Even if COVID-19 has interrupted planned in-person events around the world, we are still in the middle of Pride Month, and the feeling is strong – especially in light of Monday’s historic (and unexpected) Supreme Court decision that sexual orientation and gender identity are covered by Title VII protections barring discrimination in the workplace on the basis of sex, a landmark victory in the struggle for LGBTQ+ equality.
Just in time to meet the upswell in community high spirits, Procter & Gamble and iHeartMedia are inviting people everywhere to join “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community,” a virtual event demonstrating that even though we can’t come together this year to celebrate in the traditional way, nothing can cancel the heart of Pride and the spirit the LGBTQ+ equality movement embodies.
A virtual relief benefit designed to help raise visibility and funds for LGBTQ+ communities most impacted by COVID-19, “Can’t Cancel Pride” will bring together some of the biggest names in Queer culture and entertainment, including Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Billy Porter, Katy Perry, Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, Sia, Ricky Martin and more, with brands like Bounty, Charmin, Dawn, Downy, Jared, Pantene and Tide on board to support the event, in an effort to drive LGBTQ+ visibility and bring together the community of millions unable to take part in live Pride events across the country.
The celebration will culminate with a one-hour special, hosted by leading iHeartMedia on-air personality Elvis Duran alongside actress and LGBTQ+ advocate Laverne Cox. It will stream on iHeartRadio’s Facebook and Instagram pages and iHeartRadio’s PrideRadio.com, as well as broadcasting on iHeartMedia stations nationwide (and on the iHeartRadio app) June 25 at 9 pm local time.
While “Can’t Cancel Pride” is definitely designed to serve up festivities for the season at home, it’s also meant to serve a second and very important function. With COVID-19 still exerting a damaging effect on the usual fund-raising efforts LGBTQ+ organizations rely on to survive, the community is facing loss of livelihoods, lack of access to critical life-affirming healthcare, increased domestic violence and social isolation, with many of the organizations they count on for these services on the brink of disaster – potentially setting the movement back decades.
P & G’s Chief Brand Officer, Marc Pritchard, says, “The COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the complex and significant obstacles facing the LGBTQ+ community. We must continue to fight hate and intolerance against all people while redoubling our efforts to elevate LGBTQ+ visibility and providing support for those in need. ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’ is about showing the community that they are not alone and that they are seen and loved, as the pandemic has led to the closure of closed community centers and support systems that millions of LGBTQ+ people rely on every day.”
“There’s no question COVID-19 has impacted the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, and at this time in the U.S., the struggle for equality and inclusion has never been more important,” says. Gayle Troberman, Chief Marketing Officer for iHeartMedia. “Now is a time we need to come together to support the organizations that help bring critical resources to LGBTQ people in need and ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’ aims to do just that. Like always, Pride will continue to represent the resilience, beauty and strength of the LGBTQ+ community around the nation and the globe.”
Rob Smith, Founder and CEO of The Phluid Project and a member of the ‘Can’t Cancel Pride’ advisory committee, adds, “This is a unique opportunity to focus on the heart and soul of the community and the movement we serve across the country, allowing access for everyone. Celebrating virtually affords us the opportunity to touch people in communities across the country and ensure that we are broadly able to showcase the incredible diversity and intersectionality of the LGBTQ+ community.”
The event has partnered with The Greater Cincinnati Foundation to administer and distribute financial support raised by the event to LGBTQ+ organizations with a track record of positive impact and support of the LGBTQ+ community, including GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, the National Black Justice Coalition, CenterLink and OutRight Action International.
And if Pride doesn’t feel like Pride to you without sharing those cute selfies on social mesia, “Can’t Cancel Pride” is encouraging viewers to share their special Pride moments using the hashtag #CantCancelPride throughout the month of June.
For more information and the latest “Can’t Cancel Pride” news – and to donate – visit cantcancelpride.com or text “RAINBOW” to 56512.