Amsterdam Pride Parade Launches Pridestream, So If You Can't Attend Pride In Person, Now's Your Chance To Celebrate Anyway!

Pride parades and other LGBT celebrations are amazing, beautiful things that often draw thousands of participants — but for a variety of reasons, not everybody is able to attend such celebrations. For that reason, though, Amsterdam's Pride Parade has Pridestream, a website where you can experience Amsterdam's annual parade, live and in a full 360 degree view via the Internet. So even if you can't be there, you can be there — and that's all kinds of amazing.

There are sadly a lot of reasons why someone wouldn't be able to attend Pride. For one thing, in some countries there are simply no parades to attend. While Pride parades have become much more common — and much larger — here in the US, in many countries, such celebrations are downright illegal. Seventy-two countries have laws against homosexuality, including half a dozen where being gay is punishable by the death penalty. In many more, LGBT people are subject to fines and imprisonment. And even in many countries where being gay is technically legal, there are laws against "gay propaganda" making it illegal for people to publicly express their orientation, like the ones in Russia.

Even in countries with Pride parades, however, there are lots of reasons someone might be unable to attend. They might live too far from a city with a parade, or might not yet be open about their sexuality and don't feel comfortable attending at this point in their life. Many people feel anxious in crowds, or the parade itself might have a history of violent protests.

Sometimes people suck — and in this case, I mean the ones who prevent people from attending Pride, or even who prevent Pride from happening at all.

However, no matter what the reason might be for missing a parade in person, anyone with Internet access can still attend the Amsterdam parade remotely. This year, as the parade floats down the city's canals, there will be one boat reserved for virtual passengers.

"The Pridestream boat is a special boat, equipped with a camera that streams a full 360-degree view, enabling people all around the world to be part of the Boat Parade live," the website explains. In addition, people can post a photo or video of themselves that will be shown from the boat, allowing them to not only witness the festivities, but to be there virtually as well.

"Via Pridestream," the organizers explain, "people from all over the world whose situation means they cannot or dare not take part in the Boat Parade can nevertheless experience what it feels like to be cheered for who you are and to feel completely free." Because everyone has the right to be celebrated and to feel part of their community.

The parade will be held on August 1, 2015, beginning at around 2 p.m. local time (8 a.m. Eastern Time here in the United States).

Image: Giphy