Pride parade

From Academic Kids

Baton twirlers perform in the 2002 Divers/Cité pride parade in downtown Montreal
Baton twirlers perform in the 2002 Divers/Cité pride parade in downtown Montreal

A pride parade is part of a festival or ceremony held by the LGBT community of a city to commemorate the struggle for gay liberation, gay rights, and Lesbian and Gay pride.

The gay community of a city will typically present an annual parade, sometimes in the context of a longer celebration including performances, dances, street parties, and the like. Most gay pride parades take place in the summer, particularly in June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

Pride parades evolved from protest marches held by gay people to fight for their rights. Many parades still have this political or activist character (Pride March), especially in less gay-positive settings. However, in more gay-positive cities, the parades take on a festive or even Mardi Gras-like character. Large parades often involve floats, dancers, drag queens, and amplified music; but, even such celebratory parades usually include political and educational contingents, such as local politicians and marching groups from gay and queer institutions of various kinds. Other typical parade participants include local gay-friendly churches such as Metropolitan Community Churches and Unitarian Universalist Churches, PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), and the gay employee associations from large businesses.

Even the most festive parades often offer some aspect dedicated to remembering victims of AIDS. Some particularly important pride parades are funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them. In some countries, some pride parades are now also called Pride Festivals. Some of these festivals provide a carnival-like atmosphere in a nearby park or city-provided closed-off street, with information booths, music concerts, barbecues, beer stands, contests, sports, and games.

Historically these events were named Gay but have evolved over the years. First to Lesbian and Gay then to today's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT). Some of these changes met with initial resistance in their own communities.

A portion of homosexuals and non-homosexuals regard pride parades, especially those of a more festive character, as vulgar flaunting of sexual orientation, charging them with an undue emphasis on sex and bizarre behaviour which they see as detrimental to the cause of gay rights. Others criticize this position, seeing it as pandering to homophobia, and arguing that heterosexuality takes centre stage the other 364 days of the year and that pride parades promote visibility and discussion of gay and lesbian issues. Most argue that such parades are carnivals and that they should be taken as such rather than as representative of everyday life for someone who happens to be gay.

Cities particularly noted for their pride parades include Toronto (Gay Pride Week), New York, San Francisco, West Hollywood, Houston, Montreal (Divers/Cit), London, So Paulo (Parada do Orgulho GLBT de So Paulo), Amsterdam, Vancouver, Berlin (Christopher Street Day), Salt Lake City (Utah Pride Festival), Sydney (see Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras) and Tokyo.

In the Netherlands the day is called Roze Zaterdag (Pink Saturday).

See also: Gay pride Queer culturede:Christopher Street Day fr:Gaypride zh:骄傲游行


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