Sometimes I try and think of myself as a straight person (I know…seriously laughable). I’ve read articles about gay people “transforming” and miraculously becoming heterosexuals, and all I can ever think is why on earth would you ever want to deprive yourself of the multitude of amazing Pride celebrations. There is no greater feeling than being surrounded by people who get you, who understand what you’ve been through, and somehow feel like automatic family…and who doesn’t love waving that Pride flag when you’re eight cocktails in?
New York’s Pride Parade is by far my favorite time of year (sorry, Christmas and Hanukkah). I’ve been going to the parade since I was a teenager and have marched in it countless times. This year was the first time that I gay graduated to a float and let me tell you…I felt like a lesbian princess. The pure excitement and joy on everyone in the crowds face seriously could replace about a years supply of Xanax…maybe six months, but…
I get warm and fuzzy all Pride month long. New York’s parade is like popping a roll of bubble wrap, opening up an early birthday present, crunching into that first bite of pizza, finishing your last dunkaroo cookie and having enough frosting to top it off. Pride is nothing but magical. Pride lives in me all year round, sometimes I have to stop myself from flying around Manhattan on a unicorn whilst sprinkling glitter on unsuspecting businessman on Wall Street. Alas my New York time has passed but there are still a caboodle of parades that exist in the near gay future where you can continue your Pride long past the USA’s Pride Month. Here are 5 of my favorites:
Amsterdam – July 28th – August 5th
Amsterdam is known for being an oasis for all things taboo. Naturally their Pride parade had to keep up with the countries status quo, and do they ever. Amsterdam, you have truly outdone yourself. Why? Well this parades’ floats literally float. Doing away with all of that hot pavement that riddles every other parade the LGBT community of Amsterdam takes it to the water (well the canal to be exact). Spectators file along the canal and watch as queens and bears alike float past in leather and stuff. My question is: how many people fall in every year? I know I would.
Rio De Janiro, Brazil – October 14
For all I care Rio’s Pride could be a bunch of gays with a boombox blasting Kylie Minogue, because it is in Rio and therefore nothing could be wrong. But this is Rio and that simply will not do. You know what will do? 2.5 million people getting tanned and glittered: this is the biggest Pride parade in the world. No, really…. The Guinness Book of World Records says so. Millions of glistening bodies shimmering in Brazil’s sun? The accents! The glitter! The glory! Oh, Giselle!
North Carolina – September 29th
I know what you’re thinking , what the hell is North Carolina doing on a list about gay anything? After they banned gay marriage a few months ago, North Carolina has definitely been on every homo’s hate list. But get this, Asheville was named one of the 5 must go to Pride’s in the WORLD by CNN. I know, you’re like ‘say what?’ but tis true! North Carolina’s gays won’t let the marriage ban stop them from shaking it down the streets of 3 major cities.
San Francisco, California – June 29th – 30th 2013 As a lifelong east coaster I am contractually obligated to love New York’s Pride more than any other Pride in the country, especially one occurring in California. But I can not tell a lie: San Francisco does Pride right. They devote an entire weekend to all things gay. Friday kicks things off with The Trans March and Saturday in the infamous part of town known as The Castro. Lesbians party into the night preceding the Dyke March, and if you’ve made it until then join hundreds of thousands of spectators on Sunday. At the parade’s end party it up at the festival, of which an entire section known as Leather Alley is devoted to BDSM booths and demos. San Fran you naughty Pride you.
Sydney, Australia – February 12th – March 4th 2013
Sydney doesn’t have an actual Pride exactly, and you’ve technically already missed this one, so why is it on this list? Because their Mardi Gras rivals Rio for the biggest gay party this globe has to offer. It is one of the only cities whose Pride isn’t advertised as such, which makes it the epitome of cool as far as I’m concerned. Sydney is an extremely LGBT friendly city: you can see rainbow flags flying all year round, but for the month of February the gay comes full force. The drag performances here are in many cases better than seeing any of the artists the queens are impersonating. Seriously. Ru Paul would get stage fright here. Not only are their drag competitions, there are also tons of Aussie-lovin’ parties (obviously), a film festival, art exhibitions, queer pop up libraries, and of course a massive parade. 2013’s festivities are already being planned, so start planning now, mates!