Tag Archives: Pride Parade

NYC Just Hosted the First Russian Gay Pride Parade

Russia is not known for its tolerance. Who can forget the boycotts over the controversial Sochi Olympics just a few short years ago?

Due to homophobic persecution in Russia, thousands of Russians have emigrated from Russia to the United States, seeking asylum. However, these immigrants have not always been welcomed with open arms into the US’ existing Russian immigrant populations, many of whom migrated for economic reasons and are socially more conservative.

In order to bridge the gap between tolerance and intolerance, proclaim their pride in front of their community, and build solidarity among themselves, hundreds of LGBT Russian-speaking immigrants took to the streets of New York City in May for their first-ever Russian-speaking LGBT pride parade.

The parade included immigrants not just from Russia, but from all countries of the former Society Union. Despite the overcast skies and intermittent rain, the parade wound its way down the Brighton Beach boardwalk. There was chanting, dancing, music and excitement. Non-Russian allies carried signs to show their support.

People waved rainbow flags and signs that said, “There is enough kielbasa (sausage) for everyone,” a pro-inclusive statement that references Soviet-era food shortages. The Rude Mechanical Orchestra provided music for the march

Speaking about intolerant members of the Russian-speaking immigrant community, Lyosha Gorshkov, president of the Russian-Speaking American LGBT Association, says,

They don’t see us, and I decided we have to do something to make Brighton Beach safe for all of us.”.

Not all of the onlookers welcomed the parade, unfortunately. One Russian immigrant said about the parade, “They shouldn’t allow it. I’m not saying they should kill them, although if it were up to me…but these marches should not be allowed. First this, and what’s next?”

Attitudes like that are the reason for this march. Check out photos at the official Facebook page.

One Million People Expected to Attend London’s Pride Parade

Last year organisers of London Pride estimated around 700,000 people witnessed the parade, with around 30,000 people participating, this Saturday’s celebrations could be seen by nearly a million.

That number is likely to include tourists and shoppers in the West End, who see the parade, pass by but were not actively participating in the event.

Wembley Arch and the London Eye will be lit up in rainbow colours, to celebrate the parade.

stream_img wembley_arena

Michael Salter, Chairman of Pride in London said:

It’s incredible to see how Pride in London has grown over the last three years to quickly become the biggest Pride event in the country.

The annual Pride Parade now includes over 250 groups representing the incredible diversity of London’s LGBT+ community. And this year’s Parade theme Pride Heroes will ensure this is the most colourful and exhilarating Parade the city has ever seen.”


Thousands Attend Sydney’s Mardi Gras

Hundreds of thousands of people packed the streets of Sydney’s gay village this weekend to watch the annual Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. The now famous parade has been going for 37 years.

The theme for this year’s event was tackling homophobia in sport – with gay and lesbian sports teams in the parade and one float carrying prominent sports men and women.

“Mardi Gras is a time of year where everyone has a chance to express themselves without fear of persecution. It’s also a chance to be super creative and make amazing costumes. And it’s the only time of the year that you can walk through the city half naked and covered head to toe in paint and glitter.”

Nearly 150 marching groups and floats participated in this year’s parade, including members of Australia’s armed forces, who for the first time ever they were lead by the most senior enlisted military figures. Military personnel have only been able to participate openly in the parade since 2008, and it was only this year that they have been allowed to march in uniform.

The parade always begins with the traditional roar of the Dykes on Bikes, and this year was no different  – well one little inclusion – the cast of hit web series Starting From Now rod shotgun.

They were followed by 42 Boys on Bikes and by a visiting contingent from Victorian LGBTI biker group the Melbourne Motorcycle Tourers.

Highlights included, a large contingent of LGBTI sporting groups, followed by a float from the ANZ bank – this year’s Principle Partner with the festival. 

The ‘78ers – veterans of the first ever Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras in 1978 (which descended into a police riot after officers attacked the marchers). A large group of indigenous Australians, with a bus carrying respected members of Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. 

People With Disability Australia (a crowd favorite) travelled on a float featuring a pair of giant lips – sending the message that people should be free to love without discrimination regardless of their ability.

Another highlight of the parade were marchers from Australian Marriage Equality, with 100 marchers wearing Passion t-shirts dancing to the tune of Bruno Mar’s song ‘Marry You.’  

One of the largest corporate entries in the parade was the Google entry – with over a thousand people, including Australia’s first ever Eurovision entry Guy Sebastian, Megan Washington and band The Jezabels, marching to raise awareness for LGBTI youth charity Twenty10.

5,000 People March In Mumbai’s Pride Parade

Mumbai Pride Parade is now in its 8th year, but this year saw an exceptional turnout, with a 5000-strong march on Saturday. However what made it an even more special occasion was the hundreds of parents of LGBTQ children, making up a substantial chunk of the marchers.

Vikram Doctor, co-organizer of the first pride parade in the city, was quoted as saying that in earlier years, it would be…

“… only the occasional mother or sister or aunt who’d come join the gay person in the march. It’s great to see fathers and brothers step forward too.” Vikram Doctor

The parade, which started from August Kranti Maidan covering Grant Road and Nana Chowk, was one of the biggest Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender pride parades the city has seen.

Parents of LGBTI children have continuously voiced their support and lobbied for the decriminalization of gay sex under section 377 of the Indian Penal Code.

India’s Mid-Day news quoted a mother who says she wants a traditional wedding for her gay son.

“It took me a few years to accept the reality that my son is gay. Initially, I used to curse him, but gradually learnt to accept him. It’s every parents’ dream to have a grand wedding for their child and I want the same. I have been to Europe and seen a gay marriage and that’s how I came to know that in some countries, gay marriages are allowed.”

Following an 8-year legal battle, the Delhi Hight Court decriminalized gay sex in 2009. But on 11 December 2013, the Supreme Court of India overturned the decision of the lower court and recriminalized gay sex.

Power to Uganda LGBT Community as They Hold Pride Parade in Entebbe

Members of Uganda’s LGBT community and their supporters are held a gay pride parade on a beach in the lakeside town of Entebbe.

The parade is their first public event since a Ugandan court invalidated an anti-gay law that was widely condemned by some Western governments and human rights watchdogs.

About 200 people attended the event, said Ugandan gay activist Moses Kimbugwe. He said participants were waited for police protection before they marched through sprawling botanical gardens in Entebbe, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the capital of Kampala.

Many marchers wore masks, signaling they did not want to be publicly identified in a country where gays face discrimination. Others waved rainbow flags as they danced and frolicked on a sandy beach.

This is the third annual gay pride event, said organizers. The first one, in 2012, turned violent after local police tried to break it up, said Ugandan lesbian activist Jacqueline Kasha. This time they were expecting full protection from the police, she said.

“We are a group of people who have suffered enough. We are Ugandans who have the right to gather in a public place … and we are going to have fun.”

Jacqueline Kasha