NYC Pride returns for 2021 with a theme that seems to perfectly capture the state of the LGBTQ+ movement as well as the times in which it takes place. Organizers are quick to point out how “The Fight Continues” reflects the need to carry on the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights and protections even after our win at the ballot box. But it also acknowledges the parallel struggles of the Black Lives Matter movement, the fight against climate change, and of course, adapting to life amid a global pandemic.
“We’re fighting for ourselves, fighting for the BIPOC and trans members of our community, and fighting for future generations,” says André Thomas, cochair for NYC Pride. “By making [“The Fight Continues”] 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.”
There will be virtual events, such as The Rally on June 25, and those designated as a mix of virtual and in-person elements, like the NYC Pride March on June 27. Organizers have yet to work out the details of how to conduct a large-scale event like the annual Pride March while ensuring responsible social distancing practices. The same can be said for PrideFest and Pride Island, scheduled to take place on June 27. Also on tap virtually are Pride Presents, Family Movie Night, a Human Rights Conference, and the second annual Black Queer Town Hall.
“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,” David A. Correa, interim executive director of NYC Pride, said in a statement. “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.”
NYC Pride has also teamed up with photographer Cait Oppermann for the 2021 visual campaign. In line with the more inclusive theme of this year’s event, the campaign centers an intersectional portrait of the larger queer community, including trans, queer, BIPOC, allies, and more, with names like Gia Love, José Thomas, G Xtravaganza, Krishna Stone, and Reid Jefferson.
Pride events in New York City hold special significance within the queer community, as many Pride celebrations around the country are a direct response to the Stonewall Riots, which took place there in June 1969. The riots are generally regarded as the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement. Pride holds even more meaning this year, after the isolation of 2020.
If there’s one thing the LGBTQ+ community knows how to do (besides throwing one heck of a Pride party) it’s to persevere and battle against adversity. Certainly, the fight continues. nycpride.org
This story is part of Out's 2021 Pride Issue, which is on newsstands now! To get your own copy directly, support queer media and subscribe — or download yours for Amazon, Kindle, Nook, or Apple News.