Laverne Cox and Ricky Martin talk to USA TODAY about commemorating Pride Month during the Black Lives Matter protests.
COVID-19 can’t stop Pride.
Although the coronavirus pandemic has forced many people indoors amid social distancing, P&G and iHeartMedia brought thousands of people together during the “Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community” streaming event Thursday.
Laverne Cox and Elvis Duran hosted the benefit show during Pride Month to raise visibility and funds for six organizations – GLAAD, SAGE, National Black Justice Coalition, The Trevor Project, CenterLink and OutRight Action International – that have been hit hard by the pandemic.
Despite the less-than ideal-circumstances, “Can’t Cancel Pride” was a star-studded and vibrant event because there’s much to celebrate, including last week’s landmark Supreme Court decision in favor of gay and transgender rights in the workplace.
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“Pose” star Billy Porter likened 2020’s anti-racism and police brutality protests to the Stonewall riots nearly 51 years ago in 1969, adding, “Pride began with protest.”
“LGBTQ people are still fighting for equality, safety and acceptance in the middle of a global pandemic that disproportionately affects marginalized communities,” Porter said. “But nothing can cancel Pride henny!”
“Tonight we lift our rainbow flag high, and the values it represents: life, unity, healing, joy, nature, harmony and spirit,” Porter said. Throughout the hour-long broadcast, different stars represented each color on the rainbow flag and explained its meaning.
Katy Perry showed off her growing baby bump, rainbow-colored nails and matching attire during a virtual performance of “Daisies.” Adam Lambert gave a fierce poolside performance of “Roses” and Ricky Martin let the lights shine during a duet of “Recuerdo” with Carla Morrison.
“The love I feel as a father,” Martin said. “The love I feel as a husband, as a son. The love for Puerto Rico. The love for my community. And the love for all those incredible, incredibly strong men and women who fought for us, way before us. Who fought for our fights. Today my music, my thoughts, is only for them. Wherever you are, I love you.”
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Other musical guests included Sia, Big Freedia, Ben Platt, Kim Petras and Melissa Etheridge, who welcomed “ladies and gentleman and everyone in between.” Even Kermit the Frog made an appearance, along with Ciara, Bebe Rexha and Cara Delevingne.
“Here’s to loving who you love and embracing your true self,” Delevingne said. “I wish I learned how to do that when I was 16.”
Darren Criss and Neil Patrick Harris closed the show with a rendition of “Wig in a Box” in honor of the 20th anniversary of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch.”
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