It’s been a very important year for the worldwide LGBT community and this was shown in the millions of people that attended pride events this weekend.
In many respects the large and small carnivals, parades, and parties around the world were celebrations of the advances made in LGBT rights in the last year. Legally, politically, and socially, the world has come along way in terms of accepting LGBT people. Across Europe and America, we have seen a wave of gay marriage legalization.
However, attendees were also keen to show solidarity and determination alongside LGBT communities in countries where it is incredibly difficult to be openly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual or Transgender. Many wanted to highlight the moves that have been made in the wrong direction in places such as Uganda, India and Russia.
Here’s a round up of some of the pride events from across the continents:
Toronto held more than week of celebrations as part of World Pride 2014. This totally international series of activities, festivals, marches, and parties claimed to be the largest pride event in the world, ever. Organisers described the event as “ten days of queer celebration that will turn streets into parades, parks into parties, and strangers into friends.”
New York saw unprecedented numbers at their pride parade which has been held since 1970. It was led by the Boy Scouts of America, in celebration of their recent open inclusion of LGBT members and ending their ban on out LGBT adult leaders. Another highlight was a float featuring stars of the hit TV series Orange is the new Black.
In London, crowds braved intermittent summer showers as they celebrated, amongst other things, Britain’s legalization of gay marriage earlier this year. Eurovision winner and drag queen, Conchita Wurst, wowed the audience at the closing concert at Trafalgar Square, saying: ‘Let us be proud about who we are and let us give a statement for love, respect and tolerance.’
Record numbers attended Singapore’s sixth annual Pink Dot event. Supporting the 'Freedom to Love' in a statement of love and solidarity on Saturday, 26,000 turned the green space of Speakers' Corner of Hong Lim Park into a glowing pink dot. The festival sends a bold message in the city-state where it is still illegal for a man to have sex with a man.
Istanbul played host to the Muslim world’s largest gay pride with tens of thousands marching along Istiklal Avenue with the message of “Love knows no gender.” Over a million are reported to have attended events across a week of celebrations in Mexico City. In San Francisco Apple CEO, Tim Cook, marched alongside LGBT employees.