Shout out to the Supremes for making gay marriage legal in the United States (finally). In the States, we celebrate gay pride in June. The first pride parade in America was held in New York City in 1970. Festivities were held on June 28, one year after the Stonewall riots. The riots brought new awareness to the LGBTQ community and kicked off a tradition that would take hold all over the world. To celebrate love that spans every color of the rainbow, we’re rounding up the five largest gay pride festivals around the world:
1. Sao Paulo Gay Pride- Attendance: 3,000,000
Best neighorhood for LGBT nightlife: Jardins
It’s no secret that Brazilians love to party. From the country’s annual Carnival antics to Festa Junina, you’ll find locals dressed in flashy outfits and partying until the break of dawn. Sao Paulo’s pride parade is no exception. The festival draws in twice as many partygoers than New Orleans’ Mardi Gras and lasts for over a month. The main event is always the parade, which spans three miles of winding city streets and features floats that would put your high school’s homecoming to shame.
2. Toronto Pride- Attendance: 1,220,000
Best neighorhood for LGBT nightlife: Neighborhood surrounding Church and Wellesley Streets.
Canadians are characterized as some of the friendliest people in the world, and from the looks of Toronto pride, it seems true don’tcha know. However, that doesn’t mean the Canucks refrain from getting wild when they’re oot and aboot. The Queen City hosts a week of activities,ending with a massive pride parade. Unlike many other pride festivals, Toronto offers separate trans and lesbian celebrations leading up to the main march.
3. San Francisco Pride- Attendance: 1,000,000
Best neighorhood for LGBT nightlife: The Castro district.
San Francisco takes its pride event like it takes political correctness and Silicon Valley achievements–seriously. The overachievers on the West Coast commemorate pride with 20 different stages throughout the event. Amidst brightly dyed hair colors and sloping city streets, larger than life floats and entertainers zip by. The mayor has been known to march during the event and big name performers stun each year including the likes of Lady Gaga, The Backstreet Boys, Solange Knowles, and Joan Baez.
4. Chicago Pride- Attendance: 1,000,000
Best neighorhood for LGBT nightlife: Boystown also known as East Lakeview.
That toddlin’ town steps into full swing for pride. Chicago really mixes up their event calendar, with everything from honoring LGBT people of color to cabaret shows. Shorter than most of the events making the list, this three day event finishes strong with a four mile long pride parade, complete with live entertainment and a slew of cheerful crowd goers. It should also be noted that you’ll need to take the following day off, Chicago likes to party hardy.
5. London Pride- Attendance: 750,000
Best neighorhood for LGBT nightlife: Soho.
Cheerio! Londoners do things a bit classier. England’s biggest pride event includes an arts festival, gender identity workshops, and live original works of theatre. For those attendees looking to dance shirtless and get covered in glitter, never fear, you’ll still have the chance to get your groove on.
What’s your favorite place to celebrate pride?