Following the Gay Parade: How to Find the Best Parties Ever

Whether it’s a stroke of luck or the universe’s way of telling me something, I often seem to find myself in cities celebrating gay pride. Okay, so it only happened twice, whatever.

I love a big gay dance party as much as the next person, but it’s the parade that really sucks me in. Feather boas? Scantily clad, beefy men strutting their stuff in the street? (Yes, I do see the irony in attending a gay pride parade to scope out the man scene.) Something about it just brings people together. It’s a beautiful thing.

While in New York City for TBEX, the pride parade’s route happened to pass along our street where the conference was held. Abbie and I snuck out of one of the presentations to witness the fun in the streets, and found ourselves pressed up against dozens of other onlookers all sweating in the afternoon sun. It was hard to see, but the lovely, flamboyant announcer kept us in the loop. I wanted to throw on sequins and dance. One guy even drilled us with worldly trivia for about 15 minutes, perspiration dripping from every inch of his face, while we both “Ooh-ed” and “Aaah-ed” politely.

Yeah, check out that girls shorts. Outstanding.

Yeah, check out that girl’s shorts. Outstanding.

Everything’s just so much more colourful during gay pride week. Plus it’s perfectly acceptable to wear bootie shorts that ride up your crack, spank other people in public, and be downright controversial. The whole area near my hotel in the Meat Packing District was packed with gay pride revellers, everyone milling around bars and restaurants toting rainbow flags and partying.

New York City’s parade was fun, but Amsterdam’s gay pride celebration rivals all. Besides taking place in one of the most liberal cities in the world, the whole parade is held on the canals with giant inflatable characters, techno music churning out international hits, giant penises spouting water, and Corona being sold in the streets.

I can make them straight again.

I can make them straight again.

I loved the diversity of onlookers. There were seniors dancing on houseboats, teenagers pumping their fists in the air, and expats snapping pictures. The party kept going until the wee hours of the morning…although I missed it. We don’t need to revisit that story.

Where have you found the best gay pride parades?

  • January 13 2011

    Ahh, this makes me miss NYC. And you can throw in some Amsterdam, too. Lovely observations. I think you’re a NYer at heart.

  • January 13 2011
    thalia

    I just moved into Toronto’s “Gaybourhood”. One of the reasons was definitely Pride- I’ve been going for the past three years! I highly recommend it, Candice! It’s usually the last weekend of June through to the first weekend in July. I honestly just love rainbows, and this week is just my favorite thing ever!

    • January 18 2011

      Ah, haven’t heard too much about that one! But I can only imagine the scene in T-Dot. Maybe I’ll swing by there after TBEX. :)

  • January 13 2011

    I’m pretty sure I’ve only experienced gay pride in Ottawa. Maybe Toronto, but if I did end up there during gay pride I can’t tell which memories are from there vs. Ottawa…

    my favourite was the year the parade went past the clinic I was working at, so I got to watch from the reception desk… that was the year the world cup happened that day, and there were a lot of insane soccer fans on the go as well :D
    I was usually working during the parade and would miss it, so that year was a nice bonus! (living downtown I’d always catch SOME festivities, but usually missed the parade :( )

    • January 18 2011

      Yeah, the scene is a little dead here, hahaha. I’d imagine it’s great in Ottawa and TO though.

  • January 13 2011

    I really want to check out Amsterdam. Heard so much cool things bout that city. I’ve also heard that Rio de Janeiro has cool Pride Parade. Love the month of June, it’s always warm, and gay :)

    • January 18 2011

      I love Amsterdam! I’d go back in a heartbeat, maybe make a few different decisions. Hah.

  • January 14 2011

    Closest I’ve gotten to a Gay pride parade was last year in New York too. Unfortunately I had to leave before the parade started so I could catch my flight. I did love walking down the street and seeing rainbow flags are umbrellas. Rainbows are just awesome.

  • January 14 2011

    Def NYC! Always a fun experience!!!

  • January 14 2011

    I think the straight equivalent to a gay parade must be Mardi Gras. Which I haven’t gone to yet, but New Year’s in New Orleans was really… vibrant, too. Also, lots of skin displayed. Boobs for beads. :D
    (There must be something about gay parades if so many straight people love ’em. A pure celebration of life!)

  • January 14 2011

    Yes, it was pretty cool to stumble on Gay Pride in New York, you will have to get yourself to Toronto’s, it has an incredible turn out. We used to live right at Church and Wellesley and enjoyed many a parade and party.

  • January 14 2011

    Giant penises AND corona? SOLD!

  • January 15 2011

    I’ve been to this before. So awesome!

  • January 16 2011

    Sydney’s Mardi Gras, for shizzle.

  • January 16 2011

    Atlanta’s Gay Pride Festival is crazy fun. The gay population does themselves proud in Atlanta!

  • January 17 2011

    Haha! Somehow I missed the Gay Pride Parade during TBEX–I was having lunch with a local NYC friend at her apartment and missed the whole thing! The Amsterdam one sounds amazing. Gay guys really do have great parties. I actually just watched a 30 Rock episode about that–some of the straight guys were trying to use gay men for their awesome parties (and thus pick up hot chicks). Ha!

  • January 18 2011

    Thanks for the comments folks…Ivy, a pure celebration of life is the perfect way to put it. : ) Will add all the other places to my list!

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge

FREE CANDIE FOR ALL!
SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE POSTS DIRECTLY TO YOUR INBOX