WorldPride

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Marchers at Pride London, host of WorldPride 2012

WorldPride, organised by InterPride, is an event that promotes lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT pride) issues on an international level through parades, festivals and other cultural activities. Founded by Paul Stenson. From 2014, the 45th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, the event will be held on a five-year cycle. The inaugural WorldPride was held in Rome in 2000. The second WorldPride was awarded to Jerusalem in 2006. WorldPride 2012 was awarded to London and coincides with the 19th Annual Europride. The selection of WorldPride 2014 was chosen on October 18, 2009; the two candidates were Toronto and Stockholm, with Toronto winning on the second round of voting.[1] The host cities are selected by InterPride, an international association of pride coordinators, at its annual general meeting.[2][3][4][5]

WorldPride Rome 2000[edit]

Image from the first WorldPride, held in Rome on July 8, 2000

At the 16th annual conference of InterPride, held in October 1997 in New York City, InterPride's membership voted to establish the "WorldPride" title and awarded it to the city of Rome, Italy during July 1 to July 9, 2000. The event was put on by the Italian gay rights group Mario Mieli along with InterPride.

Rome officials had promised to put up US$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's Great Jubilee.[6] 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."[7]

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.[8] 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[edit]

Further information: 2006 Jerusalem gay pride parade

The 22nd annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2003 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.[9]

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. World Pride was a key project of Jerusalem’s Open House, the city’s gay community centre.[10] From the planned starting point of the march on Ben Yehuda Street, participants could see an eight-metre (25-foot) concrete wall, called by Israel the “separation barrier” but known by some as the Apartheid (or Segregation) Wall.[11]

After Jerusalem was selected as the WorldPride 2006 City, the city of Tel Aviv announced that is 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 rwas 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.[12] 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.[13]

WorldPride London 2012[edit]

Further information: Pride London
Part of the Pride Walk going past Trafalgar Square
Polish Rainbow in UK at WorldPride / Pride 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 World Pride 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.[14] 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.[15] 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".[16]

Peter Tatchell and former Pride London Associate Director James-J Walsh in an article for PinkNews criticised the management of Pride London's management of World Pride. 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."[17]

WorldPride Toronto 2014[edit]

Further information: Pride Toronto
Olivia Chow during Pride Toronto 2014, host of that year's WorldPride

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 28th annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2009 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. In the first round of voting Toronto won 77 votes to Stockholm's 61. In the second round of voting Stockholm was eliminated and Toronto won 78% of the vote, fulfilling the 2/3 majority needed to finalize the selection process.[18]

WorldPride 2014 festivities included an opening ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square featuring concert performances by Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Steve Grand and Tom Robinson,[19] an international human rights conference whose attendees included Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Frank Mugisha and Edie Windsor,[20] 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,[21][22] while the WorldPride Parade was more celebratory and included floats, musical acts, and dancers.[23] All three marches were the longest of their kind in Canadian history.[21][22][24] 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.[25] The parade's grand marshal was Brent Hawkes, the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto.[26]

There were many free public stages throughout Toronto's Church and Wellesley neighbourhood, featuring drag queen and king shows, burlesque shows, cultural performances, and musical acts including Carly Rae Jepsen, Against Me!, Pansy Division, Lydia Lunch, The Nylons, k.d. lang, Carole Pope, Parachute Club,[27] Dragonette[23] and The Cliks.[28] 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.[29]

The event's slogan was "Rise Up".[27] 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.[27]

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.[30]

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.[31]

WorldPride Madrid 2017[edit]

At the annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2012 in Boston, United States, InterPride's membership voted to establish the "WorldPride" title and awarded it to the city of Madrid, Spain.[32]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Vincent, Donovan (18 October 2009). "Toronto wins vote to host World Pride bash". Toronto Star. 
  2. ^ "Stockholm ansöker om World Pride". Rapport (in Swedish) (Sveriges Television). 6 August 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Stockholm förlorade slaget om World Pride". Sveriges Television (in Swedish). October 27, 2008. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  4. ^ Stanley, Alessandra (July 9, 2000). "Gay Parade, Opposed by Vatican, Passes Peacefully in Rome". The New York Times. pp. section 1 page 5. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  5. ^ Buchanan, Wyatt (July 26, 2006). "Broad opposition to World Pride in Jerusalem". San Francisco Chronicle. pp. A–2. Retrieved August 7, 2009. 
  6. ^ "World". Gay Today. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  7. ^ "WorldPride holy land: the conflict-heavy center point of three world religions is gearing up for the second global pride festival. - Free Online Library". Thefreelibrary.com. 2005-07-05. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  8. ^ "Gay pride triumphs in Rome". BBC News. July 8, 2000. 
  9. ^ "WorldPride 2014 Toronto | June 20-29, 2014". Worldpride.net. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  10. ^ "Jerusalem Hosts World Pride | Welcome to the World Congress of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Transgender Jewish Organizations". Glbtjews.org. 2006-12-05. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  11. ^ "SF Bay Times". SF Bay Times. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  12. ^ "WorldPride 2014 Toronto | June 20-29, 2014". Worldpride.net. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  13. ^ "WorldPride 2014 Toronto | June 20-29, 2014". Worldpride.net. 2012-11-22. Retrieved 2013-12-02. 
  14. ^ Tom Harper Peter Dominiczak (2012-06-26). "London's big gay pride party under threat in cash dispute - London - News - London Evening Standard". Standard.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  15. ^ Pride, London. "The show must go on". Pride London Website. Pride London. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "Police issue license regulations notice to Soho venues | 17-24-30 no to hate crime campaign". 172430notohatecrime.wordpress.com. 2012-07-05. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 
  17. ^ Gray, Stephen (28 June 2012). "Pride London funding ‘shortfall’ sees WorldPride heavily scaled back". PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  18. ^ theglobeandmail.com/news/national/toronto/toronto-wins-bid-to-host-world-pride/article1328285/ "Toronto wins bid to host World Pride". Globe and Mail (Canada). 2009-10-18. 
  19. ^ "Rise Up" the theme as WorldPride 2014 arrives. Toronto Star, June 19, 2014.
  20. ^ "WorldPride: Human Rights Conference reminds pride revellers the struggle continues". Toronto Star, June 26, 2014.
  21. ^ a b Trans Pride March held in downtown Toronto. CityNews, June 27, 2014.
  22. ^ a b Dyke March draws thousands in ‘Longest Walk’. Toronto Star, June 28, 2014.
  23. ^ a b Pride parade caps festivities in annual gay and lesbian festival in Toronto. canada.com, June 29, 2014.
  24. ^ Toronto pride parade 2014 photos show streets packed with 12,000 marchers and thousands of spectators. National Post, June 29, 2014.
  25. ^ WorldPride 2014: Massive parade in Toronto caps off pride festivities. CTV Toronto, June 29, 2014.
  26. ^ "Gay rights leader cherishes his New Brunswick roots". The Telegraph-Journal, June 28, 2014.
  27. ^ a b c "The Parachute Club releases remix version of ‘Rise Up’". Toronto Star, June 23, 2014.
  28. ^ The Cliks turn it on for Pride. NOW, June 22, 2014.
  29. ^ "PFLAG launches Twitter-activated flag for WorldPride festivities". Global News, June 23, 2014.
  30. ^ "Tegan and Sara close WorldPride Toronto with a bang". Xtra!, June 30, 2014.
  31. ^ "Toronto to host World Pride in 2014". CityNews, October 18, 2009.
  32. ^ Littauer, Dan (2012-10-08). "Madrid to host 2017 World Gay Pride". Gaystarnews.com. Retrieved 2013-03-05. 

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