Pride Month is a celebration of LGBTQIA+ individuals and the resilience of those who identify as LGBTQIA+. Pride celebrations began in 1970 across the United States, and the world, following the Stonewall Uprising in New York City. This event was seen as the catalyst for LGBTQIA+ rights awareness and revolutionized the discussion of inequality for those who did not identify as straight. At US², we focus on discussions about heterosexism during the month of June to reflect upon our own biases through the lens of our Core Principles. One way to overcome bias is to embrace and celebrate diversity in identity. Below, you will find information about several different Pride celebrations throughout North America, with some fun facts for each one. We invite you to check out the histories that are represented by these Pride events, whether virtually, or in person. Happy Pride!
Motor City Pride is one of our home state’s biggest pride celebrations. Motor City Pride is a multi-celebration held in the historic Hart Plaza along the Detroit River. Along with the festival itself, there is a huge parade passing many of Detroit’s famous landmarks, including the Joe Lewis Fist and the Spirit of Detroit.
This year marks the 52nd San Francisco Pride Parade and Celebration. This celebration boasts over 200 vendors, 20 community-run stages and venues, and a massive pride parade in the historic Castro District.
NYC Pride is the largest pride event in the world, boasting up to five million attendees each year. NYC Pride events have taken place every year since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. Their Pride website has a great timeline to learn more about this history!
Pride Toronto is a month-long celebration featuring hundreds of artists, performances, parades and festivals. Pride Toronto stands out for its recognition of Indigenous and Two-Spirit individuals. Similar to NYC and San Francisco, there have been pride celebrations occurring in Toronto since 1970.
Miami Beach Pride is a more recently established pride, celebrating their fifteenth anniversary next year. Miami Beach Pride is held over spring break annually and is a free festival of entertainment and celebration. Most recently, the organizers began a partnership to develop a “Legacy Couples” exhibition to celebrate stories of LGBTQIA+ elders.
Capital Pride is a multi-weekend Pride event held annually in the National Capital region. Hosting everything from pool parties and poetry nights to an annual parade and educational seminars, Capital Pride seemingly has a celebration for every interest.
At the southern-most point of the Continental United States, Key West has become known for its LGBTQIA+ inclusion year-round, especially during Pride season. Key West Pride hosts the traditional street fairs and parades, while also hosting day trips, fishing adventures, eco tours, and more.
Sioux Falls Pride stands out as one of the most family-inclusive prides that we researched, having kid-specific programming throughout pride month. Founded in 2000, Sioux Falls Pride has grown drastically, starting as a small picnic and becoming a massive celebration.
Milwaukee’s pride celebration, PrideFest, draws tens of thousands of attendees each summer. It is a 3-day event packed with performances, vendors, and a large health and wellness fair. Milwaukee Pride also has a children’s stage, making it accessible for families.
Wanting to celebrate pride beyond just June? There are many pride events that take place throughout the year, including Atlanta Pride. This event is hosted in October and is the largest pride event in the southeast. With over 300,000 attendees, educational and historical programs, and even scholarship opportunities for LGBTQIA+ individuals, Atlanta Pride draws a large and diverse audience.
Chicago is a city with a notable LGBTQIA+ community. Boystown, where many of the pride events are hosted, has a fantastic parade, picnic, and festival. This year is Chicago Pride’s first year back from COVID-19 restrictions, and it will be their 51st pride celebration, putting it on the map as one of the oldest celebrations. Chicago’s Pride Parade draws over a million people each year and has a massive parade route.
Denver Pride hosts a parade and festival, along with an annual 5K “Walk, Run, Roll, or Sashay!” This 5K is known for the fun costumes and outfits of the participants, including participants in full drag, tutus, and lots of rainbow colors. Denver Pride also has more than half a million participants each year, with a large parade, festival, and more!