Pride Revival: New Dates, Themes, Mergers — and Hope for 2021

Thursday February 25, 2021

Pride Revival: New Dates, Themes, Mergers — and Hope for 2021
  (Source:Getty Images)

We Zoomed our way through Pride 2020, mostly celebrating LGBTQ solidarity from the comfort of our own homes. But Pride organizers are banking on increased vaccine distribution and, eventually, the return to in-person gatherings. Several Pride events around the country have announced dates, themes and changes to their organizational structure:

NYC Pride: The Fight Continues

NYC Pride has announced the official theme for 2021, "The Fight Continues," as the kick-off to this year's events and programming.

"Within this acknowledgment of what we're fighting for and the challenges we face, we also must find the strength — together — to continue the fight," said André Thomas, NYC Pride Co-Chair. "We're fighting for ourselves, fighting for the BIPOC and trans members of our community, and fighting for future generations. By making this the 2021 theme for NYC Pride, we acknowledge all that we've accomplished and look towards what still needs to be done. NYC Pride events offer an opportunity to gather in community and highlight the diversity, resilience, and power of the LGBTQIA+ community, giving us the energy and spirit we need to continue the fight."

NYC Pride is also unveiling its 2021 visual campaign. Captured by photographer Cait Oppermann, this year's campaign features many queer, trans, and BIPOC members and allies of the LGBTQIA+ community, including Gia Love, José Thomas, G Xtravaganza, Krishna Stone, and Reid Jefferson.

(Source: Cait Oppermann/NYC Pride)

The NYC Pride 2021 roster of events will take place during Pride Month this June. Among this year's major events are the NYC Pride March on June 27, which will be presented in a virtual format as well as to-be-determined in-person elements, and The Rally on June 25, which will feature a diverse array of speakers and activists in a virtual format.

PrideFest and Pride Island will also return on June 27, with further details to be revealed at a later time. Other key events include Pride Presents, the Human Rights Conference, and Family Movie Night, all of which will be featured in virtual formats for 2021. Savor Pride events kicked off this year in January, with a new chef each month from January through June. Rounding out the calendar will be NYC Pride's second annual Black Queer Town Hall.

"We're pleased to continue to be able to offer a diverse roster of programming this year," said David A. Correa, Interim Executive Director of NYC Pride. "In 2020, our world dramatically changed very quickly, and in a matter of weeks, we were forced to pivot to virtual programming and cancel many of our events. With much more time to prepare in 2021, we're bringing back many of the events we were forced to cancel last year, most notably Youth Pride, which will engage LGBTQIA+ youth, many of whom are grappling with the absence of in-person connection."

Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Parade

The annual Kentuckiana Pride Festival and Parade will take place on Friday, October 8, and Saturday, October 9, at the Big Four Lawn, Waterfront Park. The festival and parade are typically held on the third weekend of June each year.

Moving the festival and parade dates to later in the year will allow additional time to prep for additional safety protocols due to COVID-19. The Kentuckiana Pride Festival is working closely with city officials to strictly enforce and follow all CDC guidelines to plan and execute an event that is safe for all attendees.

"Safety is top priority on the list when it comes to all involved who make Kentuckiana Pride possible," stated Kentuckiana Pride board President Rodney Coffman. "Without our staff, crew, and all of you, there is no Kentuckiana Pride Festival. We are optimistic and very excited to get back out there to celebrate Pride together, in a safe and vigilant manner."

Diversity Richmond and VA Pride Merge

Diversity Richmond and VA Pride Merge
(Source: Diversity Richmond)

Diversity Richmond and Virginia Pride, two of the Richmond Region's leading LGBTQ organizations, announced that they plan to merge effective April 1. As a Diversity Richmond program, Virginia Pride will continue to produce its signature event, PrideFest, and other events that support the LGBTQ community.

"Virginia Pride enters into this merger with Diversity Richmond at a time when both organizations are thriving," said President Stephanie Merlo. "In recent years, Virginia Pride has experienced exponential growth of our events, including an annual PrideFest that attracts more than 40,000 people, and has seen the significant impact of our advocacy efforts to make the Richmond region a better place for LGBTQ people to live, work and visit. Merging with Diversity Richmond will ensure we continue to build on our legacy of success."

Diversity Richmond has also grown in recent years and is recognized as a hub for Richmond's LGBTQ community. In a typical year, the organization hosts numerous events, provides meeting space for non-profits, since 1999 has provided more than $1.1 million in grants and serves as a voice for the LGBTQ community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Diversity Richmond has held three food drives, helping over 1,800 families, served as a COVID testing site for the Virginia Department of Health and hosted press conferences with Governor Ralph Northam and Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney.

"By joining forces with Virginia Pride, we hope to take one and one and make three," said Diversity Richmond Board President Luise "Cheezi" Farmer. "We are confident that this merger will amplify the impact of the work of our organizations and allow us to better serve not just the LGBTQ community, but the entire Richmond Region."