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OKC Pride Alliance, Freedom Oklahoma create online portal to connect LGBTQ community during coronavirus pandemic

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Pride parade

Walking participants carry a sign made with balloons during the OKC Pride parade June 25, 2018. The OKC Pride Alliance and Freedom Oklahoma have created a new online hub for community expression and performances amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The OKC Pride Alliance and Freedom Oklahoma have created an online portal to connect the LGBTQ community while social distancing. 

The Community Connection Hub, or The Hub, aims to unite members of the LGBTQ community through offering an abundance of free online activities during self-quarantine and social distancing, according to the OKC Pride Alliance's website. The Hub allows participants to sign up and perform via Zoom or sit back and enjoy the expression of others.

The Hub is offering an open mic performance opportunity for any artists who had cancellations due to the spread of the coronavirus. Those interested can sign up for free to enjoy the virtual experience from March 30 through April 5. 

"The goal is to provide virtual tips and support through new followers to the artists whose gigs have been canceled due to the effects of COVID-19," said Hannah Royce, president of the OKC Pride Alliance. "It also provides queer art and content for all of us in quarantine." 

OKC Pride also created a Spotify playlist located in The Hub for anyone to enjoy, offering a variety of music from top hits like “Truth Hurts” by Lizzo and “In My Room” by Frank Ocean to classics like “Vogue” by Madonna. The Hub allows for users to add songs to the playlist directly through Spotify or The Hub. 

Royce said the Hub creates a space online for the LGBTQ+ community and enables "human connection" during this time of social distancing. 

"We wanted to carve out that space for the LGBTQ+ community to organize, share and love on one another right now," Royce said. 

The performance schedule includes virtual drag, poetry, music performances and guest speakers from March 23 through March 29. For more questions and information, visit OKC Pride Alliance or Freedom Oklahoma's websites, or track them on social media for more details and updates.

Update: This article was updated at 6:56 p.m. March 26 to add statements from Hannah Royce, president of the OKC Pride Alliance. 

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