When we think of the Gay Pride Festivals, images associated with fun immediately come to mind and, why not say, a certain excess: racing in high heels, election of Mr. Gay Spain , hundreds of thousands of people on the street, parties that lasts until the next morning in which the most worked bodies meet in the gymnasium, and a protest march that does not escape the festive spirit because of the color of its floats and the music that accompanies it.
However, despite the fact that our country is at the forefront in terms of progress in terms of equality of the LGTBI collective, there is still much to be done and what to fight for. But let’s start at the beginning. What is the origin of these celebrations?
The origin of the celebration of Gay Pride
It all goes back to June 28, 1969 in the New York neighborhood of Greenwich Village . The dawn of that day, the police carried out one of their habitual raids in a bar frequented by the gay community of the area, the Stonewall Inn, that got out of hand. Tired of the continued harassment to which she was subjected – homosexuality was punishable by law throughout the United States except Illinois, and could be matched from jail to castration and lobotomy sessions – that day the homosexual community broke out and revealed itself violent form, something that lasted for several days. Soon various associations of activists were created to achieve the respect of society towards the collective, and exactly one year later the first Gay Pride Marches took place in New York and Los Angeles. Over time, these marches spread throughout the country and overcame their borders to, today, reach almost every country in the world.
Since then, in this almost half a century there have been important advances. Thus, in addition to Spain, in 24 other countries marriage between people of the same sex is recognized , among which are not only several of our European neighbors, but also of America, Africa – at the moment, only South Africa -, Oceania and , soon, Asia -Taiwan -. In many others, there is the figure of the Civil Union that, depending on each case, grants more or less similar rights. And in most of the rest, where there is no specific legislation in this regard, the situation of the LGTBI community depends on its degree of development in civil rights and liberties, with great differences between rural and urban areas – something that , in any case, it is repeated also in countries like ours.
There are also countries in which the rights of homosexuals are cut off, as in Russia, where they are banned from meeting. In others there are prison sentences, which can reach life in prison, as in India or Pakistan, among others -. And some apply physical punishment or even the death penalty, as for example in Iran or Saudi Arabia.
It is precisely for all these people who are discriminated against because of their sexual condition that the Gay Pride Marches continue to be celebrated . Some people wonder why there must be an International LGBTI Pride Day when there is no “heterosexual pride”. The answer is obvious: nobody can be put in jail, condemned to whiplash or die by hanging simply for being “straight”. That the feathers, the party and the sequins do not distract us from what is really commemorated every year on June 29, because there are still too many people in the world who can not celebrate it in freedom.
And remember that, in addition to the most ludic acts that take place in the Pride celebrations around the world, there are a whole series of activities programs that include exhibitions, lectures and conferences, film and theater, and many more. Because the party is not at odds with vindication and culture.
Celebrations of Gay Pride Day in the World
Red: San Francisco
For many the global LGBT capital, San Francisco and its Barrio de Castro have a curious way of celebrating Pride. And it is that each group of the community (gays, lesbians, transsexuals, bisexuals, etc.) parade down Market Street with their own demands. You’ll have to get up early to take a seat!
Having appeared so many times on the big screen makes the main icons of the city easily recognizable: the Golden Gate (crossing it by bicycle and reaching Sausalito to see its houseboats is very fun), Alcatraz , the Transamerica Pyramid , the wooden trams traveling its steep streets (among which Lombard Street stands out , although it does not pass through them), the sea lions of Pier 39 in Fisherman’s Wharf , or Chinatown (the oldest in North America and with the largest Chinese community outside of Asia). I recommend two places to enjoy magnificent views of the city: the Alamo Square Park(with the famous Victorian houses known as “Painted Ladies” in the first place) and the hills of Twin Peaks .
Other interesting celebrations in North America are those that take place in New York, Los Angeles and Toronto.
In Europe there are many cities that celebrate the Pride with great fun parties: Berlin, London, Paris, Barcelona, Copenhagen, … But to choose, perhaps the most striking is Amsterdam . And is that, the “march” runs through the channels of the city is a real hoot.
The “Venice of the North” (although this title is disputed by several cities) is considered one of the most liberal in the world, something that is perceived in its streets (with the famous Coffee Shops and the Red Light District ). But it is also an important cultural center, with world- class museums such as the Rijksmuseum, the House Museum Rembrandt or Van Gogh Museum . The city of bikes (they have preference even in front of pedestrians) also offers other outstanding places such as the Anne Frank House , the Central Stationbuilding … and the Heineken Factory
Amarillo: Mexico City
The most populated city on the American continent could not choose another location to celebrate its Pride than the famous Zocalo. Its main march brings together half a million people, who end the party with a concert by an artist whose name is kept secret until the last moment.
Since you are in the Plaza de la Constitución (the official name of the Zócalo), do not miss the Metropolitan Cathedral , the National Palace , the Old Town Hall and the Government Building . This square is part of the Historical Center , declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. But do not stay there, because the Mexican capital has much more to offer: the Angel of Independence , the areas of Reforma , Polanco and Zona Rosa , Castillo de Chapultepec , Palacio de Bellas Artes ,Coyoacán , the Basilica of Guadalupe , the National Museum of Anthropology (one of the most important in America), and a very long etcetera. Not to mention their food and the margaritas! And, as you cross the puddle, a little over 2 hours by plane you have the Riviera Maya , with its magnificent beaches and Mayan ruins.
The Pride of Guadalajara is also gaining strength .
Green: Sao Paulo
The “Biggest Pride in the World” No, it’s not just a statement of intent. This is how it is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for being the most multitudinous worldwide. Costumes, floats, dances in the streets that remind us of the very Carnivals of Rio de Janeiro.
The financial center of Brazil (one of the most important in South America) is also the city with the largest Portuguese-speaking population in the world. It may not be as striking as Rio (a flight of just over 1 hour will take you directly to the beaches of Copacabana), but it is not bad for shopping tourism , with Paulista Avenue and Oscar Freire Street leading the way .
Cyan: Tel Aviv
Tel Aviv is one of the main LGBT destinations in the world, and the only city in the Middle East where the homosexual community can celebrate their Pride without any fear. His parties are increasingly known in Spain … Just take a tour of Instagram during its celebration to check.
In addition to good beaches that are always popular (and its privileged climate helps a lot), Tel Aviv offers a lively nightlife and an interesting cultural panorama – it has, for example, more Bauhaus style buildings than any German city, and the City Blanca is considered a World Heritage Site by Unesco -. And if you have a very developed spiritual or historical side, you are in the ideal country to deepen in it: you are in the Holy Land . Jerusalem , Bethlehem , Nazareth , Masada and the Dead Sea , Haifa , the Sea of Galilee, … they await you. Tip: No matter how much you insist, you can save yourself the visit to Eilat.
If before mentioned the most crowded, the Pride of Sydney is the longest: known as Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras , lasts 3 full weeks. Obviously, if it lasts so long is because it offers a complete program of events and activities. And the good thing is that, as it is celebrated in March (the southern summer), it is a good destination to escape the European cold.
Who was going to say that what began as a prison colony to which England banished its most dangerous prisoners, would end up being the most populated city in Oceania, one of the most expensive and with the highest quality of life, and the most cosmopolitan of the world. The Sydney Opera House (World Heritage Site by Unesco) and the Sydney Harbor Bridge are icons that we all have in our minds. But you can not miss other places of interest like the Admiralty House , The Rocks (the oldest neighborhood in the city), Chinatown , the Paddington neighborhood and its Saturday market, the restaurants of Darling Harbor , or the magnificent beaches fromManly and Bondi .
The Taiwanese capital, Taipei, happens to be one of the most open societies in Asia, and therefore its Pride is attended by many Japanese, Koreans, Thais … It is expected that soon a law allowing same-sex marriage will be approved , so surely this is one of the main slogans in the main march.
As in other Asian cities, in Taipei the most traditional past coexists in perfect harmony with the most futuristic present: the Longshan Temple , three centuries old, contrasts with the Taipei 101 Building , which, with its more than 500 meters high, for 6 years (2003-2009) was the tallest skyscraper in the world. Your cultural hungers will be filled at the National Palace Museum (it has almost 700,000 pieces on display!), While if you prefer the natural surroundings, the gardens, hot springs and volcanic landscapes of Yangmingshan National Park will leave you fully satisfied.
Kazim Raza is a Digital Marketing specialist @ Al Bateen Nurseries and Bed Repair in Dubai who love socializing and playing soccer. One of his target is to guide people how to earn a living via online marketing. He says that there is a proper method to do this, and once you learn what that is, you become unstoppable.