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How Grindr Brought Pride Online in 2020 with Pride Perseveres

Amid a global pandemic and nationwide protests against racial violence, Pride this year called for something a little different.
Alex Black
&
Creative Director at Grindr
April 14, 2023
April 16, 2024
3
min. read
How Grindr Brought Pride Online in 2020 with Pride Perseveres
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Back in early March, as we were planning Grindr’s involvement in what was to be the 50th anniversary of LA Pride—taking place just a few blocks from our West Hollywood headquarters—the WHO officially declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. Within days, countries around the world had imposed various states of lockdown to curb the spread, and within weeks it was clear that all plans were off—2020 was going to look a lot different than any of us could have ever anticipated.

Our attention quickly shifted away from the typical hallmarks of Pride—parades, parties, and protests—to figuring out how we could help people celebrate safely from home while also supporting queer artists, activists and entertainers whose livelihoods were being impacted by the pandemic. We created Pride Perseveres, a month-long virtual festival that would bring all the best of Pride into the Grindr app, but we faced a challenge: the unexpected onset of the pandemic made developing a new calendar UI in time for Pride month unfeasible. So we decided to power it with something we already had implemented: Braze Content Cards. Without getting too deep into the tech nitty gritty, Braze’s tools allowed us to power a dynamic UI that could accommodate live performances, panels, feature giveaways and more in the app without having to build and test a custom backend solution (for more, see Braze’s excellent Pride Perseveres case study)

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Pride Perseveres launched in June and ultimately featured more than 25 daily events that were free and accessible to all Grindr users globally. Pride in 2020 came not only amid a global pandemic, but also as the United States was seeing nationwide protests against racism and police brutality, and much of our Pride Perseveres programming facilitated further dialogue around those issues—including a Black & Queer State of the Union led by activist Dana Vivian White, a conversation on The New Queer Consciousness featuring a panel of queer Black activists, and a Black Gay Pride event organized in collaboration with Global Black Gay Men Connect.

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Pride Perseveres was also an opportunity to bring awareness to an another vital part of our community: Black trans folks, who continue to face epidemic levels of violence in the U.S. and abroad. Transgender Law Center’s Ash Stevens raised funds for TLC with a conversation on policies affecting Black trans folks, and Black Excellence Collective founder Joshua Allen moderated a session on Grassroots Black Trans & Non-Binary Activism that raised funds for For the Gworls. Throughout the month, 100% of proceeds from Grindr’s limited edition Pride tee, released in June as part of the Grindr Merch Shop, benefitted The Okra Project, which provides resources and meals to Black trans people around the world.

Additional Pride Perseveres programming ran the gamut, from cooking shows, DJ sets, and live speed dating with famous drag queens (Monet X Change is single, y’all) to performances by a range of multi-talented queer artists and musicians, many of whom you can catch a glimpse of below in our Pride Perseveres recap video.

By the time we wrapped in July, we had shared our platform with dozens of artists and activists whose work is the very embodiment of Pride, and millions of our users had engaged with Pride Perseveres from home as a safe alternative to in-person Pride events. Post-event surveying showed that 65% of our users liked the festival, with more than half wanting to see similar events and content in the future. To be able to support so much talent within the community while also providing our users with a safe and rewarding way to celebrate showed us that Pride truly does persevere, no matter what.

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