In the beginning, the talk was of gay pride just because people should know to be proud of their sexual orientation. Today, Pride is celebrated all over the world and HBTQ persons have all possibilities to live a normal life without harassment and mockery.
Turnover for the world of HBTQ
When talking about Pride, the Pride festival is what comes first to mind. It is celebrated all over the world once a year. The festival is to celebrate and remember the riots in New York in 1969. The Riots of Stonewall Inn, where the owners continuously were harassed by corrupt police. Eventually, gay people in New York created a riot at Stonewall Inn. This riot is seen as a turning point for the gay community and the struggle for their rights. It took a while bore the festival started but there is no doubt that it was the start of that as well. Two years after Stonewall the first paradelike event was arranged in Sweden and after that everything has just evolved. It started with what was called liberation week which was later renamed “homoweek” in the ‘80s. The Pride festival is arranged in several cities around the world every year. Some examples of big festivals are the ones in San Francisco, Sydney, Burma and Vietnam. In Europe, they are commonly called Europride where the organisation decides which city will arrange the official festival each year.
HBTQ and Pride
The Pride festival was in the beginning a happening for the ones who saw themselves as HBTQ-persons which means gay, queer, bisexual, transsexual or simply not heterosexual persons. As a symbol of the gay solidarity Gilbert Baker created the rainbow flag which had, in 1978 had eight colours, but nowadays six. It is used in different ways to acknowledge differences. Most people that hear the word Pride thinks of the Pride parade that is held during the festival. Lately, it has become very popular to get famous people on the parade to show their support for the movement. Many political leaders have joined the parade to get sympathies from both people in the parade and the ones looking at it. Especially during election years, this is a common phenomenon.
2019 and 2020
In 2019, the Europride will be held in Austria, Vienna, and in 2020 Greece will be hosting the festival in Thessaloniki. The year after the festival will arrive in Denmark with Copenhagen as the host city. Last year the festival was held in Sweden and that was the first time the festival was held in two cities, both Gothenburg and Stockholm. The festival was called “Two Cities, One Festival – for a United Europe”. There have been attempts to arrange the festival in the Middle East. The first time was in Beirut in 2017 but it had to be cancelled due to threats from police and Islam followers. In Tel Aviv, there have been successful parades that have been very popular so they will probably continue. There are also lots of cities that arrange Pride festivals and parades outside the official ones and that is promising for the society!
To watch or participate in a Pride parade or just visit the festival will give you a sense of belonging. It is unique and incredible atmosphere where everybody is equally valuable!