Pride without Parades: The Importance of LGBTQ+ History in the Quarantine Era

Each June in Washington, D.C. and across the world, members of the LGBTQ+ community and their allies celebrate Pride, a tradition that is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this June. But with parades cancelled because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the LGBTQ+ community and allies are faced with a novel problem: how do we celebrate Pride without parades?

Dr. Eric Cervini, award-winning historian and author of THE DEVIANT'S WAR: The Homosexual vs. the United States of America, will argue that Pride existed long before the annual marches began in June 1970. 

THE DEVIANT’S WAR begins in 1957 when a government astronomer named Frank Kameny received a summons to report immediately back to Washington. The Pentagon had reason to believe he was a homosexual. But for the first time, a homosexual fought back, building a movement to fight against the government’s gay purges. What unfolds is a story of America (and Washington) at a cultural and sexual crossroads; of shocking, byzantine public battles with Congress; of FBI informants; murder; betrayal; sex; love; and victory. Ultimately, Cervini tells a story of hope: if generations before were able to celebrate their own versions of Pride in the midst of the McCarthy Era's gay purges and through the AIDS crisis, we can certainly maintain--and improve upon--the tradition of equality and inclusion today.


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Featured Speaker:

Dr. Eric Cervini is an award-winning historian of LGBTQ+ politics and culture. He graduated summa cum laude from Harvard College and received his Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge, where he was a Gates Scholar. 

As an authority on 1960s gay activism, Cervini serves on the Board of Directors of the Harvard Gender and Sexuality Caucus and on the Board of Advisors of the Mattachine Society of Washington, D.C., a nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of gay American history. His award-winning digital exhibitions have been featured in Harvard’s Rudenstine Gallery, and he has presented his research to audiences across America and the United Kingdom.

Panel Participants:

Mark Seifert, Partner, Brunswick Group
Mark Seifert is a Partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Brunswick Group, where he co-leads the cybersecurity and privacy practice. Mark has extensive experience within the government based on more than a decade at the Federal Communications Commission, as well as his service in all three branches of the federal government. Immediately prior to Brunswick, Mark oversaw a $5bn broadband infrastructure program at the U.S. Department of Commerce.  In addition to his time as a regulatory lawyer at the FCC, Mark also served as counsel to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce on telecommunications and technology matters. He served as director of LGBT Outreach for Senator John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign.

Drew Keller, Global Program Director, Open for Business
Drew Keller serves as Global Program Director for ‘Open for Business’, an international coalition making the business and economic case for LGBT inclusion.  He oversees the planning and implementation of all of Open For Business’s programs and manages the relationships with corporate and civil society partners. Prior to Open For Business, Drew was a management consultant for McKinsey & Company. 

And additional guests.


Wyatt Yankus, Associate, Brunswick Group
Wyatt Yankus is an Associate in the Washington, D.C. office, responsible for coordinating all U.S.-based analysis and production for Brunswick’s Geopolitical offer. He joined Brunswick following a nearly ten-year career as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Navy that included two deployments in support of combat operations in the Middle East and service at the White House as a Military Social Aide to President Obama.