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Pride parade

Baton twirlers perform in the 2002 Divers-Cité pride parade in downtown Montreal
Pride parades are ceremonies held by the Queer community of a city to commemorate the struggle for gay liberation, gay rights, and gay pride.

The Queer community of a city will typically present an annual parade, sometimes in the context of a longer celebration including performances, dances, street parties, and the like. Most gay pride parades take place in the summer, particularly in June, to commemorate the Stonewall riots.

Pride parades evolved from protest marches[?] held by Queer people to fight for their rights. Many parades still have this character, especially in less Queer-positive settings. However, in more Queer-positive cities, the parades take on an exclusively festive or even Mardi Gras-like character. Large parades often involve floats, dancers, drag queens, music over megaphones, and marching groups from Queer institutions of various kinds. Some particularly important pride parades are even funded by governments and corporate sponsors, and promoted as major tourist attractions for the cities that host them.

A portion of homosexual men and women regard pride parades, especially those of a more festive character, as vulgar flaunting of sexual orientation, charging them with an undue emphasis on sex and bizarre behaviour which they see as detrimental to the cause of gay rights. Others criticize this position, seeing it as pandering to homophobia, and arguing that heterosexuality takes centre stage the other 364 days of the year and that pride parades promote visibility and discussion of gay and lesbian issues. Still others argue that such parades are carnivals and that they should be taken as such rather than as representative of everyday gay and lesbian life.

Cities particularly noted for their pride parades include New York, San Francisco, Toronto, Montreal, and Sydney (see Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras)



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