AUSTIN, Texas – Pride celebrations in New York City, San Francisco, and Milwaukee, among others, have been canceled, but Austin Pride sits in the unique position of hosting its annual celebration in August.
Most major cities hold their annual celebrations in the early summer but because of financial and logistical reasons, Austin Pride comes later in the year and it may end up being at an advantage because of that.
Local, state, and federal leaders have been canceling events left and right since the emergence of COVID-19 in the United States.
If Americans can distance themselves for long enough and at a high enough frequency, health officials and scientists say this can slow the spread of coronavirus and keep infection rates down.
Just in Austin, major events like SXSW were canceled, and statewide public school students will spend the remainder of the school year at home.
It’s not yet known how long Americans and Texans alike will have to stay distant which makes it difficult for organizations like Austin Pride to decide how to proceed.
The City of Austin has a shelter-in-place order was extended earlier this month until May 8 but Gov. Greg Abbott is expected to make additional announcements in the coming days about the re-opening of many businesses that had previously been closed.
Even if Austin ends up extending the current stay-at-home order, Austin Pride has time before they have to make a decision about whether or not to cancel the August events.
For example, SXSW announced the conference was canceled only days before the first events were scheduled to begin.
“We are pushing forward as planned with many reservations,” said Austin Pride Foundation president Micah Andress in an email to Spectrum News.
The organization has been posting updates on its website and social media, telling community members it is watching what happens:
Covid-19 is not the first pandemic our community has faced. While Austin Pride has no way to predict how things will unfold in this rapidly changing situation, we do know WE ARE FAMILY. Many in our community are already feeling the immediate effects of loss of work and income and a more stable social network. We encourage you to help where you can; check on your friends, drop by a dinner or gift card if you are able. Call, text, FaceTime. Show how much love our Family, our Community is made of. Stay safe, much love.