As more and more countries start to celebrate equality and diversity of all kinds – more and more Pride events are beginning to spring up all over the world. Gay Pride festivals are a brilliant reason to travel to a new destination or to time your trip to coincide with the party. Pride events are usually a long affair, with parties lasting from two days to a week. Often they are celebrated in conjuncture with wider fringe festivals that include film events, live music, theatre, marches and family-friendly events which can keep you entertained and educated for a couple of weeks. Pride Festivals are important cultural landmarks for many reasons; they do a lot to raise funds and awareness for marginalised communities and health programmes, and they give people a safe space to celebrate who they are in all their wonderful differentness. They are also some of the best and biggest parties you will ever attend in your life – so be sure to be armed with your best party shirt and some dancing stamina when you pick any of the following Mardi Gras!
Berliners are known for their partying stamina and their anything-goes attitude. A city that seems to have a natural acceptance of all things diverse sees the wider pride fringe running for almost a month, but the big day is when everybody gathers at the Brandenburg Gate for the parade and party.
One of the most famous pride celebrations of all time, San Fran pride is absolutely huge. The location of the parade, City Hall, is famous for being where Harvey Milk addressed activists over 30 years ago when he was in office.
Amsterdam is known for many things, its coffee shops and parties being world-renowned. The pride festival, however, stands out for its cultural events and focuses on a strong programme of sports – with tennis, volleyball, running and soccer all on the agenda.
Brighton is definitely the gayest place in all of the UK. Nobody really knows why this is, but the people of Brighton seem to be really proud of how gay-friendly their city is, and this creates a really welcoming atmosphere for the Pride celebration in summer. The whole town gets involved, gay or straight, and people are partying on the beach well into the morning.
The only really big Pride celebration in Africa, Cape Town Pride Festival stands out as a beacon of acceptance in a country with a lot of issues surrounding diversity of all kinds. The week launches with a huge cocktail party which is pretty fabulous.
The Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Festival bring together a diverse array of events from sports, theatre and performance to visual arts, talks and forums, a massive picnic in the park and of course a huge party in the harbour. Look out for Kylie Minogue.