The global COVID-19 outbreak has led to the cancellation of 500 Pride marches across the world. Global Pride 2020 – a trans-national online event today hopes to fill this gap and has organised what it calls the world’s biggest ever LGBTQI Pride event.

The Asia-Pacific segment kicks off the 24-hour online broadcast. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardren and her openly gay finance minister Grant Robertson will be some of the first world leaders to address a global audience

“Let’s all recommit to keep doing the work that’s required and make sure that we show that international solidarity so that everyone can celebrate who they are, no matter where in the world they live,” says Ardern in her address. She joins US Vice-President Joe Biden, Speaker of the US House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar to make a strong pitch for equal rights.

The only Asian leader who will have a message for LGBTQI communities is Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen’s statement in support of marriage equality. This is not surprising LGBTQI communities in many Asian countries remain at the margins and some have laws that criminalise same sex relations.

However, the existence of pride marches in most Asian countries will be the focus of the Asian segment of the Global Pride online broadcast. According to the organisers, footage of Pride marches from countries in Asia will showcase previously unheard voices. These include pride parades in multiple cities in India, as well as marches in Pakistan, Bhutan, Cambodia, China, Malaysia, Myanmar, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Mongolia, South Korea, Philippines, Nepal among others.

The line up from Asia include Indian Prince Manavendra Singh Gohil, Ey a trans beautician from Laos with a congenital disability, FakeGentle, an all-woman band from China, Taiwanese Indigenous singer Abao and Woozeal Chamber Singers, Gay men’s choir from China. A 10 year photo and video record of LGBTQI activism in China is one of the highlights of the Asian segment.

The Asian segment will be followed by voices from the middle-east and Iran. A gay religious leader who was forced to flee Iran, gay Afghan author Nemat Sadat, Palestinian performer Bashar Murad, Egyptian actors Omar Sharif Jr and Amin El Gamal will throw light on the lived realities of being LGBTQI in countries which punish same sex relations with prison or death.

Global Pride a 24-hour streaming event will be hosted by Todrick Hall on his YouTube channel on June 27, as well as on iHeartRadio’s YouTube channel and on the Global Pride website. The artists headlining the event are Adam Lambert, Kesha, Rita Ora, The Village People, Mel C, Leann Rimes, Pussy Riot, Calum Scott, Natasha Bedingfield and Mary Lambert.

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