A world pride guide

In many parts of the world, June is recognised as Gay and Lesbian Pride Month, and several of the biggest Gay Pride parades and other LGBT festivals around the world are rapidly approaching, with some starting this weekend.

Gay Pride parades originated in 1970 in New York City to commemorate the anniversary of the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York's Greenwich Village. While the serious goal of promoting tolerance for people of all sexual orientations remains, the New York parade is now one of the biggest parties of the year in Manhattan: the authors of the Lonely Planet New York City Guide describe it as "a five-hour spectacle of dancers, drag queens, gay police officers, leathermen, lesbian soccer-moms, and representatives of just about every queer scene under the rainbow." Last year's parade-goers got soaked by heavy New York summer rains in the late afternoon, but that didn't stop over a million revelers from coming out to enjoy the festivities and join the march.

The number of Gay Pride celebrations worldwide grows each year - some like New York and Paris are large and established, while others like Delhi and Shanghai are relatively new and struggling to gain acceptance. For more information, check sites like InterPride.org and Wikipedia's list of LGBT events to see what is happening throughout the year. The list below contains some of the Gay Pride parade dates around the world over the next month:

Are you headed to one of the many Gay Pride parades around the world this year? Let us know your plans. If your local parade isn't included in the list above, feel free to include useful details for others below.

[Photo: Gay Pride New York 2008, by See-ming Lee]

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