After a couple of years in COVID hibernation, Pride is officially back in 2022 — bigger, better and louder than ever. To commemorate the anniversary of the watershed Stonewall Uprising, Pride parties, festivals and parades are kicking off all over the world for the entire summer (plus some). Don’t know where to start? Here’s a quick rundown of some of the major Pride events to celebrate Pride around the world.
It’s been a long couple of years for Pride. In April 2020, according to the European Pride Organisation, more than 280 Pride celebrations around the world had to be canceled due to COVID restrictions. A few cities went virtual in 2020 and 2021, but it wasn’t quite the same energy.
For many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex and asexual communities, 2022 will mark the first time in years they’ve been able to celebrate Pride in person. It’s a big deal, and the calendar is officially stacked with global events.
LGBT Pride Month marks the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City, a rebellion against anti-queer policing that kickstarted the modern Gay Rights movement. It’s held every year in June, with World Pride Day falling on June 28 (June is obviously a big month for Pride, but many celebrations occur throughout the year; check individual Pride websites for specific dates).
Here are some great Pride events to celebrate at in 2022.
New York City Pride Parade | 27 June
2020 actually marked the 50th anniversary of the first-ever Pride march, which occurred in New York in 1970 (it was known as the Christopher Street Liberation Day March back then). That makes New York the unofficial home of Pride, and the celebrations here are incredible, to say the least. About 2.5 million people rocked up in 2019, and you can probably expect similar numbers this year, even with New York’s COVID numbers climbing steadily over the last few months. New York Pride is going all out. We’re talking 30 days and over 50 events celebrating this year’s theme, “Unapologetically Us.” There’s a lot going on, but nycpride.org has a great run-down. If you can only attend one event, make it the NYC Pride March on Sunday 27 June.
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São Paulo Pride | 15 June – 19 June
New York might hold claim to the first Pride, but São Paulo is by far the biggest. According to the Guinness Book of Records, three to five million visitors flock to La Parada do Orgulho GLBT de São Paulo every year (or they did, before COVID). This year is going to be special, too. The São Paulo Gay Pride Parade started in 1997, which means 2022 marks the city’s 25th anniversary. And just like Carnival, Brazil doesn’t do these things by halves. The celebrations usually kick off a week before the Parade itself. São Paulo hosts gay plays, debates, forums, street markets, concerts and heaps more. When the Parade begins, grab yourself a spot on the Avenida Paulista and watch the trio elétricos (themed floats) rumble by.
Madrid Pride (MADO) | 1 July – 10 July
Spain is known as one of the most LGBTQIA+ friendly countries in the world, and the Madrid Pride (also known as MADO) tends to go off. Millions flock to the city during Pride Month, with the celebrations usually starting, officially, on 28 June. This year they’ll be kicking off slightly later, running from 1 July to 10 July. This year’s festival is a big deal for Madrid, as it marks 30 years since the first #EuroPride, held in London back in 1992. If you’re new to the city, just head to Chueca, Madrid’s famous gay neighborhood, and follow the party. Check out Atocha on 9 July for the official State Pride Demonstration and State Manifestation, considered the largest activist LGBTQIA+ protest event in the world. It’s the annual centerpiece of Madrid Pride.
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Fierté Montréal | 8 August – 14 August
Also known as Montreal Pride, Fierté Montréal officially started in 2007 and now claims to be the largest Francophone Pride gathering in the world. Small disclaimer: you don’t have to speak French to attend Montreal Pride, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to brush up your vocab. Montreal Pride is running through the month of August this year, and the organizers are expecting over two million local and international visitors. As usual, there are tons of workshops and panel discussions, plus the famous Community Days on Saint-Catherine Street, in the heart of the Gay Village. There are two Community Days this year, penciled in for 5 August and 6 August, and they’re always the best part of Montreal Pride, where 169 different community groups set up kiosks and open-air stalls. Added bonus, entry is free! Allies are more than welcome.
Amsterdam Pride | 30 July – 7 August
Special shout out to Amsterdam Pride, which is not only one of the largest Pride celebrations in Europe, but also holds the distinction of having the only water-based Canal Parade. Every year, locals, visitors and community groups decorate their boats, which float along Amsterdam’s historic UNESCO canals. This year the boat party falls on 6 August, and the theme is “My Gender, My Pride.” The parade traditionally starts at the Scheepvaart Museum on Oosterdok, before bobbing its way through Nieuwe Herengracht, Amstel, Prinsengracht and Westerdok. For the best views, head to Amstelveld or the main stage on Dam Square (get there early if you can; the crowds along the canals are usually packed). Also, take some time to check out Pride Park in the beautiful Vondelpark. It’s the epicenter of Amsterdam Pride, with an open-air theatre, Youth Pride sports competitions, live music and tons of activities.
Guam Pride | 4 June
One Pride celebration that maybe hasn’t been top of mind in years past for global celebrations is Guam Pride, which is celebrating its fifth year in 2022. Guam isn’t the world’s biggest Pride event, but it’s an important one for a country marketing itself as an LGBTQIA+ destination. The March and Beach Festival are both free, and kick off on 4 June at Ypao Beach Park in Tamuning. There’ll be live music galore, food trucks, drag acts, carnival rides, free HIV testing and tons of family-friendly activities.
For a full list of Pride celebrations in 2022, check out the handy calendar at iglta.org