Best Pride Festivals for Some Fun and Gay History
June is an important time in the gay world. It’s a time for joy and to show that we are no different than our heterosexual counterparts.
For those of us lucky enough to live in a country where persecution of our lifestyle does not happen, we should take this month to bask in the excitement brought by these festivals around the world.
We have rounded up a list of the ten gayest festivals that are sure to get you in the mood to show your acceptance for love and help you understand the struggles experienced to make them possible.
Best Marches in the USA
New York City
One year after Stonewall, on June 28, 1970, the first Pride took place in a procession that lasted from Greenwich Village to Central Park and subsequently led to creating the annual events that we have all come to love.
The New York Celebration is one of the most prominent, attracting nearly 2 million people to the annual event, and for a good reason. It is here that Marsha Johnson, along with a slew of drag queens, decided to stand up for our rights in solidarity and create the domino effect that has reverberated throughout the world to lead to the march being present in most countries today.
As a result of Stonewall, we have same-sex marriage rights in the places where it is legal today. So, take a stand in solidarity and show your true colors at this fabulous event!
This year L.A. celebrates its 50th march for equality. The anniversary serves as a reminder that acceptance and oppression are not what they used to be due to the aspirational leaders who helped transform L.A into the earliest adopters and backers of the gay support movement.
This festival of love and self-acceptance is not one to be missed. The gay rights movement in the United States was born in Los Angeles in 1967, resulting from an atrocious raid by police at the Black Cat Tavern, which stimulated L.A. to transform itself into a city of gay rebellion.
The first-ever Pride Flag made its hallmark debut on June 25, 1978, in San Francisco, California.
Gilbert Baker, a self-proclaimed gay man, and drag queen decided to make the flag because “our job as gay people was to come out, be visible, and live in truth.” Thus, the flag was born out of the need for a proclamation of visibility of our community.
Baker was inspired to create a symbol of immense diversity and unity of the LBGT community by Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to office in the USA.
An exciting bit of gay history about the pride flag is its eight colors, each representing something unique. The colors are hot pink for sex, red for life, orange for healing, yellow for light, green for nature, turquoise for art, indigo for harmony, and violet for spirit.
Best Festivals abroad
Madrid, the gay capital of Spain, is home to Europe’s biggest parade, and it has been held as an annual event since 1978, aside from 1980.
Under the dictatorial rule of Francisco Franco, LGBT individuals were criminalized and stripped of their rights. Same-sex marriage would have never been permitted under him.
With Franco’s death in 1975, the first march in Spain was held in Barcelona. It acted as a celebration of LGBT individuals and the freedom of democracy. Even the COVID pandemic could not stop Madrid’s event in 2020, which went virtual instead. The Spanish festival attracts around 2 million attendees every year and is second only to San Francisco in terms of size.
Tel Aviv, Israel
The Tel Aviv event resulted from a protest held in 1979 at Rabin Square. The rally is revered as the city’s first event, although the march in 1997 is more similar to the festivities we have all come to love and anticipate.
Tel Aviv’s pride march is iconic as Israel’s attitude towards gay rights is the most tolerant in the middle east. The Tel Aviv municipality takes great strides to promote an image of acceptance and be known as one of the most gay-friendly cities in the world. This city lights up its city hall with the iconic colors of the pride flag in support of the LGBT community, which contrasts with the gay history of most countries in the Middle East.
São Paulo, Brazil
When São Paulo’s iconic festival first took place in 1997, it had a mere 2,000 people in attendance. However, it’s become the most prominent annual event worldwide for equality and inclusivity because of the live music, drag queens, extravagant floats, and memorable costumes.
This festival serves as one of many LGBT political parties at its core. Every year, it adopts a slogan with a relevant theme that promotes public policy and demands equality in forms such as same-sex marriage and secular laws.
After a full day of partying, you can prepare yourself for an unforgettable night of festivities to accompany the festival, which is sure to make this an excellent choice for anyone who identifies as LGBT. So grab your pride flag and snap a new pic for your Zoosk dating profile. Surely you’ll get some new meets with the excellent photo ops!
First held in 2003 in Taiwan’s gay capital, Taipei’s parade is consistently the biggest annual event for the country’s gay community.
In 2020, due to the low number of Covid cases in Taiwan, Taipei held the biggest Pride parade since the start of the pandemic and demonstrated how the city is a haven for LGBT individuals in Asia.
In addition, the city’s celebrations are held later in the year compared to most other countries because they take place on the final Saturday in October.
The street in front of Taipei City Hall is painted into a “rainbow road” to celebrate the legality of same-sex marriage as Taiwan is the first Asian country to permit this, making gay history without needing to pressure the countries political parties to do so.
Sydney’s gay festival is known locally as Mardi Gras. In French, this means “Fat Tuesday.” Despite the name, people still gather to wave their pride flags in support of equal rights.
On June 24, 1978, the Gay Solidarity group peacefully assembled in a march throughout the streets of Sydney to promote LGBTQ+ culture and invigorate the community in cultural activism to fight against the discrimination seen by our community daily.
This festival is prominent because police hijacked the truck leading the parade armed with a blaring speaker emitting acceptance speech where they swiftly detained over 50 people.
The 1980s bore witness to exponential growth and acceptance of the festival by native Australians, which converted Sydney Mardi Gras into the massive and multicultural celebration for which it has come to be known.
This event, known as one of the most renowned in Australia, is one great big party that invigorates the imagination and embodies gay rights culminating in a world-famous parade with spectacular events in the night following this majestic event!
Johannesburg, South Africa
The gay capital of South Arica, otherwise known as Johannesburg, is an essential annual event for gay history. It holds the award for being the biggest and longest-standing LGBTQ party on the entire African continent.
The first celebration, held during the apartheid era, serves as a reminder of the fight for alternative lifestyles freedom in South Africa.
This vent serves to pressure political parties to reform and raise awareness regarding LGBTQ+ hate crimes, like the corrective rape of lesbians in small towns in South Africa and the promotion of same-sex marriage. In addition, it presents itself as a reminder to the victims of these crimes and to stop them from ever happening again.
London, United Kingdom
London’s pride is a celebratory march that opposes discrimination faced by the LGBTQ+ community, which arose more than half a century ago and is still prominent today. The first march took place in 1972 as a response to Stonewall in June of 1969.
Over the past 50 years, the festivities in London have undergone an elegant and marked transformation as a festival of inclusivity through accessibility viewing platforms complete with BSL (British Sign Language) and areas designated for those with limited mobility.
With an audience of over 30,000 people, this is a spectacle that will surely keep you engaged. It will also refresh your desire to fight for same-sex marriage and learn more about gay history.
Pride flags can be seen in abundance at this glorious festival which is perfect for meeting new people near you on Cupid, which has a function to specify what you’re looking for, whether it be a long-term partner or a fun fling!
Have some fun!
No matter which festival you choose to attend, you will have a blast and some fun on the dating apps used while at it. Check our reviews of the best dating sites and don’t forget to have fun!