From China to Sao Paulo, this past weekend was filled with gay Pride events across four continents.
Despite the fact that the week-long Pride celebrations in Shanghai, China were marred by attempts to shut down certain events by authorities, hundreds turned up on Saturday for cocktails, drag shows and a hot body contest.
“We’ve organised events in the past, social events for the LGBT community, wine tastings, book club, pub crawls, drag shows. But this is the first time that we’ve done it all in one week and call it a gay pride festival,” Hannah Miller, a co-organiser, told Reuters.
Pride festivities also took place around Europe on the weekend. In Rome, demonstrators carrying rainbow flags and signs reading ‘freedom for all’ demanded rights for same-sex couples and the recognition of gay marriage. They slated Silvio Berlusconi’s government and the excessive influence of the Vatican.
A thousand people took part in a march in Warsaw while well over two thousand paraded in Athens. In Croatia, about 500 gay activists marched through Zagreb. Anti-gay protestors were held at bay by the authorities, although one man was taken away by police after trying to break through a cordon protecting pride participants.
On the other side of the world, Sao Paulo’s main boulevard was packed with revellers for the 13th annual gay pride parade in South America’s biggest city. The organisers aimed to condemn homophobia and demand equal rights during Sunday’s event. The parade is said to be the biggest in the world. While police did not confirm attendance figures, organisers had expected four million participants and supporters to take part.
In the US, the mayors of Los Angeles and San Francisco joined gay rights groups on Sunday during the annual L.A. Pride parade in West Hollywood. The continued battle over same-sex marriage equality in America added a serious note to the celebrations.
More Pride events will be taking place around the world in June; the month in which Pride is traditionally held in most countries in the Northern hemisphere.