Juneau’s Pride Week, hosted by the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance, is going smoothly despite its new virtual format. (Courtesy art / SEAGLA)

Juneau’s Pride Week, hosted by the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance, is going smoothly despite its new virtual format. (Courtesy art / SEAGLA)

Organizers: Despite challenges, virtual Pride week is going smoothly

And there’s stil a few days to go.

Juneau’s virtual Pride Week is going smoothly despite the new format and possible technical snags, said performers and organizers.

“We started out with our speed friending on Friday night, and we had no idea what to expect. There were about 30 people who zoomed in, and it went great,” said James Hoagland, part of the Southeast Alaska LGBTQ+ Alliance’s planning committee for the events and performer. “The technology all worked fine, but it also had this really connected feel, which was really hard to capture.”

With the coronavirus events pushing all the events online, organizers were concerned that technical difficulties could ground the event before it could hit its stride. But planning and technical focus steered them clear of the shoals, said Richard Carter, another one of the organizers and hosts.

“I think that we have some very thoughtful and technologically adept people on the committee and the board thinking about how to run these events,” Carter said in a phone interview. “I think at the same time ,we’ve been reminding ourselves not to break our backs to do something out of this world.”

The focus is on the community and carrying on the spirit of Pride Week, Carter said, rather than trying to do anything extraordinary technically. Despite that, they’ve been successful and hit few glitches so far.

By the numbers: Primary election turnout

“I hope that everyone sees the reason why we’re insistent and tenacious about continuing the tradition of Pride Week is to spread community building and provide a connection,” Carter said. “It’s a new set of obstacles and a new set of mistakes but we’re doing well, I think.”

The virtual format has also allowed for a more inclusive format for people who might not necessarily be able or want to go to bars, the traditional host for many Pride Week events, Hoagland said. It also allows performers from places like Los Angeles and New York City to video in.

“One of the cool things about these comedy events is it would be incredibly hard to get these performers here in person,” said Hoagland, who has been instrumental in organizing performers coming to visit Juneau in the past, Carter said. “Bringing folks to Alaska can sometimes be cost-prohibitive.”

Three out-of-town artists, Staceyann Chin, D’lo and Dewayne Perkins, have or will be performing for the week, videoing in from out of state.

“Watching her perform, it was as if she (Chin) was in the room,” Carter said. “The warmth of her voice, there was a strength there. It felt like we were at a live event.”

D’lo and Dewayne Perkins will be performing a comedy set on Friday, after a trivia night hosted by Abi Spofford on Thursday and preceding the week’s final even, the Glitz Drive-In Drag Show on Saturday evening.

“I hope it works for the broader vision of outdoor performance and new and innovative ways of live performing. Obviously outdoor performances in Juneau are difficult because we live in a rainforest,” Hoagland said. “We’ve got all the pieces there. It’s just getting on the same page and getting the motivation.”

The drive-in drag show is cohosted by University of Alaska- Southeast and the Gold Town Theater.

“I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse on what’s been going on the performance world and especially the drag world,” Hoagland said. “The stage is covered. I’ll be hiding out in the box truck to host so we only have one performer on stage at a time. We’re gonna have a minimum crew to reduce risk. The university’s COVID safety committee has been involved every step of the way.”

As of Wednesday afternoon, Hoagland said, there were only 20 tickets left for the performance’s 7 p.m. showing and no tickets at all for the 9 p.m. showing. Hoagland said he was working on getting the technical wherewithal in place to broadcast the show, and hoped to have a go/no-go by Wednesday.

“I am definitely keeping tabs on what software is evolving and keeping up with our needs. I’m knee deep in trying to figure out how to livestream our Glitz drive-through,” Hoagland said. “Cords. There’s a general shortage of cords. This is my task today is figuring that out.”

Interested in watching?

The full schedule and many of the events are available on SEAGLA’s Facebook page.

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Nov. 27

Mountain reflections are seen from the Mendenhall Wetlands. (Courtesy Photo / Denise Carroll)
Wild Shots: Photos of Mother Nature in Alaska

Superb reader-submitted photos of wildlife, scenery and/or plant life.

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
At Wednesday evening’s special Assembly meeting, the Assembly appropriated nearly $4 million toward funding a 5.5% wage increase for all CBJ employees along with a 5% increase to the employer health contribution. According to City Manager Rorie Watt, it doesn’t necessarily fix a nearly two decade-long issue of employee retention concerns for the city.
City funds wage increase amid worker shortage

City Manager says raise doesn’t fix nearly two decade-long issue of employee retainment

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Saturday, Dec. 3

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Molly Yazwinski holds a 3,000-year-old moose skull with antlers still attached, found in a river on Alaska’s North Slope. Her aunt, Pam Groves, steadies an inflatable canoe. (Courtesy Photo /Dan Mann)


2. A 14,000-year-old fragment of a moose antler, top left, rests on a sand bar of a northern river next to the bones of ice-age horses, caribou and muskoxen, as well as the horns of a steppe bison. Photo by Pam Groves.


3. Moose such as this one, photographed this year near Whitehorse in the Yukon, may have been present in Alaska as long as people have. Photo by Ned Rozell.
Alaska Science Forum: Ancient moose antlers hint of early arrival

When a great deal of Earth’s water was locked up within mountains… Continue reading

FILE - Freight train cars sit in a Norfolk Southern rail yard on Sept. 14, 2022, in Atlanta. The Biden administration is saying the U.S. economy would face a severe economic shock if senators don't pass legislation this week to avert a rail worker strike. The administration is delivering that message personally to Democratic senators in a closed-door session Thursday, Dec. 1.  (AP Photo / Danny Karnik)
Congress votes to avert rail strike amid dire warnings

President vows to quickly sign the bill.

Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire
Juneau state Sen. Jesse Kiehl, left, gives a legislative proclamation to former longtime Juneau Assembly member Loren Jones, following Kiehl’s speech at the Juneau Chamber of Commerce’s weekly luncheon Thursday at the Juneau Moose Family Center.
Cloudy economy, but sunnier political outlook lie ahead for lawmakers, Kiehl says

Juneau’s state senator tells Chamber of Commerce bipartisan majority a key to meaningful action

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Friday, Dec. 2

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Alaska State Troopers logo.
Hunter credits community members for Thanksgiving rescue

KENAI — On Thanksgiving, Alaska Wildlife Troopers released a dispatch about a… Continue reading

Most Read