LGBTQ+ stars and allies including Adam Lambert, Katy Perry, Billy Porter, Big Freedia, and Sia are teaming up this month to keep the legacy of Pride alive in 2020, despite social-distancing restrictions forcing most would-be celebrations to shut down.
On June 25, a live-streamed virtual COVID-19 relief event called Can’t Cancel Pride will air via iHeartRadio. All donations will benefit national organizations supporting LGBTQ+ communities, including the National Black Justice Coalition, The Trevor Project, Outright, GLAAD, SAGE, and CenterLink.
In the months since the coronavirus outbreak forced most of America into quarantine, more than 475 Pride events across the country have been cancelled. Yet activists argue never has the need for LGBTQ+ rights and allyship been more clear: In recent weeks, several Black trans men and women, including Riah Milton, Dominique “Rem’mie” Fells, Tony McDade, and Layleen Cubilette-Polanco, were killed. A few days before the Supreme Court ruled that gay and transgender people are protected from workplace discrimination, the Trump Administration finalized a regulation that denies transgender patients protections against discrimination in health care.
The Can’t Cancel Pride event seeks to fill the gaps where COVID-19 has revealed disparities between the general population and LGBTQ+ communities. According to data collected by the Human Rights Coalition, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to work in industries highly affected by quarantine restrictions; they’re less likely than the general population to have health insurance; and they’re more likely to experience poverty. The Trevor Project also demonstrates that LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable to mental health impacts from the pandemic.
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iHeartMedia and Procter & Gamble, which is co-sponsoring the event, highlighted in the Can’t Cancel Pride announcement that many LGBTQ+ charities, resources, and nonprofit organizations are “on the brink of survival.” Can’t Cancel Pride’s goal is to raise $5 million through corporate sponsorships and individual giving.
“There’s no question COVID-19 has impacted the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, and at this time in the U.S., the struggle for equality and inclusion has never been more important,” said Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer for iHeartMedia, in a press release. “Now is a time we need to come together to support the organizations that help bring critical resources to LGBTQ people in need and Can’t Cancel Pride aims to do just that.”
Other stars performing for the benefit include Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, and Ricky Martin, and the celebration will culminate in a one-hour special featuring on-air personality Elvis Duran and actress and activist Laverne Cox.
Viewers can stream the event on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and Instagram pages, as well as its app, PrideRadio.com page and nationwide broadcasts, on June 25 at 9 p.m. local time. To donate to Can’t Cancel Pride, visit the website.
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