Post Pride, Now What?
Pride Month in Fort Worth and across the world took on a very different look this year, with COVID-19 putting a halt to the parades, celebrations, and other events we commonly associate with June in the LGBTQ community. However, that doesn’t mean that nothing took place at all. Here’s what Pride Month 2020 looked like in Fort Worth, as well as what the community is doing to be supportive throughout the rest of the year.
Fort Worth and Pride Month
In a Pride Month, where social distancing was required, what were some of the events we saw this year?
- The annual Trinity Pride Fest was postponed, but virtual drag shows and conversations with people of color were held during the original time. This was done in conjunction with local Black Lives Matter branches.
- The Dallas Voice Pride Party Online was a virtual entertainment event featuring musical performances and celebrity appearances.
- While the MetroBall AIDS fundraiser was canceled, an equivalent Rise Together virtual celebration was held, featuring past MetroBall performances, contests with prizes, and more.
- Different local LGBTQ organizations participated in protests with Black Lives Matter and Trans Lives Matter as a show of solidarity.
- Pride Radio held a virtual happy hour.
- The Academy of Country Music held a benefit concert for GLAAD.
As of right now, the state of COVID-19 in Fort Worth and across Texas is in flux, so how long it will be until conventional Pride events are safe once again is unknown. These events may serve as a useful basis for other organizations to support LGBTQ causes throughout the year.
More LGBTQ Support In Fort Worth
While all of these events are great for bringing LGBTQ people together, celebrating who they are, and raising money for important causes, these efforts don’t stop at the end of June. There are still many people out there who need support, especially amidst this global pandemic. Here’s a closer look at some of the events/organizations taking place year-round in Fort Worth.
- PFLAG Fort Worth is the local branch of the national PFLAG organization in Fort Worth. They specialize in advocacy, education, and peer support, staying completely confidential for those who need discretion.
- Depression Connection For Recovery is going to host an LGBTQ Depression Support Group at Embrace United Church of Christ each week, with no cost to attend.
- HELP (Health Education Learning Project) sponsors programs like iPlay and Rapid Connect, which prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS and teach general health.
- The Tarrant County Lesbian/Gay Alliance (TCLGA) has been promoting LGBTQ awareness and working for equality across Fort Worth since 1980.
- The Funders for LGBTQ Issues is a network of over 75 organizations trying to increase the resources dedicated to supporting LGBTQ communities as well as racial, gender-based, and economic justice.
Many of these organizations also have Facebook groups that you can join to learn more about them, connect with others who may have a similar set of shared experiences, and learn about upcoming events. There are also separate Facebook groups dedicated explicitly to LGBTQ support. If you’re debating on other ways to support LGBTQ causes while social distancing, consider looking into donating to a charitable organization. Some of the organizations we’ve mentioned above qualify, but there are also other options around the country doing good work. Just make sure you take the time to look into each organization’s background, so your money is going to the best use possible.
A final point that we must reiterate year-round is the importance of HIV testing. HIV can infect anyone, but statistically, the LGBTQ community is at the highest risk. In addition, being an underserved community in many cases, it may be harder for sick people to get the care they need. As a result, anyone who is sexually active should know where to get tested, especially since hours may be adjusted, and locations may be changed due to COVID-19. There’s a new threat out there, but that doesn’t mean old ones go away.