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4 Best Pride Parades in the World

by Monika Rose

 

Photo by Rosemary Ketchum

 

Though most of them take place in June, official Pride events are organized all year round and attract thousands of people who wish to participate in the affirmation of free self-expression. Still, people who are against the community imagine them as chaotic gatherings where you can see people as they browse sex dolls with big tits in a nearby stall.


Yes, kink and fetish are a part of Pride, but the festivities are so much more than that. It’s the unity of people who feel suppressed by society and wish to be free even for one day; that includes sexual freedom. That is what makes Pride so special, the human aspect of sharing the exuberant experience.


If you also want to be part of the wonderful festivities, here are some of the best places in the world to celebrate Pride.


New York City, The United States

In 1969, a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village began a series of riots that transformed the modern gay movement and helped launch the revolution around the world. As a place where it all started, New York is where some of the most exciting Pride events happen. For the whole month of June, NYC is ready to party with a packed schedule that includes:

  • The Rally

  • PrideFest street fair with exhibitors, entertainers, food, and more

  • Pride Island music festival

  • The Conference of transformative changemakers in the queer community

  • Youth Pride, and more.

The main event, the NYC Pride March, is one of the largest annual Pride marches globally, with tens of thousands of participants and millions of spectators coming together. The most numerous attendance was reported in 2019 during the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots, with around 4 million people coming to see the parade.



Toronto, Canada

Each year for the whole duration of June, Toronto becomes the place of one of the largest and most diverse celebrations of the LGBTQ+ community. The city shines during this time as the parade turns downtown Toronto into a sea of rainbow colours. Aside from the Pride Parade, you may also participate in the Dyke March and the Trans March. These include:

  • Blockorama - a celebration of Black Queer culture and liberation

  • Fruit Loopz - a program aimed at queer and trans youth

  • Dirty Disco - all-day dance marathon with parties in multiple locations in the city

  • Alterna Queer - alternative drag and queer performances

  • brOWN//out - a community space for south Asian queer and trans artists

  • Yalla Barra - a celebration of Middle Eastern culture

São Paulo, Brazil

The Pride Parade in São Paulo brings a lot of colour to the streets of Brazil. As one of the biggest gay parties in South America, the event attracts 3-5 million people every year. It usually takes place on the Sunday after the Corpus Christi holiday and starts on Paulista Avenue, one of the most important avenues in São Paulo.


Officially, The São Paulo Gay Pride is a 5-day event, with the parade being the highlight. However, the celebrations begin 3 weeks before, and they feature a wide variety of parties, gay-friendly activities and celebrations for everyone – from music concerts, dance performances, plays, cultural fairs, street markets, and debates.


The Pride is heavily supported by the city’s government, with politicians showing up to show their support. After all, the event is dubbed the largest in the world, and with the sheer numbers of tourists arriving for the celebration, the city greatly benefits from the revenue it brings.


Sydney, Australia

The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras is a widely popular festival that, though outside of the annual Pride month, attracts hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. The celebration begins on the second Thursday in February, the latter half of the southern hemisphere’s summer.


Sydney Pride is a party-driven event; however, it’s not lacking in cultural and educational merits. Some of the numerous events include:

  • Sydney Mardi Gras Parade and Party

  • Bondi Beach Drag Races

  • Harbour Party

  • Queer Thinking - an academic discussion panel

  • Mardi Gras Film Festival

  • Fair Day

Since many marching participants promote LGBTQIA+ rights issues or themes, the Sydney Pride holds a political character. It should be noted that uniformed personnel of the Australian Defense Force, police officers, firefighters, and other emergency services from the Australian LGBTQIA+ communities also participate in the Parade with their own floats.


In Conclusion

There are many great cities where you can spend Pride. No matter which continent you choose, you will find a rainbow-themed celebration. We have mentioned only four festivals - the NYC Pride, Pride Toronto, São Paulo LGBTQ Pride Parade, and the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras. They are outside of Europe, which might create an opportunity to leave your comfort zone.

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