June is probably the most important month of the year for most members of the LGBTQ community since it is the time when pride parades are taking place all over the world. Although many of the gay pride events had to be postponed this year, due to the pandemic, they are still expected to take place this summer at a later date.
Pride parades or pride marches are very well known in the USA, where this event originated and where some of the largest and most spectacular events are held. However, pride festivals have spread all over the world, gathering thousands of participants for a whole month of celebrations. Pride parades are still the most important celebration in the LGBTQ international community.
Why gay pride is still important today
It may seem that today when the members of the LGBTQ community have gained their civil rights, and when most of their past objectives have been achieved, there should be no need for pride parades. Some people might consider them obsolete, in times when LGBTQ people are no longer invisible and discriminated against. However, gay pride is still a fundamental concept.
Gay pride is still important because there still are threats against equality in other parts of the world. Gay marriage has been legalized in an increased number of countries, but there are still many others who continue to refuse to acknowledge it. Plus, let us not forget that even in the U.S., gay marriage became legal in all 50 states only five years ago, which is not that long.
While the acknowledgment and visibility of LGBTQ culture are undoubtedly growing, and we can see that in the increased number of gay movies, shows, and TV characters, there is still injustice in the world. Gay people are still being treated unequally in several parts of the world, where they can lose their jobs or where they are forced to leave.
Pride festivals are primarily a way to celebrate the LGBTQ identity, but their purpose is much wider and deeper than that. With so many inequalities that continue in many parts of the world, pride festivals are a reminder that there is still work that needs to be done and that the road towards equality is a long and difficult one.
Gay pride is also the most effective way to gain visibility for this community and all of its members in all of their diversity. Even today, when more people than ever are educated about LGBTQ rights, society needs to see and hear about this community.
Another important aspect to consider is that so many LGBTQ people around the world cannot celebrate. While gay pride is a time for fun and laughter, it’s also a time to think about those who are facing oppression and are not allowed to live a normal life, let alone celebrate. That is why, in honor of those who cannot celebrate, gay pride is a powerful manifestation.
Also, support is another fundamental aspect of LGBTQ culture. Its members would not have achieved the recognition and rights they can enjoy today without support, and this means that support cannot be silent. Gay pride is a time when all members of society can show their public support for gay people, from regular citizens to politicians, organizations, and celebrities.
Finally, gay pride is also invaluable for LGBTQ businesses and development. Pride season is the best time for the LGBTQ community since most brands are reaching out in order to gain more visibility and popularity during this time. Also, local Pride events are great for networking, meeting potential business partners, sponsors, or clients.
Gay pride in the U.S.
Pride parades are outdoor celebrations that typically include marches and various other events, which take place in different cities all over the world throughout the month of June, every year. Primarily, they are a way of celebrating social acknowledgment and legal rights for all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people.
Pride marches are held annually in order to commemorate the famous Stonewall riots that took place in New York in 1969. The Stonewall riots represent one of the most important moments in all the history of the LGBTQ community that changed society forever, and that is why the commemoration of this event is so important not just for LGBTQ people, but for our entire society.
In the 1960s, the gay rights movement was still at its beginning. The Mattachine Society, dating back to 1950, was one of the first gay rights organization in the United States, founded by Harry Hay. In 1965, the Mattachine Society organized protests at the White House, following the scandal regarding gay people being held in Cuban labor camps.
A few years later, on June 28, 1969, what would later be known as the Stonewall riots took place in New York. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Greenwich Village where some of the most marginalized members of the gay community would gather. After a police raid in this bar, several members of the gay community began to protest spontaneously.
In June the following year, a march was organized by the Chicago Gay Liberation, and many spontaneous participants joined in. Simultaneously, there were similar marches organized in Los Angeles and San Francisco. In New York, a march was organized in order to commemorate the Stonewall riots that had taken place one year earlier.
Even though gay pride today is a joyous and fun time of celebration, it maintains a lot of its activist and political characteristics. These unique events are a mix of flamboyant celebration, with music, dancing and costumes, and activist manifestations, including political, social, educational, and public health issues.
Gay pride is now being held in cities all over the world. The United States, where it originated, is still where most parades take place and where the most famous ones occur. Gay pride events can be organized in smaller communities as well, but traditionally they take place in big cities, where people from surrounding communities can join and participate as well.
The most well-known parades in the United States take place in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Denver, Boston, Rhode Island, Atlanta, Cincinnati, Albuquerque, Houston, Jacksonville, Nashville, North Carolina, New Orleans, Seattle, Philadelphia, Palm Springs, Long Beach, Miami Beach, Utah, Orange County, San Diego, and Long Beach.
There are many other U.S. cities that have gay pride and many more are starting to hold one each year. For example, Homer, a small town in Alaska, organized a pride parade in 2018, for the first time. The calendar of gay pride in the USA is changing every year, and it is best to follow local resources for local gay pride events in smaller cities.
Gay pride in New York
New York City is at the center of gay pride events in the world since it is the place where everything started. The New York Pride March was first held in 1970, one year after the Stonewall riots. Today it is where the biggest pride parade takes place, alongside Sao Paulo in Brazil, a giant celebration with thousands of participants who come from all over the world.
Two of the most important moments in the history of the New York gay pride were 2011 and 2019. In 2011, gay marriage was legalized in the state of New York, and the pride parade would be organized just a few days after this historical event. Four years later, gay marriage was being legalized in all 50 states.
2019 is when the Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC took place, a series of events and celebrations that commemorate the 50th anniversary of the famous Stonewall riots. This monumental celebration of epic proportions gathered millions of international participants as well as millions of spectators.
Gay pride in San Francisco
Many people consider that if you could only attend one pride parade, it should be the San Francisco Pride in California. It is similar to the New York one, in the sense that it also has deep historical roots. It is one of the largest celebrations in the world that draws an impressive number of participants and spectators from around the globe.
Gay pride in Washington, D.C.
Besides the spectacular festivities and crowd-pleasing events, Capital Pride has a more serious aspect to it, due to the fact that it is held in the place where the most important political decisions are made. Gay pride in Washington is also one of the largest festivities, with a series of events that last more than a week. Another interesting particularity is that it follows another huge celebration, the D.C. Black Pride.
Gay pride in Denver
Unlike the New Orleans gay pride, which has probably the most intense sexual nuances, the Denver gay pride is considered the most family-friendly parade. It is usually held in mid-June, and it includes a lot of fun events, including a unique Dog in Drag parade, which is famous among animal lovers.