Pandemic for Pride: How LGBTQ creators have used the Communication Systems of the Pandemic to Reach Out to Their Community

Hayley O'Brien, Contributing Writer

As the world has shifted into an online atmosphere the LGBTQ creators of today have not missed their opportunity to have a Pride month that is just as creative, inclusive, and supportive as ever. Online Pride meetings have popped up in place of past in-person parades and outreach programs, but the community didn’t stop there. Entirely new events and programs have been put together over online streets to reach out in the loneliest of times. From famous LBGTQ creators to small-town collectives, anyone and everyone is making sure the entire community can still gain access to the love and support they need, even through a screen.

One of the most anticipated and involved online national Pride events is Youtube Pride 2021. Scheduled for June 25, dozens of well-known LGBTQ creators have dedicated months of their time preparing a magnitude of live streams and original content in order to provide financial support and community outreach to the LGBTQ family nationwide. Youtube released a statement on their official blog summarizing their reasoning behind the creation of their events: “We believe that everyone should be able to find communities of support, break down barriers, transcend borders, and come together around shared interests and passions.” Every creator involved has shared links to the events and links to the various charities it is directly supporting, some examples being The Trevor Project and the Elton John AIDs Foundation. Famous LGBTQ influencers are using their outreach to change the lives of thousands and they are setting beautiful examples to the younger generations on just how much love and support is out there and how to give back in the best ways.

On a smaller scale, however, some of the most well-known online Pride events occurring throughout this month that are accessible to Muskegon residents and those in surrounding counties have been put together by civilian volunteers and community programs. An example of this is the people who are involved in Pride Shoot 2.0. Elizabeth Barker along with some of her colleagues and friends have been working to put together a collection of Pride-oriented photo shoots and posts. When asked why she put this together Barker shares her team, “…wanted to branch out…”, and that “It was not easy but it also wasn’t too hard”. On the topic of how COVID impacted her group’s ability to put together their project Barker said, “While it might be a little harder to find people I want everyone to know they are welcomed.”

People all over the world have worked tirelessly to present projects with the direct intent to support the concepts and goals that Pride is truly about. From the big to the small every project that has turned its eyes onto the screen has welcomed a larger audience than ever before. The continuation of events in a safe manner through the pandemic highlights the resilience of the LGBTQ community. The importance of inclusivity and kindness has shown through all of those who work to create an environment safe and welcoming both, online and in-person, for the LGBTQ family.