It’s that time of the year again where we start making our summertime Pride plans. If your resolution this year was to spread your wings and experience Pride somewhere beyond your hometown, we’ve got a few suggestions for you!
Now, this isn’t necessarily a ranking of Pride’s across the world; think of this more as a handful of suggestions with something for everyone. Some historic, some political and some… well, some are just a good party. There should be something for everyone, regardless of what you’re after.
June 01 – June 02
We’re starting this list off with one that perhaps might not have been on your radar. Bangkok Pride is putting their stake in the ground early this year, taking place before most other Pride events. Thailand’s welcoming and gay-friendly attitude has recently earned it the pleasure of hosting World Pride in 2028, and while that’s still a few years off, it should be enough to give you the confidence that this is one Pride worth travelling for.
You can expect everything you’ve come to enjoy from your Pride’s with a Thai-twist. That means an extravagant parade, circuit parties, drag-brunches, and even a LGBTQ+ film festival.
New York Pride
June 26 – June 30
New York is a historic Pride – *the* historic pride to be precise. As the birthplace of the 1969 stonewall riots that acted as the catalyst for many of the rights queer people enjoy today, New York Pride is indeed an important one. With its extravagant parade, NYC is one of the biggest in the world, regularly attracting over 2 million visitors every year. While the parade may have become more corporate over the years, the city itself holds onto its political history proudly.
July 20 – July 21
Ever artsy and Alternative, Berlin’s Pride is a true reflection of the city itself. Along with the traditional parade, music and DJs, you can find an emphasis on talks, protests, art installations and political outreach. Berlin takes the protest aspect of Pride seriously, and has named its Pride, Christopher Street Day, after the same street where the Stonewall Riots began as a reflection of this.
We couldn’t mention Berlin without talking about its world-famous nightlife scene. Berghein is well known for its strict door policy, but is a fantastic night if you can get in. Other, easier to enter, venues such as KitKat Club are a camp romp and include spectacles like a fire breathing mechanical dragon. Berlin being, well, Berlin – there’s plenty to do to take your fancy in the leafy queer districts outside of the main party atmosphere. You’ll find quaint tea rooms galore all the way up to fantasy dildo stores, and everything that falls in-between the two extremes.
July 27 – August 04
Not content with hosting a run-of-the-mill parade, Amsterdam certainly takes the prize for one of the most unique Pride’s out there. The twist? The whole parade takes place on the water. On August 3rd over 80 colourful and camp boats will make their way through Amsterdam’s canals. While the parade may be done at a slower pace than other prides, Amsterdam’s is certainly something to behold.
Broadly speaking, Amsterdam itself is a fantastic city to visit at any time of the year for queer folk, let alone during Pride. The country was at the forefront of equal marriage, being the first to introduce legislation back in 2001, significantly earlier than many other western countries. This accepting attitude is reflected in Amsterdam’s multiple (yes, more than one) queer neighbourhoods with their own LGBTQ+ bars, clubs, coffee shops, hotels and more!
August 23 – August 26
Perhaps a contentious pick over the UK’s London Pride, it certainly hasn’t been without its controversy, but Manchester lands a spot on this list for good reason. Back in 2021, Manchester Pride’s CEO was the centre of media storm attention after numerous charity commitments and the city’s Pride parade were cut to save money. All this while the main Pride party remained in place.
A flood of organisation and campaigning by local activists, including an estimated 1,500 people joining a protest march against the CEO, led to a solid re-commitment to the city’s Pride in 2022 and beyond. Manchester truly embodies the spirit of Pride as a protest, and it’s for this reason it makes the list.
Protests aside, Manchester’s famous Canal Street is also a fantastic queer district to enjoy a cocktail or meal by the water in peace (perhaps less in peace during Pride season).
Pride Travelling Tips
Travelling abroad for Pride? We’ve got some handy tips that you might want to consider while planning your trip.
Many hotels in and around queer-districts will often put on special Pride offers and provide a little something extra with your stay. This is generally to mask the fact that they have upped their prices a significant amount. If you’re willing to broaden your search a bit, and accept a modest walk to the main stage area, you can save quite a bit of cash.
Next up: poppers. They’ll be everywhere at Pride, but strictly speaking you can’t take poppers on a plane. Due to their flammable nature they’re actually banned under many country’s security regulations for aviation. Not to worry though, you’ll still be able to buy poppers locally at most destinations.
Your outfit is a big part of Pride. If you’re planning on something a bit bulkier, say leather jackets and boots, wearing these items onto the plane will take a massive amount off your luggage allowance. Don’t worry – you can take them off as soon as you board the plane!
The world is brimming with vibrant pride celebrations, each offering a unique blend of history, culture and activism. From the historic significance of New York, to the alternative spirit of Berlin, there truly is something for everyone. As you embark on your Pride journey, consider exploring beyond the immediate queer districts and explore what the city has to offer generally as well. Whatever Pride you choose, may it be a celebration of love, acceptance, and the ongoing fight for equality!