MOBIfest, the First Virtual Pride Festival for Communities of Color, Is Happening Today!
This is no ordinary Pride Month, as we’ve all seen by now. With much of the country feeling like they’re stuck indoors due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and many others rightfully protesting America’s injustice toward Black lives, the days of large in-person Pride events seem to have come and gone … at least for this year. But the LGBTQ community is a resilient community, and we’ve all seen a new type of event gain popularity of late: the virtual festival.
One such virtual festival, MOBIfest, a virtual Pride event for communities of color, is happening today, and you’re invited to participate in real time!
MOBIfest is the free, annual wellness festival for queer communities of color, organized by MOBI (Mobilizing Our Brothers Initiative), a NYC-based collective dedicated to amplifying QPOC voices through social events and digital series. And in this age of social distancing, the community is gathering virtually today, June 4, from 6-11 p.m. EST to celebrate Pride alongside a talented roster of all-queer talent.
Among those participating in the virtual festival are POSE star and singer Dyllón Burnside (pictured at top), trans pop activist Mila Jam, POSE choreographer and Ballroom icon Twiggy Pucci Garçon, Miami sensation Saucy Santana and Chicago’s rising 17-year-old rapper Kidd Kenn.
In addition to live DJ sets, there will be comedy segments and performances from dancers, musicians and the house and ballroom community. And if you aren’t able to join the virtual festival today, MOBI is curating MOBIflix, a queer film festival, on Saturday, June 6, featuring works from known and up-and-coming directors.
“The goal for MOBI has always been to link our community with various health and wellness activities while celebrating contributions to the arts, entertainment, and culture,” says MOBI Founder and GLAAD’s Program Officer, Communities of Color, DaShawn Usher. “The pandemic has negatively impacted the world, especially queer people of color, so it was even more important for us to be resilient and continue to build community because there just aren’t that many options for us. Many pride events already exclude Black and Brown bodies. MOBIfest seeks to center the most marginalized and showcase our continued resilience.”
The world’s current health crisis is no reason to abstain from virtual connection with our communities, particularly when those communities have found themselves to be simultaneously more at-risk and most under-served.