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NYC Pride 2020

NYC Pride 2020

NYC Pride 2020

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June is Pride month, but like everything else in 2020, NYC Pride and most Pride celebrations worldwide have been cancelled due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. However, as anti-racism protests fill the streets day to day, asking for justice, peace, and civil reforms, the human rights strides that the LGBTQ+ community has made in the 51 years since the Stonewall Riots—and the concerns that still very much exist—are another angle of that ongoing conversation.

"The Rally," a virtual event sponsored by NYC Pride, will take place on Friday, June 26 from 5-8pm on Facebook and YouTube. And all day, WFUV will be celebrating Pride with a focus on LGBTQ+ songs, musicians, and cultural anthems.

Music has always been an important part of gay culture, whether it was through songs telling LGBTQ+ stories or at concerts and parties that were common gathering spots. For a long time, queer lives were invisible until you hit the dance floor, where disco's embrace of artists like Sylvester or the Village People spread the joy.

For those artists, the music world was friendlier than your average job and a way to live a full creative life. Music by LGBTQ+ artists has long been a way to build bridges of understanding, as with arts like filmmaking and writing, but like a secret code you could also hear on your parents' car radio. We knew what David Bowie and Elton John were really talking about.

Folk songs told our stories as a huge part of the womyn's music and feminist revolutions, and paved the way for artists like k.d. lang, Melissa Etheridge, the Indigo Girls, and later Brandi Carlile to live in more mainstream culture. Thanks to them, Courtney Barnett, Arlo Parks, Christine and the Queens, Janelle Monáe, and King Princess didn't have to spend a couple decades in the closet before coming out and having a career. Rappers and country artists have also struggled to have their queerness accepted, so thank you Lil Nas X for taking on both, pushing through country and hip hop barriers in 2019.

There's still a ways to go on that path to understanding, but for NYC Pride in June 2020, let's crank up the radio (or the playlist below) and celebrate the contributions of LGBTQ+ artists and allies (thanks Babs, thanks Gaga, thanks Childish Gambino) who welcome our stories, our melodies, and our ripping guitar solos.

Happy Pride!

Listen

#FUVEssentials: NYC Pride 2020 (Spotify playlist compiled by FUV's Rita Houston)