Ways to Celebrate Pride While Social Distancing
Gabriela Benevento / For the Broadside
Single and ready to mingle? Queer and ready to cheer (up)? June is here; the annual celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. With the stay-at-home order cancelling many pride celebrations and festivals this year, queer creators and organizers alike are finding alternatives to celebrating this year’s pride from the safety of their homes. The following is some fun LGBTQ+ options nationally, and locally in the Central Oregon community.
• Club Quarantine – (nationally accessible)
Club Quarantine is an online, Zoom-based gay club. Every night, this online club is open from 9pm to midnight EST. On Saturdays, the club is open from 4pm to 7pm EST to accommodate European viewers. From Charlie XCX performing to boyfriends drinking rose together, there is no limit to what can be found on this completely virtual gay club. Some guests attend the Zoom meeting dancing in full drag, while others comment and observe. Club quarantine was created by a handful of 20-something, queer club people in Toronto during a Zoom call. One night, one of the creators was able to create an Instagram account with the handle @clubquarantine. The creators added a few more screens to their Zoom meeting and the club were born. The club has shown to be a very helpful resource to not only those in quarantine, but for folks in areas where there might not be a gay club and may be in a situation where it is unsafe to be out with their sexual identity. This online platform gives queer people across the nation a chance to taste the rainbow from the comfort and safety of their own homes. The zoom code to attend Club Quarantine is 86373872408 and any other information or updates about the club is on their Instagram @clubquarantine.
• Out Central Oregon – Bend, OR
Out Central Oregon is a Bend, Oregon, organization that hosts LGBTQ+ events, posts updated educational LGBTQ+ information on their website and more. “Our mission is to promote inclusivity, visibility, and advocacy for LGBTQ+ people by enabling and fostering community engagement,” says their mission statement. Out Central Oregon currently has many of their pride events re-scheduled for September and October of 2020, with hopes of those events being open to the public by then. One of these events includes a Pride Festival on Sept. 12 from 12pm to 5pm in Bend’s popular Drake Park. It is important attendees contact Out Central Oregon or stay posted on their website about the status of these events. For further information, refer to Out Central Oregon’s website: https://outcentraloregon.com/events/
Central Oregon Community College’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club is currently dormant. The hopes are for the club to be re-established at the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year.
Aside from LGBTQ+ organizations both local and national during this quarantine, here are two queer creators to stay aware of during this pride season:
- Matt Bernstein—Instagram: @mattxiv
- Alok Vaid-Menon—Instagram: @alokvmenon
Matt Bernstein recently informed his followers that he’ll be partnering with various queer creators virtually this June to keep the pride spirit uplifting and vibrant. Matt Bernstein uses a combination of makeup and activism to keep the public informed on LGBTQ+ issues and topics. Bernstein is primarily on Instagram, with a goofy TikTok gig on the side. Bernstein’s TikTok username is also @mattxiv.
Valid-Menon is a published author, performer, speaker, LGBTQ+ activist and internet sensation. Valid-Menon is going on an Instagram live digital book tour this quarantine with special guest stars (like Demi Lovato). For more information about the book tour, visit their Instagram @alokvmenon, or their website https://www.alokvmenon.com/.
Many activists are getting creative with how they will celebrate pride this year and so can you. Stay safe and proud this month.