Portraits of Pride: What Pride means to people around the world
5:06 PM EDT, Wed June 24, 2020
Drag artist Nina West says her first Pride was a pivotal moment in her life. "I remember how overwhelmed I was," she says, "and how I had no idea that this rich, immense, beautiful community existed."
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Comedian and activist Bob the Drag Queen remembers one person who approached her during Pride. "Someone told me they drove four hours to be there. They told me, 'This is the only place and the only time of year I can hold my partner's hand and kiss my partner on the streets.' That's what Pride is all about," she says.
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Carlos Castaño Rodriguez, a member of the LGBT Spanish Federation, says there is a responsibility for the LGBTQ community to celebrate Pride, especially for those who don't get to enjoy that freedom. "We can use our privilege to be visible. So those that do not have that privilege may feel less alone and may feel seen," Rodriguez says.
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The LGBTQ community's fight for equality is far from over. Jojó Majercsik, a spokesperson for Budapest Pride, says that transgender people are especially vulnerable, particularly in rural areas of Hungary.
Julio Moreira is the director of Grupo Arco-Iris, a LGBTQ organization in Brazil. He says poor and Black members of the community there face even more discrimination.
Chris Frederick was the executive director of New York City's Pride celebration in 2019. The event also marked 50 years since the Stonewall Riots. "Pride is that one time of year where everyone comes together to raise up issues and amplify voices within our community," he says.
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Bodhi Calagna is an international DJ who recently came out as trans non-binary. "Even though Prides are canceled all over the world, [and even] if we don't have a place to go and fly our flags, you get all of us online together," Calagna says. "Pride just radiates even more."
Activist Paulo Batista says his first Pride after his 2010 transition surgery was liberating. "I wanted to take my shirt off for the first time and not be scared. My scars were still kind of fresh," he remembers.
Courtesy Paulo Batista
Mathieu Chantelois, the former executive director of Toronto Pride, says marking Pride virtually in 2020 is a unique opportunity. "We're not going to be thousands of people in the streets, but we're all going to be in front of our screens, and we will celebrate," he says. "We will be together. We are going to create a sense of belonging."
Courtesy Mathieu Chantelois
Sara Cunningham started "Free Mom Hugs," a group of parents that provides hugs, love, and support for LGBTQ youth. "It's a matter of life and death that we find a way to celebrate our children or we will suffer with them through self-harm, alienation, or worse," Cunningham says.
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Miss Peppermint marches in the LA Pride Parade on June 9, 2019. "Finding and seeking out community in any way that you can is essential," she says. "It's lifesaving."
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