How Advancements in Technology have Impacted Pride Celebrations
By Lauren Noakes
Published 2nd July 2020
Last modified 5th March 2023
Last modified 5th March 2023
As Pride Month has drawn to a close, many within the community have experienced a vastly different period of celebration than that of previous years. Covid-19 has cancelled any and all large gatherings, refusing festivals, holidays and even commemorative events – and Pride was, unfortunately, no exception to this.
However, this change in circumstance did not entirely stop the LBGT+ community from remembering and celebrating their journey over the last 50 years. In fact, it only prompted for further innovation and creative solutions. As you would expect, technology and online platforms played a major part in this transition and we’ll be investigating how!
Although pride events could not physically go ahead, they were not completely cancelled. In fact, brands and organisations across the globe embraced the digital world and ensured that complete cancellation was never an option.
A primary example being the multiple organisations – UK Black Pride, Stonewall, ParaPride and Amnesty International – which have joined forces to implement ‘Pride Inside‘. Quite literally, transporting the city-based celebrations directly into our homes.
The event is now underway and will continue up until the 10th of July – bringing the LBGT+ community together with a series of online gigs, panel discussions, parties, workshops and more.
Since the Stonewall Riots of 1969, pride has continually encouraged and supported individuals as they worked to embrace their sexuality and gender. As such, the event has called for wider understanding and prompted for further discussion and dialogue within, and outside of, the community.
The results of this activism are immediately evident. In the past, a huge number of individuals would have suppressed and hidden their sexuality and gender identity in order to avoid persecution and harassment. Whilst a horrible reality in itself, it also meant that many were unable to find and form the relationships they deserved. Yet now, LBGT+ individuals have access to platforms that allow connection within the community. In fact, it’s been found that a notable 70% of LBGTQ+ relationships find their roots on digital dating platforms – a stark change from the previous realities.
Whilst the digital space has allowed most of us to search for love in a safe space, it has also provided us with open platforms for discussion.
Pride has, for many, offered a physical space to freely and safely connect with one another. Yet, luckily, platforms such as social media channels can imitate this ability. So, whilst the irreplaceable physicality of the event has been greatly missed, it is also vital to recognise that the community and its actions exceed a singular event and that individuals have the ability to connect with people all around the world at the click of a button!
Pride Month invites us to reflect on the impact LBGT+ individuals have had on the world – from art to politics to music. So, whilst the physical events have been unable to go ahead, technology has provided us all with the ability to engage in the history and actions that have brought us to today’s reality.
We can investigate the history that helped to actively accept and celebrate such a large proportion of our population. A great place to start is looking at Stonewall Impact’s timeline of events!