KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Instead of crowds and streets filled with rainbows, Pride Month events in Knoxville are moving to a digital platform for 2021.
Officials with the Knox County committee of the Tennessee Equality Project said city regulations made it difficult to prepare for some events and get permits for them. They also said many event spaces were booked before they had a chance to adapt to changes in COVID-19 restrictions.
The events are called "2021 Digifest" and include opportunities for several different experiences. They are listed below:
- "Queer Yoga with Amberley" | June 1 at 12 p.m. and June 22 at 6 p.m. — The class is taught by a professional yoga instructor who is pursuing training through the American Viniyoga Institute. It takes a therapeutic and breath-centric approach to yoga, practicing breathing with each movement.
- "Virtual bingo with Nothing Creative" | Mondays at 7 p.m. — The event connects participants with Nothing Creative, a small performance artist group that hosts drag shows, to play bingo for small prizes.
- "2021 Digifest Experience for Kids" | June 12 at 12 p.m.
- "2021 Digifest Experience" | June 12 at 8 p.m. — Instead of an in-person Knoxville Pridefest, organizers are hosting digital experiences instead.
- "Belonging and Queer Poetics with Sara Mae" | June 20th at 5 p.m. — Writers of all levels are welcome to talk about poems during this event. Together, participants will look at work from poets like Alexis Pauline Gumps, Tommy Pico and Ross Gay. Themes will include what belonging can look like and where it can be found as a queer person. Sara Mae is a poet whose work can be found in several publications and is studying for an MFA at the University of Tennessee.
- "Community Conversations with Knox Pride" | June 24 at 7 p.m. — Guest speakers from different organizations across the local LGBTQ+ community will speak participate in talks about LGBTQ issues and several other topics.
- "Digifest Comedy Edition" | June 26 at 8 p.m. — This 3-hour event promises to be a hilarious comedy experience, capping off June's events.
Organizers release official schedules of events on their Facebook page.
They are planning to have smaller-scale in-person events in late 2021 or early 2022. They also said the next Pridefest has already been booked for October 2022.
Since 2006, Knox Pride has organized an annual “Pridefest” to provide a safe platform for the LGBTQ+ community to stand together in solidarity and love.
In 2020, the effects of COVID-19 forced Knox Pride to postpone in-person events.