Gay Pride came into being as a commemoration of the Stonewall riots. These riots took place on June 28, 1969 in Greenwich Village in New York City at the eviction of the gay bar The Stonewall Inn by the Metropolitan Police. After years of police brutality and intimidation, the gay and lesbian visitors of the bar decided to fight back. In contrast to what is traditionally claimed, it was mostly the transvestites (and not the gay men) who fought back.
This rebellion is the pivotal moment in LGBT history, as homosexuals and transvestites had never offered stubborn resistance against the police humiliations targeted on their community in such large numbers. On June 28, 1970, exactly one year after the Stonewall riots in New York, the first Gay Pride Parade ever took place in between Greenwich Village and Central Park. The parade had 5,000 to 10,000 participants. World-wide, similar initiatives were started up in Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.
In The Netherlands, the first demonstration was held in 1977, and has been called Pink Saturday (Roze Zaterdag) since 1979. This usually takes place on the last Saturday in June, each year in a different Dutch city. As the Dutch equivalent of the Gay Pride, Pink Saturday not only has a festive character, but also an emancipatory, demonstrative and political character. This in contrast with the Amsterdam Gay Pride (since 1996), which originally was a party accompanying the Canal Parade. Since 2006, both events have a political and a festive side, and the Amsterdam boat parade is seen as the equivalent of the Gay Pride Parades elsewhere in the word because of its notoriety. From 1979 onwards, Pink Saturdays were also organised in Belgium, in different cities initially, but since 1996 on the second Saturday in May in Brussels. In 2010, this manifestation was renamed The Belgian Pride. Besides this event in Brussels, Antwerp also organises the Antwerp Pride since 2008. In the different former Eastern bloc countries the first Gay Pride Parades have only been held since 2001, but these events are often under violent attack from conservative or extreme right-wing opponents of homosexuality. In the Russian Federation, Gay Pride Parades are usually prohibited by the city councils of Moscow and St. Petersburg.
Appearance and goals
Gay Pride Parades originally consist of a demonstrative parade in which banners and symbols of the homosexual community are carried, such as pink triangles and rainbow flags. Gradually, these parades became increasingly larger, and wagons and trailers with dressed-up people were introduced, with or without a certain theme, a show or on behalf of a gay-related organisation or enterprise. Unique in the world, the Amsterdam Gay Pride consists of decorated boats.
The largest Gay Pride Parades in the world take place in the Brazilian cities of São Paulo (3.2 million visitors in 2010) and Rio de Janeiro (2 million visitors). The largest Gay Pride Parade in Europe so far was the Christopher Street Day in Cologne in 2002 (also Europride at the time), with approximately 1.2 million visitors. Even though all Gay Pride Parades have similar appearances, they have different goals in different periods and different countries. There are parades as a protest against repression, prosecution and discrimination, parades demanding equal rights for homosexuals, parades that celebrate diversity and freedom, and parades that want to showcase a certain city as gay-friendly. As the process of gay emancipation in a certain country develops, the goal of the Gay Pride Parade also often changes: starting as a protest against prosecution and ending as an expression of a social climate that has become gay-friendly.
Below there's an overview of the most notable pride dates in Europe. If you're in the neigbourhood we would defiinetely go and take a look, but do take care, in some countries it's not always safe, even if there's police around.
Happy Gay Pride!
Aarhus, Denmark June 6 Aarhus Pride
Athens, Greece June 13 Athens Pride
Barcelona, Spain June 26-28 Barcelona Pride
Berlin, Germany June 27 Berlin: CSD
Blackpool, UK June 13-14 Blackpool Gay Pride
Bologna, Italy June 28 Bologna Pride
Budapest, Hungary June/July Budapest Pride
Edinburgh, Scotland June 6-15 Edinburgh: Pride Scotia
London, UK June 27 London Pride
Milan, Italy June 22-28 Milano Pride
Paris, France June 25 Paris Gay Pride March
Riga, Latvia June 20 Euro Pride 2015
Rome, Italy June Roma Pride
Sitges, Spain June 18-22 Sitges Gay Pride
Amsterdam, July 25-Aug 2 Amsterdam Pride
Cologne, Germany June 20- July 4, Cologne Gay Pride
Frankfurt, Germany July 17-19 CSD Frankfurt
Hamburg, Germany July 24-Aug. 2 Hamburg Gay Pride
Madrid, Spain July 1-5 Gay Pride Madrid / Orgullo
Munich, Germany July 11-12 Munich: CSD Festival
Tilburg, Netherlands July 20 Roze Mandaag
Antwerp, Belgium Aug. 8-9 Antwerp Pride
Prague, Czech Rep. Aug. 10-16 Prague Pride
Liverpool, UK Aug. 1 Liverpool Pride
Manchester, UK Aug. 28-31 Manchester Gay Pride
Reykjavik, Iceland Aug. 4-9 Reykjavik Pride
Stockholm, Sweden July 27-Aug. 1 Stockholm Gay Pride