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replicated in other locations across America
on the same day. The last weekend in June is
now traditionally New York Pride weekend
and many cities across the continent follow
Pride London
In the UK, London Pride weekend is most
often held on the first weekend in July. The
first march as held on 1st July 1972 and
around 2000 protesters showed up. The
next year just 150 gay men marched through
Highbury Fields in North London. But
when the Section 28 controversy started in
1979, numbers at the annual protest rose
dramatically. In 1983 the march was named
Lesbian and Gay Pride. By the time the
1990s came along, the event had much more
of a party atmosphere. Today, Pride London
attracts over a million people and is officially
the biggest outdoor event in the UK.
Around the World
From small gatherings in countries where
homosexuality is still illegal to massive party
events in capital cities, the idea of gathering
together to celebrate gay life has proved
popular. São Paulo is considered to be the
biggest pride in the world. Starting in 1997,
2006 was the record breaking year when 3.2
million Pride-goers turned up. Sydney Mardi
Gras is also a big event attracting around
70,000 visitors.
Sydney had
its first
Pride event in 1978 to commemorate the
Stonewall riots and has run every year since
and because of the difference in the seasons,
Sydney Mardi Gras it always the first big
Pride of the year.
From massive Pride events to small ones
and despite Shanghai being the highest
populated city in China, the first ever Pride
event in 2009 attracted just 3000 people
who braved prejudice and attended the
event. It was the first mass gay event to take
place in China and has been growing year
on year. Homosexuality was made legal in
Bulgaria back in 1968 but it took 40 years
before a mere 120 people felt safe enough to
hold a Pride event in the capital Sofia. This
first event was marred by violence against
the marchers. But nobody was hurt and each
year, more and more LGBTs come out to
join the parade.
Illegal Prides
When we are marching around our home
town with a rainbow flag draped around
our neck, it feels hard to imagine that there
are countries where Gay Prides are banned.
Most notable among the banned events is
Moscow. The first Pride in 2006 was banned
by the Chief of Security who said the event
should be illegal for the next hundred
years. However, several dozen protesters
took to the streets anyway, but the event
was attacked by protesters on a counter-
demonstration. Year after year, LGBTs have
tried to find ways to organise an illegal
protest and in 2011 the parade only lasted
a few minutes before police arrested 30
of the protesters. Gay pride events in
Poland, Serbia, Hungary, Lithuania
and Moldova have also all been
banned and there are many more
countries were the legal status of
homosexual acts mean a parade is