This past weekend, a man died after attending an unofficial Atlanta Pride party. He was initially found unconscious at the club BJ Roosters during the wee hours of Sunday, October 11. The unidentified man was pronounced dead only hours later.
I first started seeing Instagram stories from said event after they made their way through the interwebs, although there was this teeny, tiny part of me that hoped it was from past years’ celebrations. That thought was proven wrong after one of those posts included two very, um, hyper guys singing along to Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion’s hit ‘W.A.P.’ which was released this past summer.
An investigation surrounding how this man died is still underway (unofficial sources are saying he died of an overdose), but all of this is part of a much bigger problem that has been happening since the pandemic began. I’ll put it simply: Why are we having these huge parties amid COVID still being a worldwide issue?
Look, I get it. I want to party it up with my pals just like the rest of you as the past eight months have been hell for many of us who are extroverts and enjoy this type of thing. My dancing shoes, however, have been stuck in the closet as I’ve personally had to endure so many people dying from this pamndemic while witnessing the hell that’s been going on with others who are still struggling with their diagnosis months after it initially happened.
COVID is still very much a present problem even though there have been some slight upticks in our world going back to normal, or a new normal. Indoor dining has begun again, gyms are re-opening, and traveling has become a bit easier, although each have their own requirements related to this deadly situation.
Over the weekend, I went to a popular NYC gay bar that, before COVID, was always packed to the brim with people having a good time. Now, bar-goers are seated at tables, social distance style, where you can’t even hug anyone there minus the person you came with. This is incredibly frustrating but is very much an “it is what it is” kind of thing at the moment.
It’s also heartbreaking to see so many popular gay events being canceled all across the world due to the pandemic, especially ones related to Pride (L.A. & San Francisco’s 50th anniversary were supposed to be physically celebrated this year). There is such a desire to break from the norm we’ve been experiencing and go back to what we once were only a little while ago. Except that can’t happen just yet.
Dancing with hundreds of other men puts thousands of others at risk at the moment. Sharing these kinds of gatherings on social media with an IDGAF attitude only makes us the poster child for this, which, is that really something we want to have?
Is our gay ego that big? Is it that much of a big deal to CTFO for a while and not partake in these things until COVID hopefully becomes a thing of a past? This shouldn’t even be a conversation as we’ve been witnessing what this deadly disease has done to millions across the globe.
So, circuit gays and other sub categories of gaydom, maybe we need to think twice about attending these kinds of parties in the upcoming weeks. Think of the bigger picture here that goes beyond selfishness & getting thousands of double taps on Instagram.
Yes, the man allegedly died of an overdose at the party. We fell bad about losing just one person, but time will tell if this ATL Pride party and all those other unofficial celebrations this weekend that showed zero attempts at social distancing or any care in the world about COVID will become the next top be highlighted as a super spreader event and we will have more than one life to mourn because we couldn’t just wait until it was safe.
This is the opinion of one contributing writer and not that of Instinct Magazine or other contributing writers.