By Max Jimenez

This year’s Pride will be different for all of us. For most, it will be a solo celebration happening in living rooms and bedrooms around the world. That doesn’t mean it has to be any less of an occasion or less meaningful. The show will go on!  We spoke with some of the gay talent who will be performing the digital pride events to see how they will celebrate this different but still awesome Pride year.

David Hernandez
American Idol

What are you most proud of this year? 
I’m super proud of the community of artists that have come through to support each other during this difficult time. Most of us make our money off of touring so we have had to adjust our ways of expressing ourselves and doing business.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?  
I think in many ways we have advanced but we need to be more proactive in the voting process and elect people that have our LGBTQ rights at heart. People are still being killed or taking their own lives because of who they are. 

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year? 
Stand tall, stay strong and be proud. Remember that we are always better in numbers and you can’t be protected if you hide in the dark. Be an advocate for change.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
Please f***ing vote!

Xcellence!
Out Rapper

What are you most proud of this year? 
I’m proud of the love, perseverance and humanity I’ve seen from the community during this pandemic.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?  
When I can turn on HBO and watch Shangela break down barriers and walls all over Trump’s America on We’re Here, I would say yes, advances have been made.   Of course, the battle is far from over! 

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year? 
One word: “feel”.   Everyone needs to feel again.  Do what feels right, vote for who feels right, listen to the music that feels right.  Don’t be fooled.  Make them give you something you can feel!

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
Buckle up, buttercup!

Lady Bunny
Comedian, “Cuntagious”

What are you most proud of this year? 
The recording studios I normally record in are closed until who knows when. So, I’m very proud of myself for buying a mic and learning Garageband’s software! It may not sound like much, but I’m the least tech-savvy queen there is. The only apps I know are appetizers!

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?
I hear very few LGBTQ people making demands. They repeat catchphrases like #loveislove and think they’re being political. Around half of the states permit discrimination against LGBTQ folks in housing and/or employment. I hear more passionate pleas about Drag Race contestants from gay men than equality. 

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year? 
Staying connected with members of our community is extra important now. If you’re going through it,  text me your number. I have no counselor training whatsoever, but I guarantee that a few minutes on the phone with me will make you feel sane by comparison.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
Healthcare is a huge issue for our community due to expensive PREP and AIDS treatments, gender reassignment surgeries, and treatment for drug and alcohol abuse. Time to hold politicians’ feet to the fire. 

Project Moses
Out Singer, “Better Man”

What are you most proud of this year? 
I’m proud of how my team and I accomplished and album that’s really beautiful and I can’t wait to share it with the world.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?
The gay rights movement has had a lot to celebrate, but many anti-gay hate crimes are on the rise, and most likely under counted.  I experienced it myself recently on the subway. I asked a man if I could take a seat next to him.  He got up, punched me, and ran out the door shouting “faggot”.

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year? 
I was someone who struggled with my sexuality so my message to the community is to show compassion for those who are still trying to find themselves.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
Get out there and make your voice heard!

Jay MaQ                       
Out singer, “No Love”

What are you most proud of this year? 
Two things. One that I prepared for this year with plenty of music to release, and two, that I have been using the lockdown to create even more.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?
TV, music, politics, and social media are saturated with diversity so that is true advancement!  It’s harder to discriminate against someone whose narrative you understand.   We have to keep living out loud! 

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year? 
Never stop being who you are. That visibility is a part of our progress.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
It is time we reclaim our beautiful country!

Michael Fairman
Out Singer, “Other Side”

What are you most proud of this year? 
I am most proud that I remained strong and vigilante during the coronavirus pandemic. I took the anxiety and threw it into my work with some cool music projects I would have never expected.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?
I am worried how anti-gay bias has emerged through the COVID-19 pandemic.  There are Supreme Court battles going on right now over frontline hospital workers in our community.   The outbreak has been hard on LGBTQ African-Americans as well.  Our country’s leadership have not helped.

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year?
Let’s be good to each other and set an example as a unified front.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
Vote! We have to change the course of America and get a true ally in the white house who does not discount the LGBTQ community or any other minority groups.

Big Dipper
Out Bear Rapper and Producer

What are you most proud of this year? 
I’m most proud of the fact that I’m still putting out music and videos. I’ve had to adjust how I perform, how I get to engage with my audience, but I’m proud that I was able to roll with the limitations and keep going.

Has the fight for LGBTQ equality advanced or fallen behind in the last year?
Our current landscape is grim and leadership is bigoted, but that doesn’t mean I’m not optimistic for big strides to come in the near future.  Progress will happen, the bigots will die out, and change will continue to happen.

What is your pride message to the LGBTQ community this year?
It’s important to stay home and be safe, but that doesn’t mean we need to be isolated emotionally. Reach out digitally to your communities, and be confident that we will come together again next year in person to really make some noise and have fun.

With November’s presidential election around the corner, what is your advice to the LGBTQ community?
If you’ve never voted before, get registered. Find out who your representatives are, your local leadership positions, and vote for those who you believe will represent us fairly and equally. Your voice is important and your vote matters.