Gay, straight, or undecided, everyone can enjoy a Gay Pride event. Seriously, who doesn’t like breaking down sociocultural barriers to release their unabashed individuality on a bright summer day? Normies, that’s who. And no one wants to be a normie.
Check any prejudices you may have at the same door where the 7-foot-tall drag queen is renting out thongs and chaps, because the time has come to celebrate Pride all around the world. While most major cities have parades and events planned throughout the summer, these are the five that you should try your damnedest to sashay to this year:
Pride Week Toronto • June 21-30
Canada has always been ahead of the pack when it comes to celebrating gays, and Pride Week Toronto is no exception. Not only is it the first big city celebration of the summer, it’s one of the largest Pride events in the world with over 100,000 annual attendees at the parade alone. Stay for the whole week or just pop in for the events that interest you most – like the Dyke March, perhaps?
NYC Pride • June 28-30
The city of New York is a gayven (gay haven… I just made that up) year-round, but the last weekend in June is a spectacle unlike any other. There are several big events to attend during Pride, but most of the official ones carry a hefty price tag. Instead, do what my friends do every year: wander into a random gay bar in the West Village and ask if they have any Pride specials. Chances are you’ll find a cover-free spot with a naked male model behind the bar slinging 2-for-1 Absolut cocktails until the bears come home.
Paris Gay Pride • June 29
2013 is an especially big year for Pride in Paris now that France has achieved marriage equality, so expect there to be more revelers than ever. Unfortunately, due to the unpopularity of this legislation with the extreme right in the country, there will probably also be more protesters and angry skinheads lurking about. Be careful, keep your wits about you, and blind the haters with your positive energy and glitter encrusted abs.
Orgullo Madrid • July 3-7
People think that the parade in NYC is the end-all, be-all when it comes to Pride. Those people have clearly never been to Madrid during Orgullo. The numbers on attendees aren’t exact, but by most accounts, Orgullo (that means Pride in Spanish) is one of the largest gay pride events in the world – if not the largest. As you can assume, there’s something here for everyone: demonstrations, volunteer opportunities, buff men in leather harnesses looking for cuddle buddies, etc.
Amsterdam Pride • July 27 – Aug. 3
Remember that scene in the first episode of Arrested Development when a boat full of homosexuals disrupts the Bluth yacht party? That’s basically what Amsterdam Pride is like, except no one is pissed about the disruption. Instead of floats, participants board boats and actually float down the city’s many canals. For those of you who haven’t earned your sea legs yet, don’t worry – there are plenty of parties, dances, and movie screenings to be found on dry land as well.
Where are you celebrating Pride this year?