For the last 50+ years, LGBTQ+ communities around the world have taken to the streets to show their pride. Not only have Pride events served as great reasons to come out and party, but they’ve also made potent statements amid repeated attempts by opponents to halt any advances in LGBTQ+ civil rights and essentially force our communities back in the closet.
In 2022, LGBTQ+ communities in the U.S. and around the world face ongoing challenges from resurgent hate crimes, anti-equality legislation, and difficult conversations within our own communities on how better to promote diversity and inclusion for all queer people. Yet, we also have reasons to celebrate our communities’ resiliency in the face of hate-fueled adversity. Here are 10 of our favorite LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations that will make you want to hit the streets, make some noise, and cheer on everyone who makes our queer communities great.
While the respective LGBTQ+ Pride weekends in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco tend to attract the largest crowds and the most media attention for obvious reasons, we want to branch out and check out destinations beyond the usual hotspots. Don’t worry: You’ll still have plenty of fabulous fun in these cities. You might also discover some pleasant surprises, and hopefully, you’ll find opportunities to explore more of America’s vibrant queer culture.
While The Windy City doesn’t always get major recognition for its Pride Month events, we’re changing that today. In fact, if you want to get an early start to your Pride party, the June 18 and 19 Chicago Pride Fest will feature some amazing queer performers, including RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars season 2 winner Alaska Thunderf*ck, the boundary-pushing, rapping, and songwriting sensation CupcakKe, and YouTuber turned superstar Mila Jam.
The following weekend, Pride in the Park will feature an amazing parade and an entertainment roster that’s even more jam-packed with A-List stars. Even better, this is a prime opportunity to explore Chicago’s rich queer history and see for yourself how queer culture extends far beyond the usual coastal hubs.
Once upon a time, Colorado was worst known for a 1992 ballot initiative to ban municipal governments from enacting their own LGBTQ+ civil rights laws. In 2022, Colorado has an openly gay governor (Jared Polis) and some of the nation’s strongest LGBTQ+ civil rights laws.
On June 25 and 26, you can celebrate all this progress and more at Denver PrideFest, which will feature two days of exciting entertainment on the main stage, a Saturday Pride 5k marathon, a Saturday Dyke March, a Sunday parade Downtown, two parties at Meow Wolf, and the perfect excuse to explore Denver’s epic restaurant and craft brewery scene.
Weeks after Los Angeles and San Francisco finish their respective Pride Weekends, California’s LGBTQ+ scene turns south and lands in sunny San Diego July 15 to 17 for a packed weekend that features:
- A Friday Pride rally
- A 5k run along the parade route followed by San Diego County’s largest single-day civic event (as in, the parade itself) on Saturday
- A two-day festival in the heart of the stunningly beautiful Balboa Park
- A weekend-long EDM music festival
- A block party in San Diego’s historic gayborhood of Hillcrest
Come for the official Pride Weekend events, stay for some of the West Coast’s best restaurants and craft breweries, and make sure to cool down at some of California’s best beaches if it’s feeling too hot inland.
October 7 to 8, Las Vegas lights up in rainbow hues for Pride Weekend. While fabulous Las Vegas makes for a great year-round LGBTQ+ travel destination, thanks to most casino companies’ recent efforts to make their resorts more inclusive and the many things for travelers to do on and beyond the casino floor, Pride Weekend may very well be the absolute best time to visit here.
Unlike most other Pride parades, Las Vegas does a Friday night parade Downtown, which makes it incredibly easy to spend the night making the rounds at the hottest spots in the 18b Arts District and Fremont East after the parade. In addition to the Saturday daytime festival at Craig Ranch Park in North Las Vegas, Pride Weekend also includes plenty of piping hot parties up and down The Strip.
As one of the most queer-friendly major cities in the South — and as a leading hub of Black queer commerce, arts, and culture — Atlanta doesn’t always get the love and respect it deserves. Yet in recent years, Atlanta Black Pride Weekend has grown into the world’s largest Black-led Pride event and the American South’s largest LGBTQ+ Pride celebration.
From October 7 to 9, you can expect an expansive festival, an extra festive parade, a ton of Pride Weekend parties across town, and a good chance of a weekend full of pleasant weather to explore ATL landmarks like the King Center, the Georgia Aquarium, and Centennial Park.
There are so many amazing LGBTQ+ Pride celebrations around the world that this article would become incredibly long if we were to try to list all our favorites. Still, we want to highlight these five international Pride celebrations that are sure to blow you away.
This may seem like an odd entry, but Spain has often been a European leader in advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights, and Madrid’s Orgullo celebration has become Europe’s largest. From July 1 to 10, Madrid’s Chueca neighborhood becomes the epicenter of the action as four stages host epic concerts and shows.
Community activism events are open to all who want to speak up for equality, and the signature parade on July 9 gets so loud and proud that the entire world takes notice. This may sound cliche, but Madrid Orgullo is so spectacular that you really have to see it and experience it to believe it.
Since The Netherlands was the very first nation to provide legal marriage equality in 2001, and since The Netherlands continues to serve as a global leader in LGBTQ+ civil rights, it’s not too surprising that Amsterdam Pride is an amazing celebration of our community. From July 30 to August 7, you can experience an activist Pride Walk, a day full of epic performances at Pride Park, multiple street parties, Pride at the Beach (need we say more?), and the big Canal Parade on August 6.
What makes Amsterdam Pride extra special this year is the theme: “My Gender, My Pride.” With hate crimes and legislative attacks on transgender, non-binary, and gender-nonconforming people ramping up around the world, it’s awesome to see Amsterdam taking the lead in standing up for our entire community across the gender spectrum.
While much of East and Southeast Asia lamentably continues to lag behind in LGBTQ+ civil rights, Taiwan has made considerable progress in advancing LGBTQ+ equality in recent years. This October 27 to 30, Taiwan Pride will celebrate this progress and provide a beacon of hope to queer people throughout the region who continue to struggle against institutionalized discrimination.
Not only can you take in Asia’s largest Pride parade on October 29, but you can also check out Taiwan’s legendary circuit parties, watch performances all day on the 29th at the Pride Village, and do plenty more across this uniquely charming city.
From October 28 to 30, South Africa’s largest city also becomes the epicenter of Pride of Africa. As far too many LGBTQ+ Africans continue to face horrific levels of oppression, Johannesburg Pride offers the ultimate refuge where everyone can celebrate their authentic selves to speak out for change.
South Africa not only has the continent’s most comprehensive LGBTQ+ civil rights laws, but Johannesburg offers one of the most welcoming attitudes you’ll find in Africa. While “The City of Gold” continues to confront major issues of widespread inequality, Jo’Burg is undergoing a renaissance that’s opening up more areas to safer and more pleasing excursions.
Next February, World Pride will venture Down Under! That’s right: Sydney’s annual Mardi Gras will also function as World Pride 2023 from February 17 to March 5. When this tradition began in 1978, LGBTQ+ Australians were still being arrested for “illegal homosexual activities.” Ever since then, Australia has become much more accepting, Sydney’s Darlinghurst gayborhood has become a tourist destination in and of itself, and Sydney Mardi Gras has become one of the world’s most iconic Pride celebrations.
Next year, Sydney Mardi Gras will include everything from its legendary parade and party on February 25 to a historic First Nations Gathering Space. It will also include multiple mega concerts, a Pride Party at the world-famous Bondi Beach, and a human rights conference focusing on advancing LGBTQ+ civil rights in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.
We hope this Pride-filled trip around the world inspires you to show your Pride, celebrate the diversity that makes us great, and continue striving for a more just and equitable world. For more exciting ideas for your upcoming travel itinerary, take a look at the eight best neighborhoods to stay and explore in Barcelona, the world’s five happiest countries worth visiting, and our London travel guide. Good day, and cheers to safe and happy travels!