Global Pride, the 27-hour virtual Pride that took place on June 27, reached a worldwide audience of 57,050,978 viewers in at least 163 countries, organisers confirmed on Monday.
Broadcast on YouTube channels and on Facebook, Global Pride featured content from more than 500 Pride and LGBTQIA+ community organisations from 91 countries. The groundbreaking event was sparked by the cancellation of Pride events across the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Content featured included music and drag performances, speeches and messages from activists, and archive footage from Pride events around the world.
Major artists including Laverne Cox, Elton John, Denise Ho, Adam Lambert, Olivia Newton-John, Pussy Riot, Kesha and Pabllo Vittar appeared alongside world leaders including former US Vice President Joe Biden, Prime Ministers Justin Trudeau, Xavier Bettel, Erna Solberg, and Leo Varadkar, HRH Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and President of Iceland Guðni Th. Jóhannesson.
The event gave focus to the Black Lives Matter movement in acknowledgement of the international response to the deaths of George Floyd, Tony McCabe and others that has prompted a historic demand for racial justice. Black Lives Matter founder Alicia Garza spoke during the Global Pride ‘main stage’ segments.
“As a Black woman in the LGBTQIA+ community, it was so important to confront the systemic racism and violence facing my Black brothers, sisters and non-binary siblings, in the larger culture and within the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Natalie Thompson, Co-Chair of Global Pride and from Capital Pride in Washington, DC.
“Global Pride’s tens of millions of viewers learned, cried and surely were moved to action to further confront hate and prejudice and fight for equality. This was a historic success in every way and I was proud and humbled to work beside so many diverse colleagues from around the world and provide the community with the kind of hope and inspiration the Pride movement has for decades. The work continues and we will never be silenced,” added Thompson.
Viewers were encouraged to donate to a Pride COVID-19 Relief Fund managed by international Pride organisations, InterPride and the European Pride Organisers Association. A total of almost $53,000 was raised during the event, exceeding the organiser’s target of $50,000. Pride and LGBTQIA+ organisations will be able to apply to this fund for financial assistance.
“We know that LGBTQIA+ people have been affected financially by COVID-19 and so fundraising was always going to be a challenge,” commented Kristine Garina, Co-Chair of Global Pride and from Baltic Pride in Latvia. “But we are enormously grateful to everyone who donated, and we’d urge everyone who enjoyed Global Pride to donate anything they can. All funds will be directed to Pride organisations in need. There are a number of ways to donate, via our website at www.globalpride2020.org/donate.”
A team of more than 100 volunteers from across the world worked on the Global Pride project, most from Pride organisations affected by COVID-19. These included video editors, producers, and specialists in fundraising, communications, and nonprofit leadership.
“When we began this project we were well aware we were entering uncharted territory and had a near-unbelievable vision, but we needed to do something at a time when we had an international platform,” said Thompson. “Pride is not simply about parties or parades; our work, from marches to programming to amplifying diverse voices in our community all year long, helps push the needle towards true equality and freedom for LGBTQIA+ people worldwide. Global Pride 2020 gave us an opportunity to allow Prides worldwide tell their own stories to the largest audience in history that was accessible in new ways. Together, afterward, it felt like we had acomplished a queer miracle, but given the feedback and response it was worth every moment of work.”
The organisers said that Global Pride was made possible because of the support of business such as Queerty, Gilead, DIVA Media Group, Time Out Group, TripAdvisor, Erika Lust, GIPHY and 32 other partners.
Organisers are now evaluating the project and will produce a report in due course. A decision on future Global Pride events has not yet been made.