June 1, 2018 1:32 pm

Pride Month is here. This is how it started and what it looks like today

Toronto's 2016 Pride Parade was dedicated to the 49 people who lost their lives in the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Fla.

Steve Russell/Toronto Star via Getty Images

There’s a certain magic about the month of June. It’s the entree to summer, long, sunny days and, in many cities across the globe, it’s a time to celebrate love in all its iterations.

Pride Month, a 30-day celebration of the impact the LGBT community has had on the world, as well as the struggles it has faced and continues to face, is marked by an array of events, festivals, parades and of course, cheerful rainbow flags. But its history, like that of many other marginalized groups, isn’t so cheery.

Story continues below

READ MORE: 72 countries still criminalize LGBT relationships: report

The rise of LGBT rights is largely attributed to the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York and the “Operation Soap” Bathhouse Raids in Toronto in the early 1980s.

Both events saw the gay community fight back against police discrimination and served as catalysts for the LGBT movement. They are credited with leading to monumental changes, like the decriminalization of homosexuality and its declassification as a mental illness, as well as sparking countless Pride parades across North America, giving a voice and a platform to members of the community.

A number of countries around the world still consider homosexuality a crime (72, to be precise, and some uphold the death penalty for those convicted of the crime), and even in those where there are no legal stipulations, hate crimes persist.

Despite this, the community has proven to be resilient and defiant in the face of adversity. In celebration of the start of another Pride Month, we’ve compiled a gallery of pictures of celebrations from around the world that prove love is love, no matter what.

Havana, Cuba

Tokyo, Japan

Salerno, Italy

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Belgrade, Serbia

St. Petersburg, Russia

Amsterdam, Netherlands

Berlin, Germany

London, England

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.