BY EMILIO LANERA
Organisers of the worldwide LGBTQIA+ Pride event, Global Pride 2020, have announced the first wave of speakers and performers, which include Australian icons Olivia Newton John and Courtney Act.
With hundreds of Pride events being cancelled due to COVID-19, Pride organisers from around the world have banded together to launch a 24-hour livestream, which is expected to attract more than 300 million viewers.
Pop sensations The Dixie Chicks, Ava Max and Deborah Cox are also set to perform. While world leaders from Norway, Luxembourg, India and Chile will be making formal addresses during the online event.
InterPride co-president Julian Sanjivan said Global Pride 2020 will be a great way to ensure “LGBTQIA+ people everywhere can still experience the joy”, despite the cancellation of many Pride events.
“The support of these incredible world leaders and performers will mean so much to marginalised LGBTQIA+ people everywhere,” Mr Sanjivian said.
“For the first time (we) are enabling people to take part in Pride wherever they are. This means people who aren’t out, or who are living in socially conservative countries, can take part.”
A team of more than 100 volunteers from across the world have united to organise Global Pride 2020.
European Pride Organisers Association president Kristine Garina said those who have helped plan the virtual event are very excited for it to go ahead.
“Every Pride organiser in the world can tell you a story of someone whose life changed when they visited Pride, and so with so many Prides being cancelled or postponed, as organisers we felt we had a responsibility to come together and deliver Pride online,” Ms Garina said.
Global Pride executive producer Michelle Meow said performers from all over are invited to join in the “historic” event.
"Pride started as a grassroots coming-together to liberate our people. It’s remarkable that we’re doing exactly that during this pandemic,” Ms Meow said.
More politicians and entertainers are set to announce their online participation in Global Pride 2020 in the coming weeks.
All funds raised by Global Pride 2020 will be distributed to Pride organisations in financial need.
You can view Global Pride 2020 here or on YouTube on Saturday June 27. The broadcast schedule will be announced later in June.