Advocate; 6/19/2007 Issue 987, p60-61
Tired of the neighborhood block party? Hop a plane to these foreign locales to experience some global gay action
It makes sense that Brazil, which brings us Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, would also put on the world's largest gay party. São Paulo's pride parade is one of the biggest in the world; it attracted 2.5 million people last year. Supporting events include awards ceremonies, a cultural fair, parties, meetings, and debates. The parade starts on Avenida Paulista, one of the city's main streets in the busy financial district.
Pride Toronto brings a million people to this Canadian lakeside city in an atmosphere of tolerance and freedom. The big parade takes place on Sunday, June 24. The girls get to take the spotlight on Saturday the 23rd with the annual Dyke March and a special performance by the Indigo Girls.
JUNE 22-JULY 1
This year, Madrid plays host not only to Spain's biggest pride celebration; it is also the home of EuroPride. The event kicks off with a fiesta in the Chueca district, followed by a round of discussions, debates, and other events in the week leading up to the parade and party. An awards ceremony bestows Pink Triangles on those who have assisted in the advancement of gay rights and Pink Bricks on those who have hindered it.
After much success at Euro Pride last year, London's exciting pride parade returns to the West End's world-renowned Oxford and Regent streets. The high-profile route passes some of London's most iconic landmarks, including Trafalgar Square, Whitehall, Piccadilly Circus, and the Houses of Parliament. This year marks the 35th anniversary of London's pride event.
The lively and colorful pride parade traditionally proceeds from the Place de la République to Beaubourg through the Marais district. The event attracts about half a million people each year, as well as more than a hundred associations, trade unions, and political organizations.
Divers/Cité is the city's eclectic expression of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender pride. More than a parade, Montreal's pride celebration has grown to become an end-of-summer cultural festival complete with concerts, shows, art, theater, and stadium-sized parties.
Sure, all gay pride parades have floats, but this one really floats. The highlight of the Amsterdam pride weekend is the famous Canal Parade on Saturday, August 4. With ornately decorated fiat-bottomed boats and barges ferrying costumed dancers and partygoers along Amsterdam's waterways, this parade on water is hard to miss.
Scandinavia's biggest gay event features Pride Square, a gathering area for events at City Hall Square in the middle of Copenhagen. The parade, now in it's 11th year, will end up here, kicking off an afternoon of festivities.
SEPTEMBER 30--OCTOBER 6
First held in 1990, "Joburg" pride is the oldest pride event in South Africa. A week of events and activities celebrating gay freedom and identity in an African context will up to the Saturday, October 6, parade and afterparties.
Argentina's first pride took place in 1992, and the event has been gathering momentum with the Argentine LGBT movement's success in increasing legal protections for gay people. The parade starts off at Plaza de Mayo and proceeds to Plaza Congreso.
First held in 1999, Bangkok pride attracts people from Thailand as well as other Asian and Western nations. The 2006 event included sports events and a health fair as well as parties and a parade.