With a dif­fer­ent look, Pride fes­tiv­i­ties go on

The Washington Post - - POLITICS & THE NATION -

There were protests, rain­bow flags and per­for­mances — it was LGBTQ Pride, after all.

But what was nor­mally an out­pour­ing on the streets of New York City looked a lit­tle dif­fer­ent this year, be­cause of so­cial dis­tanc­ing rules re­quired by the coro­n­avirus pan­demic.

With the city’s mas­sive Pride pa­rade can­celed, Sun­day’s per­for­mances were vir­tual, the flags flew in emp­tier-thannor­mal spa­ces, and the protesters were masked.

The dis­rup­tion caused by the novel coro­n­avirus would be an ag­gra­va­tion in any year, but par­tic­u­larly in this one, the 50th an­niver­sary of the first Pride march in New York City.

“It’s a great thing to see be­cause the orig­i­nal Pride started with the civil rights move­ment,” Matthew Fis­cher said as he passed out hand san­i­tizer Sun­day at Fo­ley Square. “So we’re re­ally go­ing back to the roots of that and mak­ing sure we en­com­pass ev­ery­thing that em­pow­ers peo­ple to be who they are.”

Fis­cher said it was im­por­tant this year to show co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the African Amer­i­can and LGBTQ com­mu­ni­ties, given the re­cent police killings of Ge­orge Floyd and oth­ers that have sparked demon­stra­tions against police bru­tal­ity.

The first Pride march, on June 28, 1970, was a marker of the Stonewall up­ris­ings of the year be­fore in New York City’s West Vil­lage that helped pro­pel a global LGBTQ rights move­ment.

BRAN­DON BELL/GETTY IMAGES

Peo­ple gather Sun­day in front of a Min­neapo­lis police precinct dur­ing a Pride march to call for jus­tice for those killed by police.

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