How Pride is celebrated around the globe in 25 photos
In the early morning hours of June 28, 1969, New York City police raided Greenwich Village gay bar the Stonewall Inn. It wasn't the first time—the dive bar was running without a liquor license and was a known gay bar at a time when same-sex relations were still illegal—but this time patrons had had enough. The true story of what happened that night is hard to know for sure. Stacker's history of it comes from a patchwork of accounts; there was only one picture taken of the patrons' clash with police. However, one thing is for sure: the days-long uprising became the foundation of the modern LGBTQ+ movement.
A year after the riots, in 1970, the first Pride event was held in New York City. Initially, Pride was a political demonstration that voiced the LGBTQ+ community's demands for equal rights and protections. Throughout the next 20 years, especially through the AIDS epidemic, more parades and demonstrations of a similar nature surfaced around the city and throughout the country.
Then, in 1991, Pride began to resemble what many people know it to be today. Parties, concerts, and other events started to spring up around the public demonstrations and marches, giving the protests a significantly more celebratory and joyful vibe. Pride slowly began transforming into “a celebration of queer life and sexuality in addition to a political and social demonstration,” according to The Human Rights Campaign.
In 2019, the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association reports that 172 Pride Parades and Festivals would take place in more than 50 countries around the world.
To get a closer look at how Pride is celebrated around the globe, Stacker compiled a gallery showcasing 25 photographs from around the world to help readers get a better understanding of how each country, from Taiwan and India to Israel and South Africa, honors Pride.
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Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the Tokyo Rainbow Pride Parade will take place from April 27 to May 6. The first iteration of the festival drew in only 1,000 marchers, but 2019 saw 52 groups register to take part in the parade and record-setting attendance was expected. The family-friendly festival is of the utmost importance to the country's queer community, which is still fighting an uphill legal battle to be granted the same rights given to heterosexual couples.
On June 29, Paris will hold its 41st annual Marche des Fiertés LGBT. Organized by hundreds of volunteers, the parade is expected to last over four hours, traveling from the Place de la Concorde to the Place de la République. Second only to New York and Brazil in the size of its queer community and Pride parade, the Marche des Fiertés LGBT will be one of the biggest Pride Month events in the world.
1999 saw Phuket, Thailand's first Pride Week. The event has grown significantly over the last 10 years, and 2019's Phuket Pride festival is poised to be among the biggest yet. Most of the activities will take place on Patong beach from April 27 to April 30, and will include beauty contests, beach volleyball tournaments, and cabaret shows.
London is home to England's biggest Pride festival—in 2018, there were over 1 million people who marched, celebrated, and advocated for equal rights and visibility. While events are organized for the entire month of June, this year's parade will take place near the end of the festivities on July 6. The festival's 2019 theme, #PrideJubilee, is focused on remembering the moments and the people behind them that have brought the LGBTQ+ community the most pride.
On June 1, 2019, some 70,000 South Koreans, including Democratic Party leaders, wound through downtown Seoul for the 20th annual gay rights march. While gay and other LGBTQ+ identities aren't illegal in South Korea, there are no laws against discrimination, which means that many individuals find their fundamental human rights challenged regularly. The organizers have typically kept the event's date a secret until the last minute to keep the strong opposition of anti-gay activists at bay.
Considered the world's biggest and best Pride parade, the Sao Paulo Brazil Gay Pride Parade holds the Guinness World Record title for “largest pride” parade. The official event is five days long, and this year it will run from June 18 to June 23. However, the party generally lasts closer to three weeks with events like plays, debates, and concerts leading up to it. Around 3 million people participate in the parade each year. The event takes over four hours to complete, making this a once-in-a-lifetime experience for many LGBTQ+ supporters.
New York City hosts one of the largest Pride celebrations in the world, which seems fitting as the city is home to the original Stonewall Riots of 1969. With events spanning the entire month of June, the biggest event, the NYC Pride March, will take place on June 30. This year it's estimated that 4.5 million people will march and attend the event, as NYC is also the official host of WorldPride 2019, carrying the spirit of Stonewall with them and marching right past the former mafia-run gay bar.
Cape Town hosts South Africa's largest Pride festival, which takes place much earlier than other country's celebrations, typically near the end of February. This year's Pride festivities ran from Feb. 23 to March 2: a 10-day whirlwind of parties, parades, and protests. Cape Town Gay Pride also formed a new partnership with the Cape Town Carnival, who loaned out several of their costumes to make this year's march even more memorable.
India's 2019 Pride Parade in Mumbai was of particular significance as it was the first march since the Supreme Court decriminalized same-sex relations near the end of last year. Mirror Now reported that hundreds of people showed up to march and celebrate the February event and that the turnout was larger than previous years.
While sexual orientation protections have been in place since 2000, LGBTQ+ people in Romania still face an enormous amount of challenges in the socially conservative country. Bucharest hosts one of the country's most notable Pride celebrations, and many of its events are dedicated to education and outreach. From community meetings to exhibitions, debates, and conferences, the events at Bucharest Pride take on a markedly different tone than those in Brazil or the United States.