have been moved to virtual platforms, postponed or canceled altogether due to the coronavirus and social distancing requirements. Because many events are being moved online, LGBT people and allies now have the option to attend Pride events all over the country. 

Some organizations have opted for an extensive list of events for the entire month of June — such as Houston, Seattle and Los Angeles — while others have postponed the festivities or completely canceled events for the year, like Phoenix and Philadelphia. 

New York City: The “NYC Pride Special Broadcast Event” is Sunday, June 28, from noon-2 p.m. EST. This broadcast on ABC7 will feature performances by Janelle Monáe, Deborah Cox, Billy Porter, Luísa Sonza and others. The grand marshals of this year’s NYC Pride include writer and producer Dan Levy, The Ali Forney Center and LGBT activists Yanzi Peng and Victoria Cruz. This year, NYC Pride “is committed to saluting front-line workers.” For more information, visit nycpride.org

Los Angeles: The “L.A. Pride 50th Anniversary Celebration” is Saturday, June 13, from 7:30-9 p.m. PST to be broadcast on ABC7, iHeartRadio social platforms and local radio stations. iHeart Radio will also broadcast daily episodes throughout June featuring LGBT artists and activists and other Pride-related programming. 

iHeartRadio Los Angeles and the L.A. Pride association will also launch the “L.A. Pridecast” podcast in June, which will cover LGBT topics and feature a different member of the Los Angeles LGBT community each episode. Learn more about L.A. Pride at lapride.org

San Francisco: The “S.F. Pride 2020 Online Celebration” will be held on Saturday, June 27 from 1-9 p.m., and Sunday, June 28 from 2-7 p.m. PST. The virtual event will include performances from celebrities, speeches from LGBT activists, DJ sets and drag performances. Learn more at sfpride.org.

Phoenix: The “40th Annual Phoenix Pride Festival” has been delayed to be celebrated in-person on Nov. 7-8. The festival is expected to have 150 entertainment performances and over 300 exhibitors displaying food, shopping and community resources. Learn more at phoenixpride.org.  

Dallas: The “Dallas Pride 2020” board of directors has announced the event is going virtual and programming and dates are to be determined. Learn more at dallaspride.org

Houston: The “2020 Houston LGBT+ Pride Celebration” in-person events have been moved to fall with dates to be announced. But there are several virtual events throughout the month of June, such as a Pride film festival on June 20 at noon, the “Rights of Human” conference with breakout sessions and presentations focused on transgender rights, immigration rights and more, “Pride Stars,” an LGBT talent competition and many other digital functions. Learn more at pridehouston.org.  

Philadelphia: “Philly Pride” organizers have canceled the PrideDay Parade and Festival, and no virtual events have been scheduled. “OutFest,” an LGBT film festival scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 11, is still tentative. Learn more at phillygaypride.org

Chicago: The Northalsted Business Alliance will host “Boystown’s Virtual Chicago Pride Fest” on June 20-21 from 7-9 p.m. CST streaming on the platform Twitch. The event will feature a lineup of entertainment and speeches from LGBT activists. The event is free but will be accepting donations benefitting the Center on Halsted, an LGBT community center, and Howard Brown Health, and LGBT health services center. Learn more at northalsted.com/pridefest

Seattle: Seattle Pride has a series of events planned throughout June, like Pride book clubs in partnership with the Museum of Pop Culture and “Sans Bar Where You Are” hosted by DRY Soda & Sans Bar on June 19 at 5 p.m. PST on Facebook Live featuring drag queen karaoke and a panel discussion on the issues of sobriety in the LGBT community. There are also events for a younger crowd: “Youth Pink Prom & Pride 2020” hosted by Lambert House on Saturday, June 27 from 5-11 p.m. is specifically for ages 13-22 on the gaming platforms Minecraft Java Edition and Discord. Learn more at seattlepride.org.  

“Trans Pride Seattle” organizers have scheduled virtual events for June 26-28, featuring live performances, workshops and film screenings with more details to be announced. Learn more at transprideseattle.org.  

Portland: Portland Pride has scheduled virtual events throughout June. The Portland Pride Virtual Festival will take place on Saturday, June 13 from 4-6:30 p.m, featuring performances from local artists, speeches from elected officials and local LGBT organizations. Organizers will stream a recording of the 1999 Portland Pride Parade on Sunday, June 14 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m in “Parade Like it’s 1999!” Other events include karaoke events and performances from local drag queens. Learn more at portlandpride.org.

Advertisement
FUND LGBTQ JOURNALISM
SIGN UP FOR E-BLAST

Photos

PHOTOS: Night of Champions

Team DC holds annual awards gala

Published

on

Team DC President Miguel Ayala speaks at the 2024 Night of Champions Awards on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

Team DC, the umbrella organization for LGBTQ-friendly sports teams and leagues in the D.C. area, held its annual Night of Champions Awards Gala on Saturday, April 20 at the Hilton National Mall. The organization gave out scholarships to area LGBTQ student athletes as well as awards to the Different Drummers, Kelly Laczko of Duplex Diner, Stacy Smith of the Edmund Burke School, Bryan Frank of Triout, JC Adams of DCG Basketball and the DC Gay Flag Football League.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Continue Reading

Photos

PHOTOS: National Cannabis Festival

Annual event draws thousands to RFK

Published

on

Growers show their strains at The National Cannabis Festival on Saturday. (Washington Blade photo by Michael Key)

The 2024 National Cannabis Festival was held at the Fields at RFK Stadium on April 19-20.

(Washington Blade photos by Michael Key)

Continue Reading

Theater

‘Amm(i)gone’ explores family, queerness, and faith

A ‘fully autobiographical’ work from out artist Adil Mansoor

Published

on

Adil Mansoor in ‘Amm(i)gone’ at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. (Photo by Kitoko Chargois)

‘Amm(i)gone’
Thorough May 12
Woolly Mammoth Theatre
641 D St., N.W. 
$60-$70
Woollymammoth.net

“Fully and utterly autobiographical.” That’s how Adil Mansoor describes “Amm(i)gone,” his one-man work currently playing at Woolly Mammoth Theatre. 

Both created and performed by out artist Mansoor, it’s his story about inviting his Pakistani mother to translate Sophocles’s Greek tragedy “Antigone” into Urdu. Throughout the journey, there’s an exploration of family, queerness, and faith,as well as references to teachings from the Quran, and audio conversations with his Muslim mother. 

Mansoor, 38, grew up in the suburbs of Chicago and is now based in Pittsburgh where he’s a busy theater maker. He’s also the founding member of Pittsburgh’s Hatch Arts Collective and the former artistic director of Dreams of Hope, an LGBTQ youth arts organization.

WASHINGTON BLADE: What spurred you to create “Amm(i)gone”? 

ADIL MANSOOR: I was reading a translation of “Antigone” a few years back and found myself emotionally overwhelmed. A Theban princess buries her brother knowing it will cost her, her own life. It’s about a person for whom all aspirations are in the afterlife. And what does that do to the living when all of your hopes and dreams have to be reserved for the afterlife?

I found grant funding to pay my mom to do the translation. I wanted to engage in learning. I wanted to share theater but especially this ancient tragedy. My mother appreciated the characters were struggling between loving one another and their beliefs. 

BLADE: Are you more director than actor?

MANSOOR: I’m primarily a director with an MFA in directing from Carnegie Mellon. I wrote, directed, and performed in this show, and had been working on it for four years. I’ve done different versions including Zoom. Woolly’s is a new production with the same team who’ve been involved since the beginning. 

I love solo performance. I’ve produced and now teach solo performance and believe in its power. And I definitely lean toward “performance” and I haven’t “acted” since I was in college. I feel good on stage. I was a tour guide and do a lot of public speaking. I enjoy the attention. 

BLADE: Describe your mom. 

MANSOOR: My mom is a wonderfully devout Muslim, single mother, social worker who discovered my queerness on Google. And she prays for me. 

She and I are similar, the way we look at things, the way we laugh. But different too. And those are among the questions I ask in this show. Our relationship is both beautiful and complicated.

BLADE: So, you weren’t exactly hiding your sexuality? 

MANSOOR: In my mid-20s, I took time to talk with friends about our being queer with relation to our careers. My sexuality is essential to the work. As the artistic director at Dreams of Hope, part of the work was to model what it means to be public. If I’m in a room with queer and trans teenagers, part of what I’m doing is modeling queer adulthood. The way they see me in the world is part of what I’m putting out there. And I want that to be expansive and full. 

So much of my work involves fundraising and being a face in schools. Being out is about making safe space for queer young folks.

BLADE: Have you encountered much Islamophobia? 

MANSOOR: When 9/11 happened, I was a sophomore in high school, so yes. I faced a lot then and now. I’ve been egged on the street in the last four months. I see it in the classroom. It shows up in all sorts of ways. 

BLADE: What prompted you to lead your creative life in Pittsburgh? 

MANSOOR: I’ve been here for 14 years. I breathe with ease in Pittsburgh. The hills and the valleys and the rust of the city do something to me. It’s beautiful, it’ affordable, and there is support for local artists. There’s a lot of opportunity. 

Still, the plan was to move to New York in September of 2020 but that was cancelled. Then the pandemic showed me that I could live in Pittsburgh and still have a nationally viable career. 

BLADE: What are you trying to achieve with “Amm(i)gone”? 

MANSOOR: What I’m sharing in the show is so very specific but I hear people from other backgrounds say I totally see my mom in that. My partner is Catholic and we share so much in relation to this. 

 I hope the work is embracing the fullness of queerness and how means so many things. And I hope the show makes audiences want to call their parents or squeeze their partners.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement

Sign Up for Weekly E-Blast

Follow Us @washblade

Advertisement

Popular