Gay Parades in America

by Edith Quinn
Show your support at a gay pride parade.

Show your support at a gay pride parade.

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Lively, loud, colorful and electrifying, gay parades--specifically, gay pride parades--not only celebrate members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) community but also demonstrate the ongoing fight for equality. People of all walks of life will feel welcome at a gay pride parade, regardless of their sexual orientation. Several major parades happen in America every June, allowing you to share in the festivities.

New York City

New York City plays host to NYC Pride, a week filled with events, culminating with the parade. Known officially as "the March," the parade's roots can be traced back to the Stonewall Riots, which were set off by a police raid at the Stonewall Inn on Christopher St. in the early morning of June 28, 1969. The riots proved to be a turning point in establishing America's gay rights movement. A year after the riots, New York's first march took place. Free and open to the public, the parade allows participants to show their pride and raise awareness about important causes to the community.

San Fransisco

Each year during the last weekend of June the streets of San Fransisco fill with people to dance, cheer, celebrate and participate in San Fransisco Pride. The two-day event features one of the most famous gay pride parades in the world. Like the New York March, the first parade in San Fransisco was in response to the Stonewall Riots. Since then, the event has grown tremendously. The parade has a different theme each year and people of all ages are invited to watch the festivities.


Houston hosts several gay pride events during the month of June, including a parade, one of the largest to take place in the city. The events surrounding the parade offer members of the LGBT and Houston communities to come together. They also present an opportunity to educate people about the history of Houston's LGBT community and the present-day organizations that work within the community. More than 150,000 people attend Houston's gay pride parade each year.

Lansing, MI

Those living in the Midwest can show their support at Michigan Pride. This event happens in Lansing, MI. Along with the parade, called March to the Capitol, several other events take place, including a rally and a commitment ceremony. While organizers charge a registration fee for those entering floats into the parade, walkers can participate for free. Afterward, those marching in the parade rally at the Capitol to discuss and bring awareness to the battle to gain important rights for the LGBT community.

About the Author

Edith Quinn has been writing since 1998 when she landed her first newspaper reporting job. Spending most of her career working for community newspapers, she has covered everything from ribbon cuttings to criminal trials. Her work has appeared in "The Daily Observer" and "Nepean This Week." Quinn has diplomas from both the print and photojournalism programs at Loyalist College.

Photo Credits

  • Medioimages/Photodisc/Valueline/Getty Images