Pride Around the World
We’re slowly heading towards the 45th year from the first LGBT Pride marches, held in 1970 in various cities in the United States. We’ve come a long way since the days of Stonewall, and today, being gay, or lesbian, or bisexual, or transgender, is being increasingly accepted as something that’s not a deviant behavior or mental illness. More and more countries are allowing LGBT people to celebrate their sexuality, and even more important - their struggle towards equality. Pride parades are a big part of that, and if you’re a globetrotting Pride parade attendee, here are five parades you simply cannot miss in your lifetime.
The first San Francisco Pride Parade was held on June 28, 1970 - exactly one year after the Stonewall Riots. Since then, it has grown to be one of the biggest parade in the world, and the fact that it’s held in arguably the most LGBT-friendly city on Earth helps. The parade itself is a part of a two-day celebration, held on the last full weekend of June each year. The parade usually moves through the Market Street, while the celebration is held at the Civic Center near the City Hall.
Although it doesn’t have as long of a history as the San Francisco Parade, Amsterdam Gay Pride is being held in a country with one of the most tolerant societies in the world - the first country in the world where marriage was made truly equal in 2001. Amsterdam Gay Pride is held on the first weekend in August, but it usually starts a day or two before the weekend, and it culminates with the famous Canal Parade.
Toronto has a long tradition of LGBT marches, parades and demonstrations. However, 1981 is usually considered to be the year Toronto Pride started being held annually, and since then, it has grown to be one of the biggest Pride events in the world. The whole event lasts for 10 days in the end of June, with the Pride Parade and the Dyke March being the highlights.
Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras grew out of the gay right marches that have been held annually since 1978, which gives Sydney a long tradition of LGBT rights activism. The Mardi Gras takes place at the end of February and beginning or March each year, and it lasts for more than a week. The Parade is only one of the events during the Mardi Gras, sharing the spot of the most attended with the Harbor party.
If there’s a nation that really knows how to throw a parade, it would be Brazil. Sao Paulo has been hosting the Gay Pride Parade since 1997, and it’s usually held in May or June, during the Month of LGBT Pride. Huge crowds of people, and the typical Brazilian flamboyance makes this one of the most colorful Pride parades in the world - and that’s no easy feat to pull off.
Of course, there are many other Pride parades that are more than worth mentioning. Berlin, Tel Aviv, Buenos Aires, and Madrid also host some amazing parades you should visit if you get the chance. So, once you work your way through the five Parades listed here, remember there’s a brave gay world out there that needs to be explored.