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Six of the world’s best Pride celebrations

Lucy Thackray
22 June 2016

A riot at New York’s Stonewall Inn 45 years ago prompted a parade to raise awareness of LGBT rights. Since then, dozens of cities worldwide have adopted their own Pride date to celebrate love and lobby for equality. Lucy Thackray picks six of the finest

This article was first posted on 5 September 2014 and updated on 22 June 2016

1. Madrid
Recently dubbed ‘the best place in the world to be gay’ in High Life, Spain has several cities which celebrate Pride, but Madrid’s July Orgullo festivities are a sight to be seen with more than 2 million people hitting the streets to parade and party.
When? 19 June – 2 July 2016 
Where? Celebrations centre around the district of Chueca, while the parade runs from Atocha to Puerta de Alcala.

2. San Francisco
One of the world’s biggest and best festivals in a city known for its LGBT culture, San Francisco’s Pride has its main stage by City Hall, where politician Harvey Milk gave his ‘hope’ speech in 1978.
When? 25-26 June 2016
Where? The parade runs from Market and Beale and heads west to Eighth Street, with events and stalls around the Civic Center.

3. Toronto
This Canadian city is famous for putting on a good show when it comes Pride. Expect divas, drag queens, DJs and dance parties in one of the world’s most diverse cities. After an emotional series of conferences, marches, mass weddings and candlelight vigils in 2014, proceedings were topped off by a sudden rain shower – and an actual rainbow.
When? 3 July 2016
Where? Most of the action centres around Church Street and Wellesley Street, with parties and events at gay bars across town.

4. New York
Where it all began. New York’s first gay rights parade took place almost a decade before most other cities caught on, and today thousands of LGBT organisations and venues still take over Manhattan. A yearly theme anchors the party mood in a serious message to raise political awareness.
When? 19 June 2016
Where? The enormous parade flows down Fifth Avenue, ending near the Stonewall Inn.

5. Berlin
Known as Christopher Street Day in a reference to the Stonewall Inn’s location, Berlin’s celebration forms part of a month-long LGBT festival and involves events at the city’s zoo and on boats along the river Spree – not to mention the dozens of after parties showcasing the city’s famously always-on nightlife. It’s one of Europe’s biggest, alongside London and Amsterdam.
When? 23 July 2016 
Where? The main Pride march starts on Kurfürstendamm, with smaller gatherings in cooler neighbourhoods like Kreuzberg.

6. São Paulo
Named the biggest in the world by Guinness World Records Book in 2006, Sao Paulo’s Pride brings some colour to the streets with an enormous parade of more than 3 million people. There are also cultural fairs, concerts and a cycle of debates to discuss and challenge the homophobia still rife in the country.
When? May 
Where? On and around Paulista Avenue.