Author Meg Ten Eyck is a white, cisgender, queer woman based in the USA. She is an award-winning LGBTQ travel content creator, CEO of EveryQueer, and has been a professional LGBTQ+ activist and subject matter expert since 2005. She has also been a featured speaker at LGBTQ+ conferences around the world, has visited over 60 countries, and recently published her first book, Slacktivist: Using Digital Media to Create Change.
Pride has a deep, important history in the LGBTQ+ community, and it’s much more than just an event. It is a reunion, a time of remembrance and the best party of the year. It’s an opportunity for allies to show their support. We are all able to drop our guard and celebrate openly at events created for us, by us. These activities also allow the LGBTQ+ community to advance local queer culture in other ways, such as through cinema, art, music and sports.
Those who travel for Pride are able to connect with new communities and support the local economies around the world that host our events. Peter Jordan, a celebrated researcher and the thought leader behind the UNWTO Global Report on LGBTQ Tourism, explains the trends he’s seen unfolding.
“In recent years, Pride has become a major motivator to travel,” Jordan explained. “As people seek to discover how Pride is celebrated in different parts of the world, they use it as a springboard to visit other local destinations, too. In my 2018 ETC survey of LGBTQ individuals from the US, China, Brazil and Russia, attending a Pride event was voted the top reason for flying long-haul to Europe. This spreads Pride’s economic impact beyond the local businesses where Pride is celebrated, stretching across whole cities and regions.”
Jordan went on to explain that, beyond the obvious economic gains for communities celebrating Pride, the significance of these events is important in the advancement of LGBTQ+ culture. “Visibility is key to acceptance, so the simple effect of seeing hundreds, thousands or even more than a million people pour into the streets to show their pride can be enormously powerful in showing a global shift of perceptions about LGBTQ acceptance.”
Pride events in 2021 around the world
The kick-off to Pride as we know it happened in 1969 when a group of LGBTQ+ persons at the Stonewall Inn in New York City fought for their rights and refused to stay silent. That same energy is here for Pride 2021, but this time with a resilient and adaptable view of what Pride is and how it should be observed.
In 2020, we saw Pride event after event cancelled across the world. Today, as vaccination rates improve regionally, we are starting to see the rainbow forming after the storm. Many countries are easing back into near-normal life and have announced plans to host either in-person, hybrid or fully digital Pride events. Although it won’t quite feel like pre-COVID days, the feeling of excitement around these gatherings is bubbling across the community. If you’re eager to participate, have a look to see which cities near you are hosting events, or transport yourself across the world (either literally or digitally) and join other communities as they celebrate Pride this year!
Here are some of the many creative ways Pride will be celebrated across the globe in 2021.
Pride 2021 in Europe
Here you’ll find some of the top Pride events around Europe. This isn’t a comprehensive list, so if you see some countries or cities missing, that doesn’t mean Pride is cancelled!
Pride events in Denmark
WorldPride 2021 and the LGBTQ+ sporting event EuroGames will take place in the Danish capital city of Copenhagen from August 12-22. City Hall Square will serve as a village for the LGBTQ+ community. Many of the events will also be live-streamed for those wanting to participate from home. There will be parades both in Copenhagen and in Malmö, which is located across the Öresund Bridge in Sweden.
Pride events in Germany
Berlin’s Pride, known as Christopher Street Day (CSD), is usually kicked off with The Lesbisch-Schwule Stadtfest and typically takes place in June. This year, CSD-Pride Week is planned for June 26-29, with small events taking place around the city. The Lesbisch-Schwule Stadtfest is currently scheduled for October 2021 in the heart of Berlin’s LGBTQ+ district, Schӧneberg. Christopher Street Day marches will take place on June 26, with several small demonstrations at different districts marching toward Alexanderplatz, with the possibility of a larger event in September 2021.
In honor of the LGBTQ+ community, Berlin’s tourism board has created the Pink Pillow Berlin Collection, which is a collection of LGBTQ+-friendly hotels that will also be providing resources to visiting LGBTQ+ people exploring Berlin.
Pride events in Malta
Pride in Malta will take place from September 10-19. While the exact schedule of events is still pending due to COVID-19 regulations, they have announced that the Pride March, Pride Concert and After Pride Party are scheduled to take place on September 18. The events will require an RSVP for crowd control, but reservations are free via its website.
Pride events in Norway
Oslo Pride is Norway’s largest celebration of queer love and diversity. It will be a 10-day festival spanning from June 18-27, where everyone can be exactly who they are. This year, guests will celebrate with a hybrid of physical events in the capital and digitally on the Oslo Pride 2021 website. Some of the in-person events will be held at Pride Park. The festival area consists of several stages, food service and bars, the Pride shop and many stands.
From June 19-25, Pride House will put queer culture and politics on the agenda through debates, lectures, workshops and various cultural expressions. This year, Pride House is happening at Youngs and Kulturhuset at Youngstorget, is free and open to everyone and of course, will adhere to current infection-control guidelines for indoor events. Both Youngs and Kulturhuset meet requirements for universal design and have good accessibility on all premises.
Pride events in Sweden
Stockholm Pride will take place from August 2-8 in Södermalm and be in line with COVID restrictions and limitations. The theater stage at Södra Teatern will host the Pride stage, and Pride House will be held at Clarion Stockholm — both will be recorded and streamed digitally.
Malmö, Sweden, will be hosting the second half of WorldPride 2021. This year, Malmö Pride, together with Copenhagen, hosts WorldPride and EuroGames. This is the first time WorldPride and EuroGames have been combined, and they promise a rainbow-colored party like no other. The event, which is held in both Malmö and Copenhagen from August 12-22, offers an incomparable and spectacular program with two Pride parades, parties, musical performances, youth Pride, art and culture, a giant WorldPride House and much more!
Pride events in Switzerland
Since 1994, Christopher Street Day has been regularly held in Zurich to fight against discrimination and for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community. This year, from June 18-19, the festival site on the Sechseläutenplatz and next to Bürkliplatz will be transformed into a party hotspot. Arosa Switzerland has always been an LGBTQ+-friendly destination and home to Arosa Gay Ski Week since 2005.
Pride events in the United Kingdom
The United Kingdom will host dozens of Pride 2021 celebrations across the nation. As tight lockdown measures have loosened, several Pride celebrations have marked the calendar with save-the-dates. Many of the headliners and smaller events are yet to be announced, but several late summer and early autumn Prides will be taking over the UK. Pride in London, the UK’s biggest and most diverse Pride celebration, kicks off on September 11. Birmingham Pride will be September 25-26, with a combination of in-person and online events. Manchester Pride Festival will take place from August 27-30.
Pride 2021 in North America
As you might suspect, there are a lot of Pride events around North America, especially in the United States. We wish we could’ve included them all! The following is a sampling of Pride events, but not a comprehensive list.
Pride events in the United States
This year, Phoenix is celebrating its 40th anniversary of the annual Phoenix Pride Festival which will take place on November 6 and 7 at Steele Indian School Park. Phoenix Pride will be a two-day, in-person celebration designed to bring LGBTQ+ and allied communities together for a weekend of camaraderie. Pride celebrates the past, present and future of the LGBTQ+ community while also raising funds for the Phoenix Pride Community Programs. This year’s Phoenix Pride will be packed with 150 entertainment performances and 300 exhibitors showcasing a variety of delectable food, infinite shopping and community resources. This extravagant festival also brings an art expo, KidSpace, dance pavilion, Erotic World and performance stages. The Circle K Main Stage lineup features artists like Neon Trees, Melanie Fiona, Jody Watley and Deborah Cox.
Pride returns to San Francisco this year and will be celebrated throughout all of June. “All in This Together” is the theme for #SFPride51, and it’s quite fitting! As with many festivals, the Parade and Celebration won’t be taking place, but there are many new and fun events on the schedule.
California hosts dozens of pride celebrations each year. San Diego Pride is set to take place July 10-18. The lineup includes She Fest, an annual women’s Pride festival; the spirit of Pride rally; and several smaller events around the city.
Los Angeles Pride will host a combination of in-person and virtual events throughout the month of June. Some of the free events include a streaming concert presented by TikTok and the Thrive with Pride Celebration one-hour special on ABC7.
Florida has dozens of LGBTQ+ Pride 2021 events happening this summer and fall. Celebrate Pride in a laid-back island destination for Key West Pride. This multi-day festival will be packed with events, from the Pride Street Fair to pool parties.
A parade stretching along Ocean Drive will kick off Miami Beach Pride in September. Throughout the multi-day festival, a variety of singers will perform, including Matthew Richardson, Nitty Scott and Teraj. Previous years have regularly received around 170,000 attendees, and this year’s festival will work to comply with CDC COVID protocols.
For two weeks in October, Orgullo’s Festival returns as a celebration of drag as an art form. Countless are expected to perform, and a variety of LGBTQ+ movies will be showcased. The festival will blend in-person and virtual events to ensure the safety of attendees and performers. Wynwood Pride will return this June in Miami’s most colorful neighborhood.
Set to be bigger than ever, the Tampa Pride Street Festival will accommodate more attendees across a larger space. Thousands will gather for the Diversity Parade that will wind its way through historic Ybor City. The Pride at Night concert will last till midnight and feature headliner Martha Walsh. Throughout the month of June, St. Petersburg will host a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community through St. Pete Pride. Across four themed weeks, from Arts & Music Week to the Taste of PrideFest Week, hundreds of St. Pete restaurants, cultural institutions, and retail partners will participate to attract guests with events, discounts, and Pride-friendly offerings.
And finally, each Memorial Day Weekend, Pensacola serves as home to one of the nation’s largest LGBTQ+ gatherings. The city will host its Pride Festival in the Park, a free gathering held in historic Seville Square and one of the main attractions over Pride weekend.
Augusta Pride Festival will take place June 25-26, at the Augusta Common. On the 25th, the popular “Beats on Broad: The Blue Party” will take place with a DJ and a live performance by former American Idol Top 8 contestant Ada Vox. On the 26th, Augusta Pride will host its regular free festival with a live performance by former “The Voice” contestants OneUp Duo. While Augusta Pride is putting a pause on having a parade this year, the association hopes that with mask encouragement and social distancing, the festival’s parade can return to offering an outlet for the LGBTQ+ community to gather safely in Augusta again.
James Mintz, president of Augusta Pride, said, “After canceling last year’s event, we’re proud to return back to downtown Augusta to offer a chance to gather again safely together to promote Pride and visibility.”
Savannah’s popular Pride event will be held October 28-30. Kicking off with Masquerade, a drag and costume party, the three-day celebration will feature a parade, musical performances, parties, food and events for LGBTQ+ kids and families.
While a Pride festival of sorts has existed in Indy for more than four decades, the Indy Pride Parade officially began in 2002 with one float, an antique truck, a few drag queens, some antique cars and several walking groups. It lasted a whole 15 minutes. By 2012, the Circle City IN Pride festival stretched further than three city blocks, with more than 300 vendors and over 80,000 LGBTQ+ people and allies in attendance — and the parade continues to grow to this day.
This year, the Indy Pride Festival is being held virtually on June 12. Attendees can still have fun online by tuning into concerts on Twitch, exploring companies and organizations via the vendor village and engaging in virtual meetups with fellow attendees and supporters. A Guide to Virtual Pride will continue to be built out over the coming weeks. People who purchase t-shirts and swag from the United State of Indiana are directly supporting Indy Pride, as 100% of proceeds from its Pride collection go back to the organization.
The Louisville Pride Festival is a street fest that takes place every September in the heart of the city’s eclectic Highlands neighborhood. Additionally, for two days from October 8-9, celebrate at the Kentuckiana Pride Festival. The organization promotes advocacy for Kentucky’s sexual and gender minorities, and despite canceling its 20th-anniversary festival in 2020 and postponing it this year, Kentuckiana Pride is ensuring an exciting venue on the Big Four Lawn in Downtown Louisville. Previous years have featured live performances with singers, dancers and drag queens. Following the celebration, it is worth exploring Louisville, which is consistently ranked among the Midwest’s most inclusive destinations, having been recognized by several publications for its welcoming and LGBTQ+-friendly atmosphere.
Tower Grove Pride is returning once more to St. Louis on September 25. While postponed from its original June date, the celebration will feature more than 100 booths, activities, entertainment and food. Two stages for performers are also set to be available at the festival. Even if Tower Grove Pride won’t happen until September, the Pride Care-A-Van is still set to roll down in June. Last year’s caravan parade consisted of more than 150 cars and served as a remedy for the lack of pride celebrations during the pandemic.
From annual events to amazing entertainment, Las Vegas proudly celebrates the LGBTQ+ community and empowers travelers to embrace who they are year-round. The biggest LGBTQ+ event of the year, Las Vegas PRIDE, is expected to return live on October 8 and 9. The parade runs through Downtown Las Vegas on October 8 and the festival, on October 9, will be bigger and more fabulous after 2020’s virtual at-home celebration.
The Inaugural Henderson Pride Festival set for June 4-6 will include a series of events focused on celebrating diversity, self-awareness, promoting family values and health and wellness in all its forms, kicking off the weekend before with Pride Night at Cowabunga Bay on May 28.
From September 17−19, the Nevada Gay Rodeo Association’s BigHorn Rodeo will once again ride into Las Vegas, bringing with it all the typical rodeo favorites and camp events. Spectators will be jumping in their boots as they enjoy a multitude of events, from bull riding and roping to barrel racing, during the annual three-day event held at Horseman’s Park.
New York City Pride will be taking place throughout the month of June. The roster of events will be a combination of in-person and digital events. The NYC Pride March on June 27 will be presented in a virtual format as well as to-be-determined in-person elements, and The Rally on June 25, will feature a diverse array of speakers and activists in a virtual format. PrideFest and Pride Island will also return on June 27.
Long Island Pride on the beach will take place this year on June 13 as a pre-ticketed event and will require all attendees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The event will have a 500-person capacity and will center around surprise concert performances at Eisenhower Park.
Buffalo Pride 2021 will be taking place virtually this year. They will be putting on a “reverse parade” (Home Sweet Pride) from June 1-6, where they’re asking homes and businesses to style their properties in the most colorful and jubilant Pride decorations to remind the community that Pride Week is taking place. They do have plans to add more events, including a “Speaking With Pride” session on June 1.
Columbus, Ohio, has become a mecca for LGBTQ+ inclusivity and open-mindedness, with public figures like Nina West — known for her role on RuPaul’s Drag Race — putting the Midwest city on the map. While this year’s celebration may look different, Columbus is set to commemorate 40 years of Columbus PRIDE. Columbus’s first PRIDE March in 1981 attracted just 200 people, and now (pre-pandemic) the festivities bring upwards of 800,000 visitors to the area. Many of this year’s events will be virtual, but some like the Tea Dance are moving forward pending COVID regulations.
The inaugural downtown OKC Pride Alliance Festival will be hosted at Oklahoma City’s all-new 40-acre downtown park, Scissortail Park, from June 25-27. This historic event will encompass music, film and art in a way that Oklahoma has never seen before. Elements of the festival will also be presented in a virtual format for those who aren’t comfortable attending the in-person events this June. The OKC Pride Alliance’s Pride Parade will take place on Saturday, June 26, starting in Oklahoma City’s vibrant Arts District and ending back at Scissortail Park. Greyson Chance, who was born and raised in Oklahoma City, will headline the OKC Pride Alliance Festival with a free concert on June 25 in celebration of the LGBTQ+ community in Oklahoma City and beyond.
The long-running Tulsa Pride Festival will be held June 6-7 and commence with the Rainbow Run, a 1-mile endeavor to benefit Tulsa Pride and Oklahomans for Equality. On the festival’s second day, the annual parade will kick off an evening filled with performances on the main stage.
The OUTLOUD Music Festival will be held June 4-6. Created in 2017 to celebrate LGBTQ+ musicians and artists, the festival creates a fun, energetic and diverse lineup that celebrates equality. The Pride 2021 festival will host performances by Japanese Breakfast, Todrick Hall, Soccer Mommy, Tank and The Bangas, RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars Derrick Barry as Britney Spears and Coco Montrese and many more local and national artists.
In the fall, Nashville’s 33rd annual Pride Festival + Parade will take place from Sept. 18-19 at Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park. This event is usually held in June, but the organizers shifted the date to expand attendance and ensure the health and safety of all involved. After having to cancel last year’s celebration, there is a lot of excitement around what this year’s event will have in store!
Virginia PrideFest is set for September 25. The festival includes a parade, youth pride celebration, parties and panel discussions. This year’s celebrations will be in person with capacity restrictions to allow for COVID-19 social distancing. Richmond is also home to Black Pride RVA, which will be taking place July 16-18.
Roanoke is also hosting virtual Pride 2021 events in June for its History of Pride in Southwest Virginia. Two outstanding speakers will be featured to discuss the surprising history of Pride in Virginia’s southwestern corner: Chaplin Joe Cobb, the first openly gay member of Roanoke City Council, Roanoke City’s former vice mayor and a current member of Roanoke City Council, and Samantha Rosenthal, PhD, co-founder of the Southwest Virginia LGBTQ+ History Project and assistant professor at Roanoke College.
“Pride is a celebration of all that makes our city special,” Cobb said. “A place where visitors and residents who identify as LGBTQIA+ and allies know we are welcome; that who we are is celebrated; and that we can live, work, play and thrive in Roanoke.”
Pride events in Canada
Vancouver, well-known for its amazing Pride celebrations, is unfortunately cancelling its typical events for the second year in a row. But Vancouver Pride Society still has some fun replacement activities planned for July and August. There are small, in-person events, like Pride Art Walk, VanPrideFest and a Decentralized Parade. For those wanting to join virtually, tune in for Drag Deliveries, Queer History Panel and Posh Ball.
Toronto’s Pride is turning 40 this year, and they are introducing the first-ever Phygital Pride Festival in June! There will be a virtual Pride parade, virtual street fair and physical-based programming like pop-ups, art exhibits and collaborations with local venues to ensure the health and safety of those in attendance. It’s going to be an innovative blend of physical and digital experiences that you won’t want to miss! Pride Toronto will even host two festival weekends, June 18-20 and 25-27.
Pride events in Mexico
Playa Del Carmen Pride will take place from June 21-27. All across the city, they will be celebrating with parades, art galleries, dancing and celebration. Join the fun at Canopy by Hilton Cancun La Isla’s Wander Rooftop every Thursday night, with Pride-themed rooftop parties hosted by local and international DJs and performers.
Vallarta Pride will be May 24-31. The town’s entire LGBTQ+ community will come together to organize an event that celebrates the sexual diversity of Mexico in a five-day festival headlined by Rupaul’s Drag Race comedian Bianca Del Rio.
Mexico City Gay Pride – or Marcha del Orgullo LGBT de la Ciudad de México – takes place every June, morphing the destination into a rainbow-hued hotspot. While Mexico City continues to be an LGBTQ+ hub, the 2021 official Pride march has sadly been canceled. However, smaller locally organized events and virtual broadcasts are happening across the city.
Pride 2021 in South America
Our neighbors to the south mostly already celebrated Pride 2021 during their summer season. We found a couple events still set to take place through the end of the year. There are more out there, but we wanted to give you a taste of how they’ll be celebrating.
Pride events in Brazil
On June 6, São Paulo will celebrate with the largest LGBTQ+ Pride parade in the world. Before the pandemic, previous Prides drew more than 3 million people to the city’s streets. The LGBT Pride of São Paulo association will host a virtual Pride celebration as well, which in 2020 attracted more than 11 million viewers. This year, the theme of the march is “HIV / AIDS: Love + Care + Live +”. The official Rio de Janeiro Gay Pride Festival at Copacabana Beach will be held from September 5-7 on Copacabana Beach. It’s anticipated that there will be parties all over Rio.
Pride events in Argentina
Buenos Aires Pride will be November 6-13. In previous years, more than 100,000 people attended the event annually. There will be a pre-parade at Plaza de Mayo as well as a large-scale parade. There is a definite party atmosphere as participants arrive in costume for photos with stars and LGBTQ activists. The feria, or open market, is the perfect destination for Pride merchandise and souvenirs.
Pride 2021 in Australia
Most of Australia’s 2021 Pride events have already passed, as Australians celebrate during their summer months of January through April. We found a couple more happening this year. If we missed any, it doesn’t mean they’re cancelled!
Newcastle Pride Festival will be from August 12 to September 5, though. The theme for 2021 is “This Is Me,” and is set with an amazing program of LGBTQ+ events, including cabaret performances, drag shows, youth pride, an LGBTQ+ family bike ride and the Pride by night street festival.
Melbourne is one of the most queer-friendly cities in the world, and its annual Midsumma Festival is a can’t-miss Pride event. The Midsumma PrideFestival is held each May and features the famous Pride March as well as auxiliary events like musical performances, workshops, public art displays, youth events and more. Beyond Midsumma, OUT in the OPEN festival takes place each October, the Melbourne Fringe each November and the Melbourne Queer Film Festival annually in March, among others. Beyond Melbourne and throughout Australia, don’t miss events like ChillOut Festival in Daylesford, which is the longest-running regional queer pride event in Australia.
Pride 2021 in Asia
If you’ve ever wanted to join Pride in Asia, you have the perfect opportunity this year with virtual events! Check out the Pride schedule in Taiwan and Tokyo, and note that this is not a comprehensive list for Asia.
Pride events in Taiwan
Taiwan is one of the most LGBTQ+-friendly countries in Asia and the only country on the continent with marriage equality. They are set to celebrate Taipei Gay Pride in October. Many of the events are still being planned for the fall celebration, but each year, Taipei Pride attracts guests from all over Asia and the Middle East, where LGBTQ+ rights and social acceptance have not quite reached the same levels of joy and celebration as Taiwan.
Pride events in Tokyo
Tokyo Rainbow Pride held a series of online virtual events in April this year. The theme was “one courageous voice can change the world,” which highlighted individual expression. The virtual events featured 16 special guests, as well as content to help people learn about current LGBTQ+ issues in Japanese culture.
For those destinations not listed
You may have noticed that some regions of the world are missing from this list. While we tried to cover as many destinations and events as we could, there are countless celebrations popping up all the time — we did our best to cover those we’ve deemed to be government-approved and taking proper COVID precautions.
In the case of our friends in the Southern Hemisphere, Pride was celebrated during their warmer months of January through March. In other regions, the pandemic is still taking a toll on locals and their economy, and they have not planned Pride events this year. And elsewhere, unfortunately, being openly LGBTQ+ is illegal or socially unacceptable and, as such, Pride celebrations aren’t permitted.
How will you celebrate Pride in 2021?
For those who have been or will be celebrating in 2021, Pride will look different than in the past, but that doesn’t make the events any less important and impactful. If you plan to attend in-person events, follow mask-wearing guidelines and exercise social distancing. For those attending online events, consider sharing, liking and commenting, which are all free ways you can contribute. When possible, everyone should consider supporting local LGBTQ+ businesses, creatives and nonprofits.
Regardless of where or how you celebrate Pride this year, remember that Pride is our opportunity to look back in reflection and forward in honor of our community. Have fun, and celebrate safely!
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