Photography Karl-hens Pompilus

What your June 2021 looked like: Pride edition

From queer parties and Juneteenth parades to personal moments of resilience and growth, here's a snapshot of the world from last month.

by Ryan White
01 July 2021, 8:00am

Photography Karl-hens Pompilus

i-D closed out 2020 with My Year in a Photo, a 12-month retrospective that brought in hundreds of incredible submissions from all over the world. We enjoyed it so much that from now on, we’ll be running it as a regular feature. At the end of each month, we’ll open our inbox to photographs from anyone and everyone — just email

This month we asked contributors to respond to the theme of ‘pride’ – be it pride in oneself, to pride in a loved one, pride in how we've collectively managed to survive the pandemic, or pride in being part of a community. The following images from around the world speak to a collective feeling of momentary release amidst still challenging times.

two young men sat on a sofa with a view of tall apartment buildings in the window behind

Isabella Madrid, 21, Colombia

“Pride doesn’t have to look like anything specific, just feeling comfortable, safe and good in whatever skin you’re wearing on any given day surrounded by the people who make days feel worth living.” @isabelitasuper

An individual leans out the window of a car with head and arms out in the road. They wear white jeans, a green crop top and white over-shirt.

Andrew Willms, 21, Halifax, Canada

“In our city, all pride events were cancelled due to Covid-19. This meant we had to create our own pride; from spending moments learning about its roots to having fun nights out with our friends. This photo, to me, represents queer joy: A friend of mine being carefree in the backseat on our way home from a night out together.” @andrewwillms

A couple sit at a booth in a tropical themed restaurant. One in a black rhinestoned vest top and red hair looks to the camera the other with a red track jacket, white vest and chain stares at the other. They're reflected in a mirror beside them and behind them is a man in a blue tracksuit at another table checking his phone.

Ryan Razon, 28, New York, USA

“This June, I made it another year around the sun. Something that I am striving more to do with my work is to show pride in the different cultures I am blessed to be around. This month we celebrated many different occasions, from Puerto Rican Day Parade and Philippines Independence Day, to Pride Month. I am lucky to live in a city where inclusivity and representation is important. More life!” @chancetheryan

two men kissing surrounded by people standing in a fountain of water

Karl-hens Pompilus, 22, New York, USA

“The happiness and the positive energy that I felt that day was really freeing. I don’t think any photo could honestly give you an idea on how great I felt, or anyone. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many beautiful people.” @karlhens_

A close up of two women making out. One with long hair tied back has glitter on her cheeks, a black bra top and black shirt. The other has a shaved head, multiple earrings visible in the photo and a mesh tie-dye top.

Irina Brigenti, 29, Rome, Italy

“Colours, laughs, glitters — that’s what this past month was for me. Paths that cross, creating memories, sharing happiness. I’m proud of my queerness and of who I am, I’m proud of my friends and my family because of their unconditional love.” @irinabrigenti

a woman with pink hair holds up her son

Andrew Friendly, 25, California, USA

"When I spotted La’Jhyiah and Sierè, I didn’t want to interrupt the beautiful moment they were sharing, waiting in line for an ice cream cone. As I approached holding my colossal film camera, La’Jhyiah and I made eye contact. She smiled at me and didn’t say a word, then lifted Sierè into the air! The pride of a mother spending time with her son.” @friendly.jpg

a blurry scene of people congregating outside

Wale Adebisi, 24, Lagos, Nigeria

“The feeling of having fun outside with all the pain and emotional downturn we went through at the beginning of the pandemic is really a feeling to be proud of.” @waleadebisiphotography

a young man sat on a skateboard

Jan Morrison Schmid, 22, Amsterdam, Netherlands

“Rover and his pride in change: Rover and I met when I was on a journey of change trying to challenge myself by talking to strangers on the street.” @janmorrisons

three young women stood in a park at dusk at a pride event

Jesús Montealegre, 21, Mexico City, Mexico

“I think PRIDE and its community is all about the warmness that people feel from each other that makes them feel safe enough to express themselves.” @soldeneon

A shirtless man in a leather harness and cap and a man in a leather waistcoat and white vest and jeans hold hands as they wall through a busy pride march.

Kate Nakamura, 23, New York, USA

“I work with film and I’ve never been more excited to get my rolls developed than I was this June. It was my first Pride ever after living in NYC for five years. There were always things getting in the way before that stopped my attendance but after the pandemic I’m learning to be the most genuine version of myself. I feel queer joy. And I’ll have these pictures to remember this feeling forever.” @alienspacebats

Adverts for tonic water are covered in graffiti saying

Rebeca Maria, São Paulo, Brazil

“‘FORA GENOCIDA’ graffiti against the Brazilian government and president, during a protest in June in São Paulo, Brazil.” @rbcpht

Photo of a man's chest wearing a white shirt. A clear phone case with a photo inside sits in his front shirt pocket.

Vani Bhushan, 23, New Delhi, India

“In the twelve years I’ve known him, he has never mentioned his children. This time, he returned from home with a picture of his son.” @vanibhushann

black and white photo of a man wearing a white vest and lying on the ground with his eyes closed.

Eric Asamoah, 21, Linz, Austria

“We were finally able to take a deep breath and catch the sun.” @ericasamoahstudio

An individual stands with their arms up in the air against a rock. They're shirtless and wearing a checkered ski mask with pointed ears and blue jeans with a shiny bely. Next to them is a DJ on a sound booth.

Declan Watson, 21, Leeds, UK

“Photos of my friends at the queer collective, Rat Party, in June. It’s an event especially for QTPoC, supporting sex work and the people from those communities.” @declanbrian16

A topless woman with a flower tattoo on the back of her shoulder browses her phone while lying on her bed and cream tartan sheets. Beside her is a packet of snacks and a silver laptop covered in stickers.

Kim, 21, Hanoi, Vietnam

“This is my first time taking pictures with a film camera and my first girlfriend in 21 years of being on this earth. I'm grateful for her every day. For every minute we spend together. I never thought I could love anyone or anyone could ever love me at all, but here I am, crazy in love with this girl.”


Mark Anthony Brown Jr., 30, Georgia, USA

"Scenes from Atlanta's Juneteenth celebration. I love going out to photograph around Juneteenth, so many different black folks." @markbwavy

Someone on a boat in traditional Korean clothes. They sit on a mat in front of a banquet of food.

Faith Kim, Jeju Island, South Korea

“I take pride in Korea’s relationship to spirituality in the modern world and how shamanism is not only celebrated but protected.” @fk.88888


Maria Valle-Remond, 17, California, USA

“2021 is the first year that I came to terms with my queerness after having left an abusive heterosexual relationship. I’m proud of myself for unlearning my compulsory heterosexuality, and it fills me with pride to currently be in a loving, healthy lesbian relationship, just like I deserve.”  @m4ria3lisa

Man holding giant root vegetable on his shoulder as he walks through the mountains.

Marco Ugoy, 24, Metro Manila, Philippines

“Ayta elders, such as leader Benny, continue to advocate and struggle for their identity self-determination and ancestral domain by initiating land cultivation, collective farming, and fighting off land grabbers and mining corporations planning to steal their land. As farmers, they play a key role in sustaining the economy in times of crisis.” @marco.ugoy

Someone in a white t-shirt and check shorts. A blue jockstrap peers out from underneath his shorts.

Zade De Kock, 17, South Africa

“Pride month has been to me an exploration of identity. Being accustomed to femininity, I was scared of experimenting with masculinity but I decided to do so and it made me feel good. In fact, it made me feel great.” @zad3d3k0ck

Two women sitting in a chair laugh. One wears a black t-shirt the other is in a white floral shirt.

Adedamola Odetara, 21, Lagos, Nigeria

“Glad to have shot this couple during pride month. This image is part of my ongoing documentation of queer people living in Nigeria. Nigeria is a country with some of the strictest anti-gay views — with homosexual acts attracting up to 14 years imprisonment, public disgrace and family rejection — but queer people still find ways to thrive.” @adedamola_op

A woman with straight black hair and a patterned dress leans on another woman who has her arm around her. She has a white vest on, white ripped jeans and a phone in her pocket. They are indoors with a shelf and plant pot behind them. Also behind them is another couple embracing and in front a woman facing both couples.

Tsele Nthane, 31, Cape Town, South Africa

“I took this picture at a friend’s intimate birthday party. It was one of the last times we got together before a new hard lockdown was imposed in South Africa which will run for the next two weeks. I spent most of my night with an amazing couple, one of whom recently successfully managed to crowdfund their top surgery.”  @melanateyourmood

A black and white photo of a man with a white moustache, check shirt and black jeans standing in front of a desk. The desk is covered with paperwork, letters and files. The walls are filled with artwork, boxes and shelves while white blinds cover the windows.

Sadie Smith, Washington, USA

“This is a photo of Patrick Batt, the longtime owner of the gay porn shop called AutoErotica in the Castro district of San Francisco. At 75 he’s had an insane life as a sex worker, businessman and coke dealer. He went to jail, is HIV+, was involved in a Supreme Court case and is still going strong.” @slowburnfilm

from the comfort of the drivers seat (2021) - amari arrindell.jpeg

Amari Arrindell, 21, Georgia, USA

“Looking into the rearview mirror, I think about how far I’ve come. Looking into the abyss beyond the windshield, my mind can’t help but wander to faraway places, and I wonder where and how far I’ll go. I see these raindrops as life's possibilities, and I take pride in my journey thus far and look forward to the future.” @amariarrindell

four women in bright, colourful clothes wrap their arms around each others waists as they sit on a motorbike. The wall and floor are covered by a shiny pink sheet.

Najla Said, 22, Cairo, Egypt

"We’ve lived our lives being treated as second-class citizens, but we’re no longer waiting for acceptance or approval. It’s about time we be ourselves, unapologetically, clearly, and loudly. "@najlasaid_


All images courtesy of the artists

my year in photos
my year in a photo