In the past three and a half months since the Mosaic Project of South Texas announced postponement of PRIDE 2020 activities from June to October 2020, the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) has not abated. The Board closely monitored infection data, orders from state and local authorities, guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and determined this week the prudent course of action would be to cancel PRIDE 2020 completely and re-group for 2021.

“The LGBTQIA+ community missed PRIDE Month activities in June and we were hopeful things would improve so there could be events during LGBT History Month in October,” said Tom Tagliabue, President of the Mosaic Project of South Texas, which plans PRIDE events in Corpus Christi. “The health and safety of the LGBTQIA+ community, our sponsors, allies, friends and families in the Coastal Bend must come first. While there will be no in-person PRIDE events in 2020, we encourage everyone to stay strong, stay proud, stay home, if possible, and do your part to limit potential spread of the virus in the Coastal Bend.”

Eleven other PRIDE organizations in communities throughout Texas have also canceled PRIDE events for 2020, including Amarillo, Dallas Southern, North Texas (Plano), Sun City (El Paso), Houston, Lubbock, Basin (Midland-Odessa), San Marcos, South Padre Island, Texas LatinX and Waco.

Bill Hoelscher, Mosaic Project of South Texas Treasurer said PRIDE sponsorships received for 2020 will be transferred to 2021 events. “Putting on PRIDE events that showcase the value, strength, and impact of the LGBTQIA+ community requires many hours of dedicated work from volunteers and financial support from our friends and allies,” Hoelscher said. “Supporting PRIDE events is an investment in each other. Once it is safe to have large community gatherings we will be prepared to put on PRIDE in 2021.”

Board member Jonathan Swindle said national research shows LGBTQIA+ individuals are disproportionately impacted economically by the pandemic, and shows transgender people – especially transgender people of color – are more likely to have negative consequences. “The LGBTQIA+ community we support and promote are struggling due to COVID-19. PRIDE events and activities which encourages the full participation of these individuals, their families, friends, and allies can best be accomplished by waiting until 2021. We, as a community, need to first protect each other’s health and support those LGBTQIA+ individuals who face challenges from the pandemic.”

Board member Reverend Dana Worsham said the benefits of waiting until 2021 to celebrate PRIDE far outweighed the potential risk of spreading the virus at in-person gatherings. “As much as the LGBTQIA+ community wants to come together and make a public affirmation of our dignity and respect during PRIDE events, we want to do so only if we have confidence in the that the setting, the conditions, and the environment are safe,” Rev. Worsham said. “Let’s pray a vaccine for COVID-19 is going to happen so we can make PRIDE 2021 a victory celebration.”

Board member Randy Stubbs said the Board is still considering virtual programming opportunities for LGBT History Month in October. “Several communities, like San Antonio and Dallas, have held or will hold virtual PRIDE events. “If there is community interest and creative minds come together,” Stubbs said, “we can hold a virtual event in the future which protects the health of everyone and gives us an outlet to celebrate the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community.”

The mission of the Mosaic Project of South Texas, Inc. is to create an inclusive community by promoting the well-being of the LGBTQIA+ community through love and mutual respect. We do this by producing PRIDE events that foster a sense of community which encourages LGTBQIA+ citizens to live openly and with pride and educate the public of our shared cultural heritage. The Mosaic Project of South Texas seeks to build and strengthen relationships among participating individuals, community groups, and businesses that share the common goal of preserving and championing the dignity and respect of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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