LGBT+ groups are cancelling a number of events and Pride season festivals amid the spread of coronavirus.
There are now over 160,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus worldwide and the disease has claimed over 6,000 lives.
“Some events will inevitably face cancellation, curtailment or postponement,” Kristine Garina, president of the European Pride Organizers Association (EPOA), said in a statement.
“It is ironic that over the last few decades, various politicians, presidents, prime ministers, mayors, archbishops and other bigots have done their best to thwart and cancel Pride parades, but it was mother nature who succeeded.”
Steve Taylor, a spokesman for the EPOA, had expected up to 1,000 Prides to take place in Europe in 2020, though this is now unlikely to be the case.
Last year’s Dublin Pride Parade was the largest in history with tens of thousands in attendance. Dublin Pride issued a statement last week about plans for the festival and the Parade in response to growing concern over coronavirus.
Festival Director Jed Dowling said “The board and management of Dublin Pride are very mindful of the current situation regarding coronavirus (Covid-19) and of our responsibility to act in the best interests of the community. We will follow all advice given by the relevant authorities and are contingency planning for the possibility that the date may need to move out.”
Dowling continued “It’s important to remember that Pride is more than one day. The very earliest Pride events in Dublin were attended by just a handful of people, and while we are best known for our Parades and Marches, it was these small events where we supported and helped each other in difficult times that made us what we are today. For many vulnerable people the next few weeks may be particularly difficult, remember to check in on your friends regularly, look after your own mental health and be aware of all the resources available if you feel lonely or isolated.”
Meanwhile, Trans Pride Scotland has been cancelled, and the organisers of Los Angeles Pride announced that all the planned celebrations for their 50th anniversary are now being postponed.
The Floridian city of Fort Lauderdale has also postponed its first-ever Pride of the Americas festival until Autumn.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has banned gatherings of more than 500 people in the state indefinitely, therefore, it is unlikely that the globally-renowned New York City Pride will take place. David Correa, interim executive director of NYC Pride, said “New York City Pride is more than ever concerned with the safety and well-being of those who attend our events are programming. We’re monitoring the situation as closely as possible and working with city agencies to stay abreast of what changes are happening.”
Elsewhere, in San Franciso, also renowned for its LGBT+ history, Pride 50 is scheduled to go on, however, the organising team are monitoring the situation closely in the event that must change.
Bucharest Pride, which attracts about 10,000 people, is to delay their rally by at least three months, according to executive director Teodora Ion-Rotaru, as Romani has banned events with more than 1,000 attendees.
The first queer film festival to be staged in North Africa, by Tunisia’s LGBT+ group Mawjoudin We Exist, announced last week that it would call off its 2020 event as well as other group activities.
A queer dance party in Thailand, SK2020, has also been postponed until next year. The event was expected to attract approximately 30,000 people.
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