'It Gets Better' sees Mel C, Alyson Stoner, Rebecca Black and other stars end Pride Month 2020 in style
With appearances, tutorials, performances and more from queer celebrities and allies, the three-day virtual extravaganza was the Pride party we all needed to lift our spirits this year
The 'It Gets Better' project closed out Pride Month 2020 in style with a star-studded 'Digital Pride Experience' event featuring Melanie C, Jujubee, Rebecca Black, Pentatonix's Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi and more.
The 'It Gets Better' project is an LGBTQ+ non-profit organization that began with a YouTube video posted by Dan Savage in 2010. It soon took off as a social media campaign hoping to provide hope and encouragement to young LGBTQ+ people, eventually evolving into a major multimedia platform capable of reaching millions of youngsters every year through inspiring media programming, a growing network of Global Affiliates and access to an arsenal of community-based service providers. Over the past 10 years, the organization has executed strategic partnerships with celebrities such as Kelly Clarkson, Sia, Josie Totah, Hayley Kiyoko and Patrick Starrr, and brands such as American Eagle and Converse. The 'It Gets Better' project envisions a world where all LGBTQ+ youths are free to live equally and know their worthiness and power as individuals.
Their latest effort came in the form of their first 'It Gets Better: A Digital Pride Experience' event which streamed live from the organization’s YouTube, Facebook and Twitch from June 24 to 26, 2020. The three-day digital Pride event welcomed nearly 100k viewers and featured talent from genres such as fitness, music, gaming, DIY and drag. Hosted by Broadway star, activist and 'RuPaul's Drag Race' alum Peppermint and Scott Hoying and Mitch Grassi from Grammy Award-winning and multi-platinum-selling group Pentatonix, the event included performances as well as uplifting messages from several queer artists and allies.
Alyson Stoner, famous for her roles in the 'Step Up' franchise as well as the little dancer in Missy Elliott's music videos, kicked off the three-day event with a mindful movement segment and reminded the audience of their absolute worth and deservingness of love, peace and every good thing in this world. Fitness pop star Caleb Marshall (The Fitness Marshall) led the audience in an energetic opening fitness segment on a separate day.
Legendary Spice Girl, Melanie C (Sporty Spice) delivered a heartfelt "Happy Pride" message to the LGBTQ+ community and thanked them for their never-ending love for the Spice Girls. She kicked off her epic DJ set with the iconic, prideful hit 'Spice Up Your Life'. The Spice Girls have been allies to the LGBTQIA+ communities for decades, often being hailed as queer icons for helping shape aspects of queer culture through their music and fashion.
Rebecca Black, who came out as queer earlier this year, performed her infamous song 'Friday', which currently has over 144M views on YouTube, followed by music from her recent EP and a brief message about BLM, Pride and how the LGBTQ+ community has always been there for her. Black has dealt with significant backlash for 'Friday', including receiving death threats and being bullied so harshly by her peers that she opted to be home-schooled instead. But today, she is one of the most prominent online voices, emerging as both a symbol for what someone can accomplish despite being hated by millions worldwide as well as a young queer icon herself.
'Ru Paul’s Drag Race' runner up Crystal Methyd gave an exciting and quirky show in a one of a kind outfit, highlighting her fun and unique performative skills. The Ru Paul queens have all made Pride Month 2020 an absolute treat. More recently, Trinity the Tuck interviewed queer icon and ally Cyndi Lauper for the 'We Stan!' series on the importance of the Stonewall Riots and the impact Pride has on young queer folks everywhere. Fellow drag queen Chelsea Piers also took a moment to talk about the Queer Rights Movement in the 1960s being started by Trans Women of Color, something that often goes overlooked in conversations around the origins of Pride, and shared her advice to "believe in a better future, not only for this country, not only for this world but for yourself".
Ella Henderson began her segment sharing that as a proud ally, Pride is her favorite gig of the year and took a moment to spread awareness that there are still six countries that have the death penalty and 66 countries that condone a prison sentence just for being LGBTQ+. She then performed her latest single 'Take Care of You' mixed in with a cover of Cher’s 'Believe'. Further performances included ABIR with an acoustic version of her hit 'Finest Hour', followed by a performance from David Davis, NBC’s Songland contestant and writer of Ben Platts 'Everything It Took To Get To You'.
YouTube creator and 'Pretty Basic' host Remi Cruz led a tie-dye baking tutorial, followed by TikTok superstar Benji Krol who led a rainbow face painting tutorial. Taylor Swift’s 'You Need To Calm Down' dancer Dexter Mayfield shared a Pride dance and taught viewers how to "FF IT UP", and House of Lanvin from HBO Max’s 'Legendary' gave an iconic virtual performance with a special Pride message from house mother Eyricka and Lanvin member Carlos.
Nhandi Craigh, It Gets Better Project Youth Ambassador, also made an appearance to stress the importance for the LGBTQ+ community to stand in solidarity and fight for equality alongside other marginalized communities to end discrimination in this country. Adelaine Morin, Benji Krol, CalebMarshall, Chelsea Piers, David Bromstad, Kenta Seki, Louie Castro, Abdi Nazemian, The Aces, Carys, Casey McQuiston, Chelsea Hughes, Chelsea Wolfe, Dino Peterera, JORDY, Josie Totah, Lev AC Rosen, Mel Capperino-Garcia, Michelle D’Antonio, Nick Lehmann, On Airplane Mode, Rob Anderson, Sarah Kulyk, Scott Evans and many more stopped by to share messages of encouragement and lead some epic Pride performances.
For more information on 'It Gets Better: A Digital Pride Experience', visit ItGetsBetter.org.