Gay Pride Parades: what was your first one?
Happy Gay Pride!
June is the official Gay Pride month worldwide. Do you know why? Something happened in New York on June, 28th 1969: in the early morning a group of policemen conducted a raid in the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar at 43 Christopher Street. Following the raid, a spontaneous series of demonstrations by members of the LGBT community took place: the events are remembered as the Stonewall riots.
From that day, every year the 28th June is celebrated worldwide as Christopher Street Day (CSD), from the name of the street of the Big Apple where the bar was located.That day has a very special meaning for the LGBT community: the most important Gay Pride Parades nowadays take place usually on the weekends closest to that date, such as London Pride (the weekend before) and Madrid Orgullo. And most of the worldwide Pride Parades take place throughout the month of June, although not all of them. It is actually very common nowadays to celebrate Gay Pride throughout the year (even on the ski during winter!).
Do you still remember the first Gay Pride Parade (or Christopher Street Day, CSD, Parade, as it is called in many countries) you took part to?
I definitely remember it: Padova Pride 2002. I was only 21! That was also a very special Gay Pride for me: I gave my help to organize it
Padova Pride was celebrated exactly 14 years ago today, on Saturday 8th of June 2002. Most of you will be asking: where the hell is Padova? Padova is a very lively city in northern Italy, not far from Venice (a mere 30 minutes ride by local train).
I moved to the beautiful city of Padova in 1999, soon after high school. During my University years I became involved in the local association of the biggest Italian organization fighting for gay rights, Arcigay. That is how I was involved in organizing the funnest and most enjoyable Gay Pride of my life! I was such a cutie, right?
Since then, I have started to travel around the world to take part to Gay Pride Parades: Los Angeles, Milan, Rome, Madrid, Brussels, Gran Canaria, Tel Aviv, London, Manchester… Every Gay Pride is different, and unique! A Gay Pride Parade is not just a party: it is an explosion of joy, colors, happiness! It is an expression of freedom, and right to be what we are: Gay people with the right to love and to be happy! It is also an opportunity to debate and rivendicate politic rights of equality. Without joyful events like Gay Pride Parades, Gay Marriages or civil unions would have simply not happened! And still many countries lack of a basic anti homophobic legislation: that is why we still have to be visible, in as many ways as we can! We need to change the world, and make it a better place for everyone!
In Europe, every year one city in is appointed to host the European Pride Parade: this year, 2016, Amsterdam is the EuroPride City. The main event, the Canal Parade, will be held on Saturday, August, 6th.
Every few years, InterPride nominates a city to host a World Pride Parade: the first event was held in 2000 in Rome. The next one will be Madrid 2017. I definitely am not going to miss it! Do you want to come along? Drop me a line and we will sort that out!
So, what was the first Gay Pride of your life? Let me know in the comments below! Happy Pride!!!