WorldPride, licensed by InterPride and organized by one of its members, is an event that promotes visibility and awareness of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ+) issues on an international level. WorldPride includes parades/marches, festivals and other cultural activities such as a human right conference.
At the 1997 world conference and general meeting, InterPride members voted to award the inaugural WorldPride to be held in Rome in 2000. The host cities continue to be selected by the members of InterPride with WorldPrides usually held every two years
Sydney, Australia will be hosting WorldPride in 2023
In February/March 2023, WorldPride will cross the equator to be hosted in a hub of the Asia-Pacific region: Sydney, Australia. Over 17 days, you are invited to join in the celebration of the 50th Australian Gay Pride Week, 45th Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras, and the very first WorldPride in the southern hemisphere. Sydney WorldPride will deliver a diverse festival and Human Rights Conference to showcase the region's talent and rich cultures on the global stage. Find out more at sydneyworldpride.com
History of WorldPride
WorldPride Rome 2000
At the 1997 annual conference of InterPride, in New York City, its membership voted to establish the «WorldPride» title and awarded it for the first time to the city of Rome, Italy during July 1 to July 9, 2000. The event was organized by the Italian gay rights organization Circolo di Cultura Omosessuale Mario Mieli along with InterPride.
Rome officials had promised to put up USD 200,000 for the event, however bowing to ferocious opposition from the Vatican and conservative politicians, Rome's leftist mayor, Francesco Rutelli, on May 30, 2000 withdrew logistical and monetary support. Hours after his announcement, Rutelli mostly reversed himself in response to harsh criticism from the left. He restored the funding and promised to help with permits, but declined to back down on a demand that organizers remove the city logo from promotional materials. The event was staunchly opposed by Pope John Paul II and seen as an infringement on the numerous Catholic pilgrims visiting Rome for the Catholic Church'sGreat Jubilee. Pope John Paul II addressed crowds in St. Peter's Square during WorldPride 2000 stating, in regards to the event, that it was an «offence to the Christian values of a city that is so dear to the hearts of Catholics across the world.»
The organisers claimed 250,000 people joined in the march to the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus, two of Rome's most famous ancient sites. It was one of the biggest crowds to gather in Rome for decades.Among the scheduled events were conferences, a fashion show, a large parade, a leather dance, and a concert featuring Gloria Gaynor, The Village People, RuPaul and Geri Halliwell.
WorldPride Jerusalem 2006
The 2003 annual conference of InterPride, in Montreal, Quebec, Canada with over 150 delegates from 51 cities from around the world in attendance, voted to accept the bid of the Jerusalem Open House to host WorldPride 2006 in the Holy City.
The first attempt to hold WorldPride in Jerusalem was in 2005, however it was postponed until 2006 because of tensions arising from Israel's withdrawal from the Gaza Strip. It was called «Love Without Borders» as a nod to the many barriers within Israel, and for gays and lesbians in other ways. WorldPride was a key project of Jerusalem’s Open House, the city’s gay community centre.
After Jerusalem was selected as the WorldPride 2006 City, the city of Tel Aviv announced that it was cancelling its own annual Pride Weekend in 2006 to make sure that more Israelis attended the main march. As WorldPride started in 2006, the main parade was scheduled for August 6, but was strongly opposed by Israeli religious leaders from the outset. However, due to the 2006 Israel-Lebanon conflict, Jerusalem's government cancelled the march, saying there were not enough soldiers to protect marchers. A week of events took place as scheduled and included five conferences, a film festival, exhibitions, and literary and political events. The parade was cancelled but the Jerusalem Open House announced that it would hold a parade on November 10 after reaching an agreement with the police and the municipality.
WorldPride London 2012
The 27th annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2008 in Vancouver, Canada, voted to accept the bid of Pride London to host WorldPride 2012 in the English capital. This was just ahead of the London Olympic and Paralympic Games and during the anticipated year-long celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II's Diamond Jubilee. Pride London planned a parade with floats, a large performance area in Trafalgar Square plus street parties in Golden Square and Soho.
However, London's WorldPride event was significantly «scaled back» at an emergency all-agencies meeting on 27 June 2012, nine days before the event was due to take place and after the festival fortnight had started. Pride London organisers had failed to secure the funds necessary for contractors of key areas of the work, and they announced that all activities were being cut or cancelled. The London Evening Standard reported that four contractors from the previous year's Pride event were owed £65,000 in unpaid debts, though this has been denied by Pride London. Consequently, the entertainment and stages were all cut, and licence applications for street parties in Soho withdrawn. Instead, the event plans included a Pride Walk (without floats or vehicles), and a scaled-back rally in Trafalgar Square. On 5 July, the Metropolitan Police issued a licence regulations notice to all venues in Soho, reminding them that Pride London had no licence for street events in the Soho area, and therefore venues should treat WorldPride as «any normal day».
Peter Tatchell and former Pride London Associate Director James-J Walsh in an article for PinkNews criticized the management of Pride London's management of WorldPride. Tatchell said «Whatever the rights and wrongs, this scaling down of WorldPride is a huge embarrassment for London and for our LGBT community. We promised LGBT people world-wide a fabulous, spectacular event. It now looks like WorldPride in London will go down in history as a damp squib. We’re not only letting down LGBT people in Britain, we’re also betraying the trust and confidence of LGBT people world-wide. This is an absolute disaster.» Walsh added «This will mar the work of Pride London for years to come. Pride London has lost the focus of being an LGBT campaigning organisation, instead focusing on partying rather than politics, which is what the community needs when legislation around equal marriage and LGBT rights are still to be won both in the UK and around the world.»
WorldPride Toronto 2014
Pride Toronto, in partnership with the city's tourism agency, Tourism Toronto, submitted a bid to host WorldPride 2014 in Toronto from June 20 to June 29, 2014. The 2009 annual conference of InterPride, held in St. Petersburg, Florida, United States, voted to accept the bid of Pride Toronto to host WorldPride 2014 for the first time in North America.
WorldPride 2014 festivities included an opening ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square featuring concert performances by Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Steve Grand and Tom Robinson, an international human rights conference whose attendees included Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Frank Mugisha and Edie Windsor, a gala and awards event, a variety of networking and social events including Canada Day and American Independence Day celebrations and an exhibition commemorating the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. Three marches occurred over the last three days of the ten-day celebration: the Trans march, the Dyke march, and the WorldPride Parade. Of these marches, the Trans and Dyke marches were more political, while the WorldPride Parade was more celebratory and included floats, musical acts, and dancers. All three marches were the longest of their kind in Canadian history. Over 12,000 people registered to march in the WorldPride parade and over 280 floats took part in the march. The parade lasted over five hours, marking it as one of the longest parades in Toronto's history. The parade's grand marshal was Brent Hawkes, the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto, and Georgian activist Anna Rekhviashvili served as international grand marshal.
There were many free public stages throughout Toronto's Church and Wellesley neighborhood, featuring drag queen and king shows, burlesque shows, cultural performances, and musical acts including Carly Rae Jepsen, Peaches, Against Me!, Hercules and Love Affair, Chely Wright,Pansy Division, Lydia Lunch, The Nylons, k.d. lang, Carole Pope, Parachute Club,Dragonette and The Cliks. PFLAG sponsored a Pride flag, mounted on a flagpole atop the Churchmouse and Firkin pub, which automatically raised or lowered itself based on the volume of positive or negative commentary about LGBT issues on Twitter, and promoted the hashtag #raisethepride to attendees wishing to help raise the flag.
The event's slogan was «Rise Up». Parachute Club, whose 1983 single «Rise Up» has long been considered a Canadian gay anthem, released a contemporary remix of the song a week before the festivities.
The closing ceremony, held at Yonge-Dundas Square following the parade, featured performances by Tegan and Sara, Robin S, CeCe Peniston, Rich Aucoin, God-Des and She and Hunter Valentine.
When estimating the potential economic impact of WorldPride for Toronto, Pride Toronto officials said that Pride Week 2009 drew an estimated one million people to Toronto and contributed C$ 136 million to the city's economy, and stated that they expected WorldPride to be about five times bigger. Results showed that WorldPride brought in C$ 791 million, nearly six times the 2009 figure.
WorldPride Madrid 2017
In October 2012, InterPride's membership voted at its annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, to award WorldPride 2017 to Madrid Pride and the city of Madrid, Spain.
In 2017, Spain celebrated the 40th anniversary of its first Pride Parade in 1977, which marked the beginning of the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual rights movement in the country. Spain was in full transition towards democracy after 40 years of dictatorship, where the LGBT community was one of the most repressed under that regime.
Madrid Pride's History
One of the Most Advanced Legislation in the World
The Biggest Pride of the World
Approach to Diversity
World Pride Madrid 2017 was an open gateway to diversity.
WorldPride New York 2019 | Stonewall 50
It was no surprise that the members of InterPride awarded Heritage of Pride in New York the license for WorldPride 2019. Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots the Pride movement was coming back to its roots.
In 2019, New York and the world celebrated the largest international Pride celebration in history: Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019, produced by Heritage of Pride and commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, with five million spectators attending in Manhattan for Pride weekend alone. The event was held in conjunction with Stonewall 50, a celebration of the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising of June 28, 1969, which occurred in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood and is widely considered to mark the start of the modern Gay Rights Movement (now more commonly referred to as the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights).
A detailed report will follow.
WorldPride & EuroGames Copenhagen & Malmö
Despite the continuing effects of the global pandemic, online and Covid-safe events were held in August 2021 with over 1000 events spanning sports, culture, human rights and Pride. Visit the archive of live streams to see more.
Copenhagen was Covid-safe and ready to host WorldPride 2021
From 12–22 August WorldPride in Copenhagen and Malmö a rainbow-colored pride party exceed expectations. “In the most difficult circumstances imaginable we have delivered the most beautiful, loving, life-affirming and change-making event Denmark and Sweden have ever seen,” said Katja Moesgaard, Chair of Copenhagen 2021. “We are beyond proud of how our vision for Copenhagen 2021 WorldPride and EuroGames evolved.”
These are just some highlights:
- Our Patron, Her Royal Highness the Crown Princess of Denmark, has attended our events at UN City, the Human Rights Conference, City of Copenhagen reception, EuroGames tournament and on Saturday spoke at the Closing Ceremony at Fælledparken. She is the first member of a royal family to give patronage to a LGBTI+ event and we are most grateful for her support
- 2,000 athletes have competed in 22 sports tournaments at locations across both cities, and more than 70 sports organisations have run public activities across Copenhagen this week
- 3,000 people joined the WorldPride Opening Parade in Malmö and on Saturday more than 10,000 people joined six WorldPride Marches in Copenhagen; we are pleased that Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen also joined the Human Rights march from WorldPride Square
- More than 50,000 people have joined events in WorldPride Square and our audience at Fælledparken for our Concerts exceeded 25,000 in total
- WorldPride House and WorldPride Park in Malmö have welcomed several thousand visitors to debates, discussions, lectures and performances
- Fluid Festival at Gammel Strand has been a joyous celebration of women, genderqueer and non-binary identities, attended by thousands of guests
- Hundreds of young people have participated in events at Huset 2021 and Rainbow Children @ BLOX
- The Human Rights Forum – we think the largest ever – has brought together a truly global audience of activists and human rights defenders to consider how we achieve change soon
- More than 300 scholarship recipients were supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission and others
- On social media, more than five million people engaged with our content during the event, and more than 16,000 people joined our live streamed events.
Bidding for a WorldPride
* Bidding for WorldPride 2025 has now closed *
The WorldPride committee meets regularly to discuss the current status of the respective upcoming WorldPride event.
If you are thinking about hosting a WorldPride please download these documents:
• WorldPride Standing Rule - an extract from our Methods & Standards Guide specifically about WorldPride hosting qualifications and specifications.
Please note: As of November 16, 2019, the Board of InterPride approved the increase of the non-refundable application fee to USD 500 and an individually negotiated license fee for all future WorldPride events.
Official Expressions of Interest, to host future WorldPride events, have been received by WorldPride Committee from:
Chicago Pride, Illinois, USA
Pretoria, South Africa
Boston Pride, Boston, MA, USA
Disclaimer: Expressions of Interest are non-binding and this list is subject to change.