Pride, obviously, isn’t cancelled. It’s just gone online. And in the spirit of these weird, inhibitory times, many Canadian cities have digitized their Pride festivities, arranging Zoom parties or drag brunches or any other number of lively and exciting events, which are all accessible to anyone with a decent WiFi connection.
Well, Netflix is determined not to cancel Pride, either. So to close off the month of June, the streaming giant has organized an event that, at first glance, looks a bit like a smaller-scale Coachella lineup, but is something else entirely: a troupe of drag performers, musicians, television personalities, and assorted LGBTQ+ icons who will be participating in a big virtual Pride event on June 30.
There are also a few Canadians.
There’s Antoni Porowski, from Queer Eye. (The rest of the Fab Five will also be joining.) There’s the comedian Mae Martin, from Feel Good. And there’s Boman Martinez-Reid, also known as @Bomanizer, the TikTok star from Toronto who went viral this year for his hilarious, reality TV-style videos.
In an interview with HuffPost Canada from late April, Reid explained the impulse behind his clipped videos: to help his 1.3 million followers find humour in “one of the darkest times we might ever live through.” His clips really began to gain traction at the beginning of the pandemic, when he pivoted his focus to the absurdities of Life Right Now.
“My thing has always been that, no matter what, there’s always something to laugh at,” Reid explained. “[But] it’s more progressive to laugh, I think, than to feel dreary and bad about everything. The fact that we’re all trapped inside and watching the paint dry — that’s funny.”
People are often surprised at the production quality of Reid’s videos, which he appreciates, given they can take up to nine-and-a-half hours to shoot and edit. And this time, though it likely won’t take any less time for him to put together, Reid won’t just be pretending to be on television, because he actually will be. (He was also just named one of TikTok’s LGBTQ+ trailblazers.)
There are a lot of big names appearing on the show, many of them hailing from various Netflix original series. There’s Tituss Burguss, from The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt; there’s Hannah Gadsby, from her lauded comedy special, Nanette; there’s Laverne Cox, from Orange Is The New Black, who, in 2014, became the first openly transgender person ever to be nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award.
And none of that is to mention the many other brilliant people making their respective appearances, like Chaka Khan, Dolly Parton, Normani, Janet Mock, and several popular queens from RuPaul’s Drag Race. It’s a tour de force of (mostly) LGBTQ+ talent.
Part of the point of the event is to encourage viewers to take further action for the LGBTQ+ community in a moment marked by social upheaval. “LGBTQ+ communities across the country are reflecting on the meaning of Pride this year,” Netflix said in a statement to Bustle. “Against the backdrop of the Black Lives Matter movement, they are mobilizing in solidarity with the Black community to continue the fight for racial and social justice.
Netflix Pride will be streaming live on Netflix’s YouTube channel, The Most’s IGTV, and TikTok — where you can also watch Reid — on Tuesday, June 30, starting at 7 p.m. EST.