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Toledo Pride going virtual, saying community is important during COVID-19

There will be a simulcast happening Saturday at multiple bars and available online.

TOLEDO, Ohio — So many large events have been canceled this year because of the coronavirus -  but like many Toledo Pride is going virtual. 

Usually Toledo Pride is a big parade with bright colors and nearly two days of live performances attended by thousands of people, but with COVID-19 the organization has had to re-think the entire concept.

"It's really important to continue to have Pride celebrations just to have that sense of belonging, because there are so many people who go to Pride because they don't have families that accept them, they don't have a sense of community, they come from really small towns where they don't have lots of LGBTQ safe spaces," Toledo Pride committee member Taren Lutchey said.

This year, the organization created a two-hour "Pride on the Inside" program that will be simulcast at Casey's, Hamburger Mary's and Georgjz, or in your own home online on Aug. 21 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"I just implore everyone that they're staying safe and keeping well so that way we can show up and show out next summer," Toledo Pride committee member Savanna Lutchey said.

Taren Lutchey has been involved in Pride since the very beginning, when a group of people gathered to celebrate at Erie Market, and now is in charge of coordinating talent. 

Pride has now become a family event for her and wife Savanna.

"I first tried to get her to notice me at Pride when I was performing and she was the DJ. I was just trying to show off and be extra smooth and get her to notice me. She said it worked. I think it did," Taren said.

Savanna is involved in the simulcast, and while the performances won't be the same virtually, she says this year's lineup is impressive.

"Expect some really good performances, I will admit there were a couple of performances that just watching them while we were taping them just got me right here," Savanna said.

After the main event, Pride will also be having a night at the drive-in movies on September 10.

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