California recently became a trend setter for the gradual shift of what traditionalists would coin an inclusion of gays into the mainstream. Even as the days of the proverbial closet have been becoming a matter of the past, the passing of the gay marriage ruling showcased the State’s commitment to recognizing familial relationships between same and opposite genders. This trend is now taking the world by storm and gay pride parades are even being held in areas that were never before considered a hotbed of the gay rights movement.
Interpride has put together a calendar of festivities around the world that show gay pride marches, festivities, and events with not only a pride theme, but also a political message. While in the United States festivities usually have a celebratory and festive atmosphere, other areas of the world are not quite as welcoming.
San Francisco celebrates
In San Francisco, Gay Pride is celebrated with an unprecedented number of rainbow flags, the slogan “United by Pride, Bound for Equality” and against the backdrop of California’s recent court decision legalizing gay marriage. Held on 06-28 from noon to 6:00 PM and on 06-29 with a kick-ff march at 10:30 AM and festivities lasting until 7:00 PM, this year’s celebrity Grand Marshal is Cyndi Lauper. The official SF Pride website reports that this year the festivities will include a special section for women of color artists.
Jerusalem Jews, Muslims, and Christians oppose
As gayness is entering the mainstream, even the previously religious bastion of Jerusalem can no longer contain celebrants in state appointed closets. JTA (the Jewish & Israel News) reports that the seventh Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade was less of a celebration and more of a march that faced vigorous opposition from the mayor’s office but nonetheless proceeded with the theme being “Free Love.”
Bulgarian skinheads attack marchers in first ever Sofia Gay Pride Parade
Bulgaria’s Novinite reports that the first ever Gay Pride Parade in this area was held on 06-28-08 and its banner theme read “My Family – We Are Mothers and Daughters, Fathers and Sons, Brothers and Sisters.” There was one on one security present and the 150 marchers were guarded by 150 police officers which proved to be a wise move as about 50 to 60 skinheads and radicals chose to attack the peaceful marchers. Serious injuries were avoided due to the high police presence.