It’s easy to be a bit jaded when it comes to LGBTQ pride events, but 2019 could be a milestone year for how the LGBTQ community around the world marks the evolving concept of Pride.
The origins of annual gay pride events can be traced back to 28 June 1969, when a police raid of the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street in New York City sparked a series of protests from the local community. There were gay pride or gay liberation activities before then, but this raid acted as a catalyst for a lot of people.
The first gay pride march in the United States saw supporters marching from Christopher Street to Central Park on 28 June 1970 - marking the first anniversary of the Stonewall raid. The next year, marches were held in San Francisco, London, Paris, Stockholm, and numerous other cities across the United States, and the international tradition of a gay pride march was born.
Gay pride has now evolved to include everyone within the increasingly broad LGBTQ umbrella. There are now so many different LGBTQ pride events around the world that it’s impossible to create a definitive list, but it’s always interesting to see how different communities and different countries are commemorating and celebrating LGBTQ Pride today
Some cities really know how to throw a party – Sydney’s Mardi Gras is something that everyone needs to experience at least once in your life, Madrid has a well deserved reputation for showing the world how to rock, and even a city like Brussels gives itself over to an exuberant celebration of its LGBTQ community.
Most of the northern hemisphere Pride events are held in the summer months. In the US, the month of June is designated as Pride month.
In a lot of countries, it’s getting easier to live life openly as an LGBTQ person. But, in a lot of countries it’s not - in some countries, being queer is enough to get you killed.
As LGBTQ people who are lucky enough to live in places such as the UK, the US, or Europe, we have an obligation to be visible. To take to the street, to wave rainbow flags, to dance enthusiastically to Kylie Minogue tracks.
It’s hard to predict what we’ll see from Pride events around the world this year, but there is a sense it will be a renewed sense of purpose, an unleashing of frustration and anger. The gloves are off – somebody better hold our earrings.