The fourth, annual, Digital Pride – Gay Star News’ online pride festival for the global LGBTI community – draws to a close today.
Digital Pride unites LGBTI people around the world – including those in countries where it is impossible or difficult to celebrate Pride with a parade or public event.
Running from 29 April to 5 May, this year’s Digital Pride specifically explored its 2019 theme of loneliness and isolation.
Through a range of content, we’ve engaged, prompted debate and offered resources to tackle loneliness. More than anything, we wanted to remind people that they’re not alone – as isolated as they may sometimes feel.
Video screens in New York’s Times Square and London’s Canary Wharf have been playing our 2019 Digital Pride video throughout the week. This has relayed a moment of same-sex intimacy to over 3million onlookers.
The message has also displayed on InLink digital screens which dot the streets of the UK. Through these screens, the message ‘Reach out to a friend’ has been taken to every one of the UK’s four nations, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The same-sex dance routine, made possible by Pink Lady UK, on these screens kicked off the start of the festival. The beautiful music video shows both what loneliness, and overcoming it can feel like.
Fear of being alone
Our other videos have challenged myths about getting older and people’s fears of being alone. They’ve also shown the power in overcoming those fears, and tackling prejudice head on. Gay couple Dan and Tom’s beautiful wedding offers a perfect reminder of loves power to unite – particularly if you read the comments on the video.
Hit podcasts such as Food 4 Thot, Throwing Shade and A Gay and a Non Gay have also joined the Digital Pride conversation on loneliness, while YouTubers including Shantania Beckford and Bradley Birkholz have also reached out to their followers to talk about isolation in the LGBTI community.
On the site, our writers have explored topics such as: casual sex as a quick fix for loneliness; dealing with feelings of isolation in countries such as Egypt and Indonesia; what goes on at London’s gay cuddle club; how women can feel excluded from gays bars and clubs, and the threat of isolation facing older LGBTI communities.
We’ve spoken about how having a lifelong STI infection can make you feel isolated, penpals for queer prisoners, the challenges facing disabled people, and why some bi people feel less visible as a part of the community.
On social media, our features have prompted thousands of comments, uniting LGBTIs in conversation about loneliness around the globe.
You can check out all our content, including videos, here.
‘Little acts of kindness’
Tris Reid-Smith, Gay Star News co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, said: ‘Thank you for making Digital Pride an amazing success yet again.
‘This year, for the first time, we’ve had a theme. We’ve started a conversation in our community about loneliness and isolation and how we might tackle it.
‘I know it’s prompted me to reach out to friends who can’t easily access the LGBTI community. But we’ll never know how many people have taken the time to call or WhatsApp someone. I hope it can inspire us all to more little acts of kindness as we try to build the community we all deserve.
‘Meanwhile, Digital Pride’s spirit lives on. Watch the videos, read the content, listen to the podcasts. We’ll promise to keep on talking about loneliness and isolation and how we can fix it. And you can make a promise to yourself to reach out to someone, not just in Digital Pride week, but every week.’
Digital Pride (@digi_pride) returns in 2020. Its theme will be announced later this year.
See more from #DigitalPride: