5 Ways to Celebrate Pride Month While Social Distancing

The coronavirus has us trapped inside, but that doesn’t mean we can’t show pride!

It’s officially Pride Month, but Milwaukee’s traditional ways of celebrating are out the window because of the pandemic. First, PrideFest was postponed indefinitely: “We don’t want people to think there will be no PRIDE this year. We simply want to ensure we’re taking the right steps forward,” Wes Shaver, president of Milwaukee Pride Inc., said in a press release on March 18. Then, a month later, the 2020 Milwaukee Pride Parade was canceled. 

But don’t let these cancellations stop you from celebrating Pride Month – there are plenty of ways to keep the spirit of Pride alive while still social distancing. Here are a few of our favorites.

1. This Is It! Virtual Pride

Thursday, June 4 – Sunday, June 7

Milwaukee’s oldest gay bar, This Is It!, is bringing Pride to your computer screens for a weekend jam-packed with fabulous events. Featuring DJ sets, performances from both local queens and stars from “RuPaul’s Drag Race,” and even a “Golden Girls” virtual table read, this is your one-stop shop for digital entertainment. Check out the full schedule here.

2. Hamburger Mary’s Drive-In Drag Shows

Friday, June 5, 6 p.m.; Saturday, June 6, 7 p.m.; Sunday, June 7, 1 p.m.

This popular drag diner is opening its parking lot for socially-distanced drag performances all weekend long. Spots are by reservation only, so snag yours now on their website!

3. Rainbow Crosswalk Repainting

Saturday, June 6

The rainbow crosswalks at the intersection of Jefferson and Wells Streets are set to be repainted with fresh, brightly-colored stripes, weather permitting. The colorful paint was added in 2018 after a campaign for George Schneider, the owner of This is It!, and will now be at their most bright and fresh for Pride Month. Why not make this a part of your daily walk?

4. The UWM LGBTQ Archives

Take a minute to dive back into the long and fascinating LGBTQ history of Milwaukee. UWM has gathered hundreds of photos, news footages, oral histories, documents and more that can help you remember that importance of Pride Month in its long historical context.

5. Wisconsin Leadership Seminars – Pride Talk

Sunday, June 7, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m.

Wisconsin Leadership Seminars are putting on a Zoom call discussion to “engage in reflection and conversation centered around the theme of Pride.” While we’d all prefer to have these conversations together, being able to connect and discuss over Zoom is still a great opportunity. Be sure to check out the event page beforehand to get the event link.

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Jude is an editorial intern at Milwaukee Magazine. He is a freshman at Northwestern University studying journalism, gender and sexuality studies and theatre.