Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community: iHeartMedia
COVID-19 closed down so many things in 2020, including the celebrations association with Pride Month, a 50-year-old celebration of LGBTQ+ life. iHeartMedia wanted to show pride a little differently in this difficult year. Because Pride is bigger than an event or even a month, and because the cancellation of events related to PRIDE month affected many LGBTQ+ organizations and their ability to raise funds, the organization created Can’t Cancel Pride: A COVID-19 Relief Benefit for the LGBTQ+ Community, which provided an opportunity to raise visibility and funds for members of this community through organizations including GLAAD, SAGE, National Black Justice Coalition, The Trevor Project, CenterLink and OutRight Action International.
Each of these organizations aims to increase acceptance, provide support and services and to speak out for LGBTQ+ citizens from the very young to the very old all around the world. The Can’t Cancel Pride benefit aimed to celebrate PRIDE month in a safe manner with an exciting program that would raise funds, awareness, and fill the gaps caused by COVID-19 realities. (According to the Human Rights Coalition, LGBTQ+ people are more likely to work in industries highly affected by quarantine restrictions, are less likely to have insurance, and more likely to experience poverty.)
Can’t Cancel Pride was hosted by Elvis Duran and Laverne Cox and brought together some of entertainment and culture’s biggest names. Using the colors of the PRIDE flag, the event addressed a variety of issues facing LGBTQ+ people, including inclusivity, diversity, and intersectionality. Such performers as Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Tank and the Bangas, Melissa Etheridge, Sia, Ricky Martin, and Katy Perry performed.
The event drew 4.1 million Americans who watched or listened and generated 846 million social media impressions while #Can’tCancelPride trended in the US as well as in five other countries. More than $4 million in donations was received, and split equally between GLAAD, SAGE, The Trevor Project, the National Black Justice Coalition, CenterLink and OutRight Action International.