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Vol. 3 (2022): Reverting the Gaze: Resisting Humanism & Hegemony in the West

White Supremacy in Rainbow: Global Pride and Black Lives Matter in the Era of COVID

August 31, 2020


Written in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, this article explores the limits of solidarity between LGBTQ Pride and Black Lives Matter (BLM). In 2020, most Pride events around the world were cancelled due to COVID-19; however, many were reimagined in new forms that centered BLM. Using Global Pride 2020 as a case study of one such event, I argue for an understanding of Pride organizations’ cooptation of BLM that extends beyond clichés of performative activism to consider how such solidarities serve to legitimate logics of white supremacy. At a time when global pandemics of disease and racial violence made clear the importance of reimagining existing systems, and radical change became increasingly conceivable to the global public, I question the compatibility between conventional discourses of LGBTQ progress and Black freedom. Specifically, I examine how Pride organizations used the global disruption and devastation of COVID-19 to summon support from the BLM movement while simultaneously perpetuating anti-blackness especially and racialized homonationalisms more generally.