Put away your clacking fans and rainbow flags. Like pretty much every other event this summer, New York City Pride is now officially canceled due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The epic annual event was scheduled for June 14–28, but on Monday, April 20, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio canceled all city permits for June, including Pride and Puerto Rican Day events.
“New York City is the birthplace of the modern LGBTQ rights movement. We’ve come a long way since the first Christopher Street Liberation Day March 50 years ago, which is a testament to the bravery and resiliency [sic] of LGBTIA+ New Yorkers in the struggle for equality,” de Blasio said in a media statement. “While this pandemic prevents us from coming together to march, it will in no way stop us from celebrating the indelible contributions that the LGBTIA+ community has made to New York City or from recommitting ourselves to the fight for equal rights.”
The theme for this year’s Pride was “The Future Is…”, a sentiment meant to celebrate diversity and inclusion among queer people and “[connect] the past, present, and future of the LGBTQIA+ community.” Back in March, Janelle Monáe was announced as the headliner for this year’s Pride Island concert.
“As the days have passed, it has become more and more clear that even with a decline in the spread of COVID-19, large-scale events such as ours are unlikely to happen in the near future,” NYC Pride co-chair Maryanne Roberto Fine added. “We understand that we need to reimagine NYC Pride events—and have already begun to do just that.”
The cancellation of NYC Pride follows the example of other Pride celebrations like those in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco, which were already canceled or postponed by organizers.
Even though a parade will not be marching past the Stonewall Inn this June, New York’s local WABC Channel 7 still plans to air a special NYC Pride program.
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@janellemonae headlines Pride Island Saturday on June 27, 2020 Janelle Monáe is a Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, performer and producer known for her unique style and groundbreaking sound. Monáe’s highly-anticipated third album, Dirty Computer garnered over 425 million streams worldwide and was named one of TIME’s “10 Best Albums of 2018.” The gifted performer plays the lead in the upcoming dramatic thriller, ANTEBELLUM, set to be released April 24, 2020. She will also star in season 2 of HOMECOMING on Amazon, out in late May. Monáe doesn’t stop there, she can also be seen in THE GLORIAS: LIFE ON THE ROAD later this fall. Pre-sale tickets are available now for @mastercard holders. Follow the link: https://bit.ly/3axfFQa
“This virtual event will shine a light on Pride month and the incredible stories of unity and strength by utilizing the powerful reach of ABC-7, the number one station in the market, and the deep connection we have with our viewers and communities,” WABC-TV president and general manager Debra O’Connell said in a statement.
The 2020 cancellation news comes as a bigger blow after last year’s historic WorldPride, which celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots and welcomed more than 5 million visitors to the Big Apple.
Here’s hoping this pandemic is over sooner rather than later so we can get back to waving our rainbow flags.