The world hangs in a strange kind of balance at the moment&mdashthe pandemic continues to fluctuate and restrictions on mobility and activity vary across countries and cities. With a lot of countries seeing a decline in cases and hopes surrounding vaccination against COVID-19, events and public gatherings, too, are being brought back with considerable caution. Likewise, pride parades all over the world are set to be back in action if vaccination goes according to plan and stringency on protocols continues to be maintained.
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The gradual easing of the lockdown in the UK and the cautious reopening of public places has stirred hope in the organisers of the Manchester and London pride festivals that in-person celebrations, in scaled-down or alternative versions, might actually take place this year. The entire calendar of pride events and LGBTQI celebrations was moved online in 2020 after the pandemic broke out and lockdowns were imposed worldwide. Organisers of the Manchester Pride have expressed confidence that they might be able to hold their parade, GayVillage party and the concert at half capacity.
Hopes have also been stoked by a London Pride tweet that teased a possible return to in-person gatherings or a halfway house with limited participation and online events also part of the mix. Meanwhile, the Pride Island Concert in the New York City chapter is all set to return, according to a press release courtesy Heritage of Pride, the organiser of Pride celebrations in the city. David A Correa, Interim Executive Director at NYC Pride was quoted as saying, "We&rsquore pleased to continue to be able to offer a diverse roster of programming this year." The theme for this year for the NYC Pride is 'The Fight Continues'.
While many cities continue to be circumspect about in-person events, pushing events to next year already, others are still working with postponements at the moment, like Birmingham, which has pushed its June celebrations to September for now. Interestingly, Taiwan&mdashwhich in May 2019 became, and remains, the only country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage&mdashheld the biggest in-person LGBTQ Pride in the pandemic era, with over 1,30,000 participants. Taiwan's control of the pandemic is seen as something exemplary, with the total caseload in the country still under one thousand.
Back in India, whether in-person Pride celebrations will be held is still hard to say, considering some states have again witnessed a spurt in daily cases. However, with industries opening up, reports including those by international media reinstating faith in vaccination and events, fairs and festivals opening up, who knows