Annual gay pride celebrations are held all across the USA every June. Celebrations typically attract participants from a range of sexual orientations, religions, ethnicities, and backgrounds. Read on for all you need to know about gay pride and the 5 best gay pride celebrations in the USA.

June is allocated as LGBT Pride Month to commemorate the Stonewall uprising that took place in 1969 in New York. Riots were held by members of the LGBT community against a police raid at the Stonewall Inn, an LGBT bar, and this is seen as a tipping point for the gay liberation movement in the states.

The purpose of gay pride is to celebrate the impact that the LGBT community have had on history, both locally and around the globe. Celebrations often include parades, rainbow colored flags, symposiums, parties, lectures, concerts, marches, and workshops. 

It is also an opportunity to hold memorials for those who have lost their lives due to hate crimes or HIV/ AIDS. 

Whilst vibrant, exciting, passionate gay pride celebrations are held all across the country, these are the 5 best gay pride celebrations in the USA.

NYC Pride – New York City, New York

As the modern gay rights movement began in New York with the Stonewall uprising, it is only fitting that NYC Pride makes the list of the best gay pride celebrations in the USA. NYC commemorates the riots every June with an annual pride week celebration, which has become one of the most beloved festivals in New York.

The week-long celebration attracts a large number of locals and visitors to attend over 50 events including parties, lectures, and rallies, some free and some ticketed. The festival culminates with the iconic NYC Pride March.


Washington, D.C., Capital Pride – Washington, D.C.

Capital Pride in Washington can attract a political vibe, particularly when the government is discussing issues relating to gay rights. A large amount of the festivities are usually concentrated over a weekend in early June, however, the celebrations generally span over one week.

A wide range of events includes the National Trans Visibility Capital Pridemobile, and National Trans Visibility March, as well as concerts, talks, and more. Gay pride usually follows D.C Black Pride in Washington. 


San Francisco Pride – San Francisco, California

San Francisco Pride makes the list of the 5 best gay pride celebrations in the USA because it is the largest in the nation. It’s no surprise since San Francisco is known for embracing human rights, freedom of expression, and love.

Every June over 1 million people flock to San Francisco to take over the Civic Centre and the streets. The weekend-long festival involves over 20 community run stages and venues for performances, concerts, and talks. 

Each year the parade takes place on the Sunday morning, beginning at Beale Street and ending at Market and 8th Street in the heart of downtown San Francisco. 


PrideFest – Denver, Colorado

PrideFest has been growing year on year, and its recognition as the USA’s most family-friendly gay pride celebration has earned the festival its place on the 5 best gay pride celebrations in the USA list. 

More than 450,000 people come together in mid-June for a weekend full of exciting events including concerts, parties, a 5km run/ walk, face painting, and the iconic Dogs in Drag parade. The 5K is also an opportunity to raise funds to support a range of programs for members of the LGBT community.

The celebrations usually take place in Civic Center Park, with events taking place virtually instead in 2020 due to restrictions on gatherings.


Key West Pride – Key West, Florida

Key West is renowned for its gay-friendly community and ‘anything goes’ vibes, so it’s no surprise that this vibrant city hosts one of the best gay pride celebrations in the USA. What sets it apart is the laid-back approach and tropical island atmosphere. 

Whilst there are typically fewer crowds compared to other gay pride celebrations, there are still plenty of fun festivities. Participants can enjoy a plethora of live entertainment, and of course the parade. 

Wherever you choose to celebrate gay pride in the USA, you can expect fun, acceptance, and plenty of passion. 

About Author