New York (USA): where Pride was born
New York is arguably the place where the Pride movement was born. Following the police raid of the Stonewall Inn on 28 June 1969, many LGBT+ people of colour including Marsha Johnson led the protests which then became the catalyst for LGBT+ movements across the US in 1970, and then around the world. This year we are celebrating 52 years since the stonewall Inn riots!
Today, the New York Pride takes place during the last weekend of June. It is one of the biggest pride events in the world, usually attracting crowds of around 2 million. The 2019 New York World Pride, which commemorated 50 years since the Stonewall riots, attracted a massive 4 million people to the city!
The “Fiestas del Orgullo Gay” of Madrid takes place on the last Saturday of June each year and it is the biggest in Europe, attracting around 2 million people each year.
The first Madrid Pride took place in 1979 following the death of Fascist dictator Francisco Franco, which led to a relaxing of conservative views regarding homosexuality in Spain. As a result, Spain has transformed into one of the most gay friendly countries in the world, with very progressive LGBT+ laws, including gay marriage and adoption rights.
Sao Paulo (Brazil)
The “Parada Gay Sao Paulo” is notorious for being the largest Pride in the world, attracting 3-5 million people each year.
Sao Paulo’s Pride began in 1997 and takes place on the first weekend of June along the city’s main street called “Paulista Avenue”. It was famously featured in the Netflix show “Sense8” where the Mexican star Lito used his platform at Sao Paulo Pride to publicly come out. This is definitely on our list for dream prides to visit!
The Sydney Pride takes place during the Australian summer in late February / early March. It coincides with the Carnival season, which is why it is called “Sydney Mardi Gras“. It is one of the biggest and best parties in the world!
Sydney Mardi Gras is one of the most famous gay festivals in the world as well as one of the oldest. It started in 1978 on Oxford Street as a morning protest with just 500 people, calling for an end to police harassment against homosexuals and the repeal of the anti-gay laws.
Today the Sydney Mardi Gras takes over the entire city with around 500k people attending. It has become so popular that stars like Cher, Kylie Minogue, Cyndi Lauper and George Michael have all performed there.
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Joburg Pride is nicknamed the “Pride of Africa“, it is one of the only pride events within the entire continent of Africa. Whilst it may not be one of the largest, it is significant because of its location on what is often referred to as the worst continent in the world to be gay.
Johannesburg held the first Pride of Africa in October 1993, which was towards the end of the apartheid era. Subsequently in 1996, under Nelson Mandela’s Presidency, the country passed one of the most progressive constitutions in which unfair discrimination on the grounds of sexuality is prohibited.
Joburg’s Pride continues to take place every year on the last Saturday of October.