By Eva Zhu

Vancouver’s Pride Week events won’t be held in-person this year due to COVID-19, but a virtual celebration will be more impactful, says Anna Chernoff, a 23-year-old tea barista and a member of the LGBTQ+ community.

Vancouver Pride Society’s (VPS) 2020 events schedule runs from July 27 to August 3 and includes anti-racism workshops, drag story times, musical performances and a virtual pride parade. Each event will be live streamed Youtube, Facebook, Twitch and Zoom.

Rather than feeling disappointed with how Pride Week turned out this year, Chernoff, who has been going to pride events for years, loves the concept of “virtual pride”.

“I don’t think Pride should be pushed back to when it can be in person. I think that it is still something that should be celebrated regardless and with today’s technology it isn’t difficult to make it happen,” they say.

As a pansexual and non-binary female passing person, Chernoff says they often don’t feel welcomed at pride events because they’re in a relationship with a man. With virtual pride, it’s easier for them to be proud of who they are without judgement.

Virtual pride is also more accessible for people who have physical and mental disabilities, they say.

“In general, Pride tends to be inaccessible for disabled and neurodivergent people. With a virtual pride it is much more accessible for those people and I think that’s really important,” 

Chernoff says they will try and tune into pride events live streams as often as they can. “I think it will probably be a better experience than I’ve had in the past.”

To view the 2020 Pride Week events schedule and to tune in to the events live streams, click here.

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