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The New York City Subway system commemorated Stonewall 50 - WorldPride NYC 2019 with heart-shaped rainbow logos representing LGBTQ pride, celebrating the largest LGBTQ event in history, with five million attendants in Manhattan for Pride weekend alone.[1]

WorldPride is a series of international LGBT pride events coordinated by InterPride; they are hosted in conjunction with local LGBT pride festivals, with host cities selected via bids voted on during InterPride's annual general meetings. Its core events include opening and closing ceremonies, a pride parade (which may either be the host city's existing pride parade, or a bespoke event organized specifically for WorldPride), and an LGBT human rights conference.[2]

The inaugural WorldPride was held in Rome in 2000.[3][4][5][6] In 2019, it was estimated that Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras—host of WorldPride 2023—would have a 25–40% increase in attendance over normal years, and contribute over AU$664 million to the local economy.[7][2] Due to its scale and the bidding process, WorldPride was colloquially referred to as "the gay Olympics" by Australian media outlets.[7][2]


Number Year Host
1 2000 Italy Rome, Italy
2 2006 Israel Jerusalem, Israel
3 2012 United Kingdom London, United Kingdom
4 2014 Canada Toronto, Canada
5 2017 Spain Madrid, Spain
6 2019 United States New York City, United States
7 2021 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark / Sweden Malmö, Sweden
8 2023 Australia Sydney, Australia
9 2025 United States Washington, DC
10 2026 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands

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.[8] 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."[9]

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.[10] 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]

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.[11]

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.[12]

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 Orthodox Jews, Muslims and Christian 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.[13] 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.[14]

WorldPride London 2012[edit]

Part of the Pride Walk going past Trafalgar Square, London in 2012
Polish Rainbow in UK at WorldPride / Pride London 2012

The 27th annual conference of InterPride, held in October 2008 in Vancouver, Canada, voted for the bid from Pride London, over Stockholm Pride,[15] 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 June 27, 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.[16] 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.[17] On July 5, 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".[18]

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."[19]

Following community pressure, Pride London, a registered charity since 2004, withdrew from organising future Pride events in London. In December 2012 the Mayor of London's Office awarded the contract to Pride in London.

WorldPride Toronto 2014[edit]

Olivia Chow during Pride Toronto 2014, host of WorldPride 2014

Pride Toronto, in partnership with the city's tourism agency, Tourism Toronto, submitted a bid to host WorldPride 2014 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada 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.[20]

WorldPride 2014 festivities included an opening ceremony at Nathan Phillips Square featuring concert performances by Melissa Etheridge, Deborah Cox, Steve Grand and Tom Robinson,[21] an international human rights conference whose attendees included Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir, Frank Mugisha and Edie Windsor[22] amongst 2,400 attendees and 195 presenters from around the world,[23] 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,[24][25] while the WorldPride Parade was more celebratory and included floats, musical acts, and dancers.[26] All three marches were the longest of their kind in Canadian history.[24][25][27] 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.[28] The parade's grand marshal was Brent Hawkes, the pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church of Toronto,[29] and Georgian activist Anna Rekhviashvili served as international grand marshal.[30]

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, Peaches, Against Me!, Hercules and Love Affair, Chely Wright, Pansy Division, Lydia Lunch, The Nylons, k.d. lang, Carole Pope, Parachute Club,[31] Dragonette[26] and The Cliks.[32] 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.[33]

The event's slogan was "Rise Up".[31] 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.[31]

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.[34]

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's impact to be about five times bigger.[35] Results showed that WorldPride brought in C$791 million, nearly six times the 2009 figure.[36]

WorldPride Madrid 2017[edit]

In October 2012, InterPride's membership voted at its annual conference in Boston, Massachusetts, United States, to award WorldPride 2017[37] to the city of Madrid, Spain.[38] The other candidate cities to host the event in 2017 were Berlin and Sydney, but Madrid won unanimously[39] in the voting of more than 80 delegations from around the world.

Puerta de Alcalá, Madrid, illuminated with the rainbow colours during the celebrations of WorldPride 2017

This celebration in Madrid coincided in time with the 24th Europride, which was hosted for the second time in the Spanish capital (the first one was in 2007). It took place from June 23 to July 2, 2017.[40] The event's slogan was "Whoever you love, Madrid loves you!",[41] and the song chosen as the anthem was "¿A quién le importa?" by Alaska y Dinarama, which was specially adapted for the event with the collaboration of several Spanish popular singers among the LGBT community, including Fangoria – the band of two of the three former members of Alaska y Dinarama.[42]

WorldPride Madrid 2017 also coincided with two key anniversaries in the history of the LGBT community in Madrid and Spain: the 40th anniversary of the first demonstration in Spain in support of the rights of LGBT people – which took place in Barcelona in 1977 – and the 25th anniversary of the foundation of the State Federation of Lesbians, Gays, Transsexuals and Bisexuals (FELGTB, from Federación Estatal de Lesbianas, Gays, Transexuales y Bisexuales).

The opening ceremony of the event took place at the Calderón Theatre on Friday, June 23, 2017. Few days later, on Monday, June 26, the Madrid Summit, the International Conference on Human Rights, was inaugurated at the Autonomous University of Madrid. Several cultural events took place in the subsequent days, including the traditional and massive demonstration on July 1, with up to 52 floats going through the 2 kilometers between Atocha (Plaza del Emperador Carlos V) and Plaza de Colón. The WorldPride closing ceremony took place on July 2 at Puerta de Alcalá, giving the baton to New York City for the celebration of WorldPride 2019.

Stonewall 50 – WorldPride NYC 2019[edit]

In 2019, WorldPride was hosted in New York City by Heritage of Pride as Stonewall 50 — WorldPride NYC 2019; it marked the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots on June 28, 1969 in New York City's Greenwich Village neighborhood, which are widely considered to be the most important event leading to the gay liberation movement[43][44][45][46] and the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States.[47][48]

An estimated five million people attended events in Manhattan during the final weekend of WorldPride NYC alone, making it the largest LGBT pride event ever held.[49][50] The NYC Pride March had an estimated 150,000 pre-registered participants, making it the largest parade in city history.[51][52]

WorldPride Copenhagen–Malmö 2021[edit]

For the first time in history, WorldPride was held in two cities in two countries from 12 to 22 August 2021—Copenhagen, the capital of Denmark, and the Swedish neighbouring city Malmö, both in the Øresund Region.[53] WorldPride was hosted by Copenhagen Pride, with Malmö Pride as a partner. The cities are a twenty/thirty-minute commute apart.[53]

WorldPride was combined with EuroGames and other activities held simultaneously in that same area, with the event branded as 'Copenhagen 2021'.[54] The WorldPride event will coincide with two LGBTQ anniversaries: seventy years since the world's first successful genital reconstructive surgery in Denmark in 1951; and fifty years after Gay Liberation Front's Danish chapter was founded in 1971.[53]

The Crown Princess of Denmark was patron of the event, making her the first ever royal to serve as patron for a major LGBTQ event.

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic having an impact on major events, organisers of Copenhagen 2021 said in early January 2021 that they are "continuing to plan for full delivery of all Copenhagen 2021 events taking into the account the guidance and recommendations" of government agencies.[55] Organisers have also said that they will not cancel or postpone the events, instead moving to a digital model if in-person events cannot be delivered.

Sydney WorldPride 2023[edit]

The Sydney Opera House lit up for WorldPride in 2023
Ava Max (pictured in 2019) performed at the Sydney event in 2023.

At InterPride's 2019 meeting in Athens, WorldPride 2023 was awarded to Sydney, which received 60% of the vote ahead of the other bid contenders Montreal (36%) and Houston (3%).[56][57] It would mark the 45th anniversary of Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras—Australia's largest and longest-running LGBT pride event, and five years since same-sex marriage was recognized in Australia. It was the first WorldPride hosted in the Southern Hemisphere and Asia-Pacific.[58][56][57] The event planned to highlight the state of LGBT rights in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the involvement of First Nations in Australia's LGBT community (which would be the subject of an event programme at Carriageworks).[2][59]

Sydney WorldPride 2023, with its official theme 'Gather Dream Amplify', was held between 17 February and 5 March during Australia's summer. The festival's official theme song was "We the People" by Electric Fields.[60] WorldPride consisted of a 17-day combined 45th Anniversary Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras/WorldPride 2023 Festival.[61] The centrepiece was a three-day LGBTIQ+ Human Rights Conference focusing on LGBTIQ+ people's experiences of discrimination and persecution in the Asia Pacific region and more broadly. Other signature events included:

WorldPride 2025[edit]

WorldPride 2025 is scheduled to be hosted by Washington, D.C.'s Capital Pride, which was awarded the event in November 2022.[62]

It was originally scheduled to be hosted by Kaohsiung, Taiwan, marking the first WorldPride to be held in Asia. However, WorldPride and the Kaohsiung hosts came into conflict over the branding of the event, and withdrew in August 2022; WorldPride had requested that the event be named "WorldPride Kaohsiung" or "WorldPride Kaohsiung, Taiwan", despite having previously agreed to using "Taiwan" (which was chosen for alignment with Taiwan Pride and mark associated events being held across Taiwan). WorldPride stated that this was for consistency with its prior events (which have typically used the host city name), but reports indicated that WorldPride's changes may have been politically-motivated due to government policies.[63][64][65] Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs expressed regret over the cancelation, claiming the outcome would harm Asia’s vast LGBTIQ+ community.[66][67] Taiwan Pride claimed "major discrepancies between our stances on the event’s naming, understandings of Taiwan’s culture and expectations of what a WorldPride event should look like".[68]


Edition Year Bid City Organizers Results Ref
3 2012 United Kingdom London, UK Pride London Win (Majority) [15]
Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Pride Loss
4 2014 Canada Toronto, Canada Pride Toronto Round 1 - (77-61)
Round 2 - 78% Yes [20]
Sweden Stockholm, Sweden Stockholm Pride
5 2017 Spain Madrid, Spain Madrid Pride Win (100%) [38] [70]
Australia Sydney, Australia Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Loss (0%)
Germany Berlin, Germany CSD Berlin Pride Loss (0%)
6 2019 United States New York City, USA NYC Pride Heritage of Pride Bid Accepted [71]
7 2021 Denmark Copenhagen, Denmark
Sweden Malmö, Sweden
Copenhagen Pride
Malmö Pride
Win (~2/3) [72] [73]
United States Fort Lauderdale, USA Pride Fort Lauderdale Loss (~1/3) [72]
8 2023 Australia Sydney, Australia Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Win (60%) [74] [75]
Canada Montreal, Canada Fierté Montréal Loss (36%) [76]
United States Houston, USA Pride Houston Loss (3%) [77]
9 2025 Taiwan Taiwan Kaohsiung Pride Win [78]
United States Washington, D.C., USA Capital Pride Alliance Loss [78]
Win (74%-Yes)[79]
[80] [81]
10 2026 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands Pride Amsterdam Win (59%) [79] [82]
United States Orlando, USA Come Out with Pride Orlando Loss (37%) [79] [83]

See also[edit]


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External links[edit]