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WorldPride, licensed by InterPride and organized by one of its members, is an event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT pride) issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. The inaugural WorldPride was held in Rome in 2000. The host cities are selected by the members of InterPride at its annual general meeting.
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 capital of the United Kingdom 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 with 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, United States, to award WorldPride 2017 to Madrid Pride and the city of Madrid, Spain.
In 2017, Spain celebrated the 40th anniversary of Spain ́s first Pride Parade in 1977, which marked the beginning of the gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual rights movement in our country, which was in the full transition process towards democracy after 40 years of dictatorship, being the LGBT community one of the most affected by the repression of the regime.
Madrid Pride History
During the 80’s, the LGBT community settled down in the Chueca neighborhood, situated in the heart of the city. Over the years, Gays, Lesbians, Bisexuals and Transgenders made of this neighborhood (one of the most depressed areas of the city), not only their place for leisure and work, but also their home, in full coexistence with other neighbors and visitors. Together they transformed Chueca into one of the areas with greatest freedom, tolerance and diversity in Madrid, setting standards for many other cities in the world.
In the Chueca neighborhood and parallel to the first gay rights demonstrations for the LGBT rights, the Pride celebrations in Madrid are born in the mid 80’s. Pelayo Street, the opening speech in the Chueca neighborhood and the first stages are being established and becoming increasingly important. Nowadays they are part of the most emblematic events of the capital.
In 1997 a few floats participated for the first time in the parade. This is a very important milestone. It is a political and demanding demonstration with recreational, social and festive character thanks to the participation of many individuals, groups, associations and entrepreneurs. This demanding and recreational nature is the key hallmark of the LGBT demonstration in Madrid.
Since then, the Madrid Pride, understood both as demonstration and celebration in the Chueca neighborhood, has not stopped growing and is an essential element for the transformation of the Spanish reality, moving from conservative and discriminating to profoundly diverse and tolerant.
2005 was the year of equality for gays and lesbians. Spain was the third country in the world to recognize the right of homosexual partners to marry and the first to put marriage rights for people of the same gender on the same footing as those of different gender.
In 2007 the Europride celebration was another highlight in our history, consolidating the Madrid Pride internationally as «best gay event in the world» (Tripout Gay Travel Awards) in 2009 and 2010.
One of the most advanced legislation of the world
The context within which World Pride Madrid 2017 will be developed is to emphasize that Spain currently has one of the world ́s most advance legislations in regards to equal rights for the LGTB community.
The progress made by the LGBT community in Spain is the result of a long road which has been engaging all citizens and could not be understood without the Pride cele- bration. We have always believed and so it has been shown that Pride is more than a celebration or a claim. It is a transforming element of society.
The perfect mix of claiming and celebration, the inclusion of all citizens and the rea- lization of the Pride in the city center, where the LGBT community lives, prove to be a guarantee of success.
As a member of InterPride, International Association of Pride Organizers, AEGAL’s main objective is the organization of Madrid Pride, which has proven to be of great importance to the societal transformation. Through the 2017 Madrid WorldPride we want to involve the whole international LGBT community and invite all world Prides to experience to claim, celebrate and share with us the experience of transformation, contributing our bit so that in 2019, after 50 years of LGBT movement, we demonstrate that another world is possible.
The biggest Pride of the world
The WorldPride demonstration in Madrid 2017 will be a global parade. At the head of the parade will be the Board and all InterPride members and attending delegates will have a reserved space. The manifesto will be read jointly by representatives of Madrid and InterPride Co-Presidents.
Madrid Pride is one of the largest prides in the world with nearly 2,000,000 participants and a demonstration with about 1,000,000 attendees. The WorldPride celebration in Madrid will contribute decisively to one of InterPride’s main aims: to promote Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride on an international level.
To encourage diverse communities to hold and attend Pride events, WorldPride Madrid 2017 will contribute to continuing and expanding the work done for years in cooperation with the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Secretary of State for Latin America, the Institute of Cooperation and the House of America to support the organization of Pride events, equality campaigns, equal marriage and LGBT rights in those countries where they do not exist yet, with particular emphasis on Latin America.
Since 2008, AEGAL, in collaboration with Madrid Visitors & Convention Bureau (formerly known as Promoción Madrid y Turismo Madrid), Turespaña and the Chamber of Commerce of Madrid have organized a wide range of actions promoting the Gay Pride in Madrid: ILGTA annual conventions in Las Vegas, Toronto and Antwerp, campaigns to promote LGBT tourism in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Houston, Boston, Washington and New York, tourism trade fairs such as World Travel Market in London, ITB Berlin in and has a dedicated LGBT area within the International Tourism Fair of Madrid (FITUR). The WordPride celebration 2017 in Madrid and Interpride same would be the central objective of the new promotion activities that will be develop in the coming years according to this line of action.
WorldPride Madrid 2017 sports a full program of conferences, seminars, workshops as well as cultural and sports activities, and a “kids and family pride” that will act as a source of education. However, the greatest asset of Madrid Pride is having contributed to transforming society and its mentality with regard to the LGBT community. The legacy of WorldPride Madrid 2017 will be an open door to everyone showing a multicultural, diverse and tolerant society.
Aproach to Diversity
Spain has always been a melting pot of different cultures and civilizations, a bridge between Latin America and Europe, and between Africa, the Mediterranean and Europe. Madrid, the capital of Spain is a true example of a multicultural city.
Our objective with the celebration of World Pride Madrid 2017 is to use these bridges as a tool for spreading the values of equality, respect, tolerance, freedom and equal rights we enjoy in Spain all over the planet.
Madrid is an open gateway, but a 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.
Copenhagen will be ready to host WorldPride in 2021
WorldPride in Copenhagen and Malmö will be a rainbow-colored pride party that will exceed your expectations. We plan for a busy eleven days of events such as art exhibitions, music performances, VIP receptions, human rights debates, sporting events, and out-of-this-world parties. All information about the event can be found at
Sydney, Australia will be hosting WorldPride in 2023
Further information will be available soon.
Official Expressions of Interest Received by WorldPride Committee for future WorldPride events:
Austin, Texas, USA
Orlando, Florida, USA
Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Bidding for a WorldPride
The WorldPride committee meets regularly to discuss the current status of the respective upcoming WorldPride event.
Please note: As at the 5th of June, 2018, the Board of InterPride approved the increase of the non-refundable application fee to USD 500 and the license fee for all future WorldPride events (commencing with 2023) to USD 50'000.