Pride Month 2022: celebrating Pride around the world
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Every month of June, Pride is celebrated by people of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, and sex characteristics - as well as their allies - in many parts of the world. 

On this occasion, ILGA World is sharing video interviews with human rights defenders from across the world, reflecting on the importance of Pride, sharing their first memories of seeing a Pride event, and letting everybody know about what is in store for our communities on this season. 

Subtitles available in English and in Spanish. Click on the bar below each video to access a transcription of the clip.

 

What is your first memory of Pride?

What is your first memory of Pride?

(Anna Brown, Equality Australia)
For me, I grew up in Melbourne, in Victoria, so it wasn't until my 20s that I was able to attend my first Mardi Gras celebration in Sydney and it was truly incredible: I just had never seen that many people from the community that I was part of out there, visible, on the streets, and it was just that feeling of liberation, of belonging and feeling part of something really wonderful… I felt a sense of belonging.

(Jessica St. Rose, 758 Pride, Saint Lucia)

Oh! My first memory of a Pride event was in Curaçao - in 2016, I believe - and that was an amazing time for me and that's what I think I felt like “Wow: Curaçao? Curaçao is in the Caribbean, although it’s way down in the islands, but for the Caribbean? I never even knew that the Caribbean had this type of thing happening and when I experienced that I felt like “Wow ,we can! The smaller islands can get to that point”, and I felt a sense of joy, a sense of freedom knowing that I can be in a space and celebrating me, my own identity, with people who are similar and who value the same things that we feel are important to us.

So, I wanted to bring that joy and share it with my community, and for me I felt that joy and that pride I felt as a LGBT person I wanted to share my other community members. And that was my best experience experiencing Pride.

(Julian Sanjivan, InterPride)

Being in Malaysia – where, you know, even your ILGA reports will show how it's still one of the riskiest place given our laws that we have for the queer community there - I've always looked at Pride events from there, because we're not able to organise such events over there, or we organise HIV (awareness)-related events and we try and incorporate gender and sexual orientation issues within those events.

And so, you know: looking at videos I always dreamt of being part of that celebration, being able to be out there and be open because there's never an opportunity, and so it was so emotional… I was really emotional when I was able to finally do that in my role as the volunteer manager for NYC Pride March. it was my first time being part of that, and just walking down the street and millions of people cheering… it was just amazing being able to be myself at the same time, and just embracing my authentic self, that was just… I just can't explain how I felt.

The other thing that was also really amazing was that I kept getting emails a few days later from so many different people who had either attended or volunteered, thanking me for the opportunity to be part of the march, because for a lot of them it was the first time coming out and being able to celebrate the identities. And you know: just to hear that we were able to do that and provide that opportunity is just, you know, something that I can't describe - so that's something I feel that's really emotional.

(Sherwin Modeste, Toronto Pride, Canada)

So, the first time I attended Pride was actually in Toronto, and I did not go as a participant: I went as an observer, and it was scary. It was scary because I was more concerned about ‘will someone see me at the celebration?’ more than enjoying the celebration with the community. But again, it was just nice being there and enjoying the music, the festivities that came with Pride, and since then I have not missed any prides in Toronto.

from Sydney, Australia: Anna Brown (Equality Australia)

Celebrating Pride around the world.

Anna Brown, CEO of Equality Australia from Sydney Australia.

Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been around for longer than I've been alive. It was born of a protest movement: we had gay and lesbian people then take to the streets and demonstrate for their human rights. It was an occasion where there was police brutality, and really led to a seminal moment in the history of LGBTIQ+ equality in Australia.

Tell us one unique thing about your Pride celebrations.

Well, in Sydney we have, I think, the largest nighttime-curated parade in the world and it's and it's got an incredibly long history that's born of protest and struggle. What began with a small group of protesters back in 1978 has grown to a truly magnificent celebration. I’m the CEO of Equality Australia, we’re Australia’s national human rights organisation for LGBTQ plus people and we're really proud to work alongside Sydney Mardi Gras, and we’re really looking forward to hosting WorldPride in 2023. 

Where can the ILGA World family find you on social media?

You can find Equality Australia on social media at @EqualityAustralia, but if you want to find out more about Sydney Mardi Gras and Sydney WorldPride which is coming up in 2023 you can find Sydney World Pride  @Sydneyworldpride: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and @MardiGras as well. We're really proud to work with both of those organisations. There's going to be a huge party in Sydney in 2023 and some really incredible human rights progress, I hope, as a result of the conference that's going to happen alongside the festival.

In 2022 we wish our communities a…

Happy Pride!

from Saint Lucia: Jessica St Rose (758 Pride)

Celebrating Pride around the world 

I’m Jessica St Rose from 758 Pride, St Lucia.

Tell us about your Pride organisation and activities

Okay, Pride in St. Lucia started off in 2019, and it was an idea brought about by my colleague Kenita Placide after going to several workshops and conferences around the world and I came across how Pride … and my experience with Pride, and when Barbados started its Pride, I felt “Wow! Barbados started its Pride; Jamaica had its Pride... I felt it was time for St Lucia to be included and have St Lucia’s Pride. 

So, this is how I started it, and I called a couple of people up and we decided to form a team and brought about the 758 Pride committee, and we hosted our very first Pride in August 27. This is the last weekend... So, Pride St Lucia takes place every year August, on the last weekend in August.

 

Tell us one unique thing about your Pride celebrations

I think one unique thing about St Lucia Pride is probably what has become the most sought-after event at St Lucia Pride, and that is the drag show. And this is always a sold-out event and I notice is something that everybody looks forward to.

The first time we had it was absolutely a sold-out event and I know that this year we need to probably get a bigger venue because persons already asking about it; and the community itself... we are actually having more persons wanting to take part in that drag event. So this, for me, is probably one of the unique things about St Lucia Pride.

 

What are the plans for Pride 2022?

I think for Pride 2022 it's all about the excitement because over the past two years, due to the pandemic, we went virtual in 2020 after we started off in 2019, we went virtual in 2020 when the pandemic started.

2021, unfortunately we were not able to have it: I felt as a committee we did not really want to go back to virtual, because it lost its sense of togetherness, the sense of community, and persons wanted that feeling of togetherness - and of course apart from that the sense of not being in a space, we were on lockdown. So, for the entire summer the country was on lockdown and unfortunately, we were not able to have any events.

So, this year I think persons are really excited and looking forward to seeing what we're coming up with and the excitement, the drive from the community, from members, from the team... we can expect a lot of excitement and joy.

And apart from that, the activities are we are going to bring about, of course is not only about the party aspect of it, but the educational aspect as well, because we want to highlight the issues that are faced by community members in St Lucia and bring across these issues, so that the public can be aware.

Because awareness is important and as a Pride organisation, we want to instil the awareness, the public education as it relates to issues that affect the LGBT community. So, we’re going to have panel discussions, we’re going to have symposiums...

Of course unfortunately, we’re not quite ready to have a parade but we want to have sort of like a health fair where we can have a little bit of celebration where we can include the music, we can include performance, we can include a health aspect of it, where we bring on other organisations like the Diabetes Association, the Cancer association, and the youth association to come about and highlight the different services that they offer to the public.

And of course, the party aspect, the boat rides, the fundraising, and the most anticipated event: the drag show!

 

Where can the ILGA World family find you on social media?

758 Pride can be found on all social media platforms at 758 Pride and also on Gmail: we have our email address, prideslu@gmail.com.
 

In 2022 we wish our communities a...

Happy Pride!

from Grenada / Canada: Sherwin Modeste (Pride Toronto)

Celebrating Pride around the world

I’m Sherwin Modeste, Executive Director, Pride Toronto, born in Grenada, currently reside in Canada.

Tell us about your Pride organisation and activities

So, Pride Toronto is one - we claim to be - one of the largest Prides in North America and definitely within the top three largest Prides in the world.

This year for us Pride Toronto is going to be very special because we are returning to an in-person festival, and we promised the community that in 2022 we are going to be bigger and better, and we are planning to deliver on that.

Tell us one unique thing about your Pride celebrations

So, one of the things that we have, and we actually have the records to show it, is that Pride Toronto has one of the largest trans march in the world, and we have the Guinness World Record to show that.

Also, that is unique about Pride Toronto is that we have over 15 collectives that curate all of our stages.
So, in 2022, you can look forward to our Francophone stage, our senior stage, our deaf and hard of hearing stage, youth and family stage, and the list goes on.

What are the plans for Pride 2022?

So, this year we're breaking grounds at Pride Toronto, and we have invited one of Jamaica's top dancehall artist, Lady Spice, to open our celebrations … and we're doing this because we want to send a very strong message: that we're loud, we're proud, and we're going to take up space whether folks want it or not.

We're also going to be closing the festival with another Caribbean artist: Patrice Roberts, a Trini soca artist.
So, we really going to be bringing life to Pride in areas that traditionally we have not seen.

Where can the ILGA World family find you on social media?

So, we are on every social media. So, you can search us whether that is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram...
You can check out our website, and again, the ray of information that you will find about our 2022 celebrations will all be there … and again we're looking forward to hosting the entire world.

The advantage that we have in Toronto, is that there is room for everyone to come and enjoy and have a good time.

In 2022 we wish our communities a...

Happy Pride!

from Malaysia / New York City: Julian Sanjivan (InterPride)

Celebrating Pride around the world

Hi everybody, I am Julian Sanjivan, one of the Co-presidents of InterPride. I am non-binary, so I go by they/them/their pronouns.  I'm originally from Malaysia but I live in New York now, and been here for 10 years.

 

Tell us about your Pride organisation and activities

InterPride is an international organisation with over 300 members from over 60 countries,  and most of our members are LGBTQIA+ organisations that organise Pride events or queer events around the globe and they come from all continents! So... pretty exciting.

 

Tell us one unique thing about your Pride celebrations

I think what's interesting is a lot of people don't know that InterPride owns the WorldPride brand. We are the license holder of WorldPride, so I think when I start sharing that people like “Oh! I didn't know that! That's interesting”. 

Most people know WorldPride as a brand and over the last few years WorldPride has just become so much more of an important big event.

The last one was in Copenhagen last year and the next one is going to be in Sydney in February of next year and so we're really excited... and Taiwan won the bid to host WorldPride in 2025. And later this year we’re going to be having the bids for 2026.

So, we are very excited at the phenomenal growth of WorldPride and the impact it has on the global LGBTQIA+ communities.

 

What are the plans for Pride 2022?

So, this year (in New York) for the first time since the pandemic we are going back to being in person. Last year we did some hybrid, but it was a very, very small scale, but this year going full-fledged and we're really excited to be doing that again so, I'm going to be actively involved in the march again hopefully.

I'm also representing New York City in an organisation called The Pride Alliance of New York City.

You'd be surprised in New York City  alone we have about 13 to 15 other Pride organisations... and so we come together as an organisation and figure out how we can support each other, and it's something that we've just found recently.

 And so, I represent New York City in that organisation... and so we're going to be having our own float as well so we're really, really excited. But in addition to that  we're going to have lots of other regular events: we're going to have a brunch, we're going to have a human rights conference, our youth event, our family movie night … so it's really, really exciting: you should totally check it out on nycpride.org.
 

Where can the ILGA World family find you on social media?

With NYC pride it's pretty easy: nycpride.org. They're on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook: NYC Pride.

With InterPride it's the same: we are on Instagram, our website is Interpride.org. Same thing if you look up on Facebook, on LinkedIn, on Twitter: we go by InterPride in all of those platforms - we just joined Medium - and on YouTube as well. So feel free to check us out: InterPride. 

In 2022 we wish our communities a...  

Happy Pride!

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