Pride celebrations around the globe. Home of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, New York City is always a major Pride destination. The Big Apple will become an even bigger global draw this year as the site of the first US-based WorldPride this June, called Stonewall50. Click through the gallery to see Pride celebrations around the globe:
Kena Betancur/Getty Images
Amsterdam, Netherlands. Amsterdam Gay Pride is home to the traditional Canal Parade, an annual parade on boats.
Jasper Juinen/Getty Images
Vienna, Austria. Vienna is hosting EuroPride for 2019.
Alex Halada/AFP/Getty Images
Taipei, Taiwan. One of the largest Pride events in Asia, Taipei's parade went past the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in October 2018.
Daniel Shih/AFP/Getty Images
Prague, Czech Republic. The Czech Republic is increasingly known as the most gay-friendly among nations in Central and Eastern Europe. This year's Prague Pride Festival could attract nearly 100,000 visitors.
Matej Divizna/Getty Images
Glasgow, Scotland. The SSE Hydro indoor arena on the banks of the River Clyde is illuminated in the rainbow colors for LGBT History Month.
Jane Barlow/PA Images/Getty Images
Cape Town, South Africa. People celebrate during the annual Cape Town Pride Parade in March 2019.
Rodger Bosch/AFP/Getty Images
Yangon, Myanmar. A wooden boat displaying a rainbow flag is part of the Pride boat parade, part of Yangon's Pride festival in January 2019.
Ye Aung Thu/AFP/Getty Images
Hanoi, Vietnam. A girl waves a rainbow flag during a Pride parade in Hanoi in November 2018.
Nhac Nguyen/AFP/Getty Images
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Crowds hold up a giant rainbow flag during the 2018 Pride parade at Copacabana Beach.
Mauro Pimentel/AFP/Getty Images
Bhopal, India. A few months after this July 2018 Pride parade in Bhopal, India's supreme court struck down the country's penal code that criminalized consensual sexual acts between adults of the same sex.
AFP/Getty Images
Ottawa, Canada. Moving Surfaces, a giant steel and light sculpture at Ottawa's Lansdowne Park, is lit up in the colors of the rainbow during Pride Week in August 2018.
Justin Tang/The Canadian Press/AP
Brighton, England. Parade-goers match the rainbow flag during Brighton Pride in August 2018.
Tristan Fewings/Getty Images
Frankfurt, Germany. These celebrants prefer to paint their pride at the annual Christopher Street Day Parade in Germany's financial capital in 2018.
Yann Schreiber/AFP/Getty Images
Paris, France. People fill the streets during the June 2018 Pride parade in Paris.
Geoffroy Van Der Hasselt/AFP/Getty Images
Sofia, Bulgaria. A participant looks through Pride balloons during the 11th Gay Pride Parade in the Bulgarian capital in June 2018.
Dimitar Dilkoff/AFP/Getty Images
San Francisco, California. San Francisco City Hall is lit up in rainbow colors after the Pride Parade in San Francisco in June 2018.
Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images
Boston, Massachusetts. The 2018 Boston Pride Parade makes its way up Berkeley Street in June 2018.
Scott Eisen/Getty Images
Bucharest, Romania. Two women kiss as they take part in Bucharest Pride 2018 in June.
Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images
Tokyo, Japan. Tokyo's Rainbow Pride Parade marched through Shibuya and Harajuku on the final day of the May 2018 celebrations.
Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
Auckland, New Zealand. In February 2018, dancers participate in the Auckland Pride Parade. It's part of the city's annual Pride Festival promoting LGBTQ awareness.
Fiona Goodall/Getty Images
Madrid, Spain. The rainbow flag is displayed on the facade of Cybele Palace in 2017, the year the Spanish capital hosted WorldPride.
Gerard Julien/AFP/Getty Images
Beersheba, Israel. A woman holds balloons as she participates in the city's first Gay Pride Parade in June 2017, when about 3,500 people marched.
Ariel Schalit/AP
Chicago, Illinois. Participants in the 2016 Chicago Pride Parade carry pictures of the victims killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, which happened less than two weeks before the parade.
Ashlee Rezin/Chicago Sun-Times/AP
Seattle, Washington. The Space Needle displays a Pride flag in June 2014.
Suzi Pratt/FilmMagic/Getty Images
Pride and Progress

How to make Pride truly accessible

(CNN) — Held every June to honor the legacy of the LGBTQ movement and the event that started it all, the 1969 Stonewall riots, Pride is a season to celebrate resilience, resistance and the vast spectrum of sexual and gender diversity.
However, Pride events, which often consist of parties at gay bars and a big parade, remain incredibly inaccessible to disabled, deaf or hard-of-hearing, blind, neurodiverse (neurologically atypical, including those on the autism spectrum) and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities, and little has been done to make them more inclusive.
From the length of parade routes, to uneven grounds, summertime temperatures, crowds and the lack of disabled seating areas, interpreters and wheelchairs, it's almost like Pride parades were made to keep disabled people out.
Parties are no better, with many hosted in inaccessible gay bars that don't have ramps, elevators, interpreters or staff who are versed in the rights of disabled patrons. For these reasons, many disabled members of the LGBTQ community are forced to sit out Pride month because too often, we literally can't even get in through the front door.
Keep in mind that marching means different things to different people..
India Hayes/CNN
"Accessibility is often an afterthought, if even a thought at all," Annie Segarra, a queer Latinx YouTuber with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, a connective tissue disorder, told me over email.
While accessibility isn't binary and what is accessible to one disabled person can mean something completely different to the next, the good news is that making spaces and events as accessible as possible is pretty easy, and it's 2019, so there really shouldn't be any excuses, especially since it is the law in the United States and many other countries.
"You just have to remember we want to be in community too," queer writer Shivani Seth, who has PTSD and sensory sensitivities, explains.
And she's one of many who share a similar mindset.
"The very nature of Pride events, particularly parades, makes them pretty inaccessible," Alaina Leary, the editor of Equally Wed magazine, who lives with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome, says.
Most parade routes rarely, if ever change, meaning that one section of the respective location is overflowing with attendees, law enforcement and tourists, making busy city centers obstacle zones for disabled people the day of the parade.
Bri M., the executive producer of the Power Not Pity podcast, which focuses on the lives of people of color with disabilities, described New York City's landmark Pride parade as "torturous and wildly unsafe" because of the crowds.
"I've heard of disabled people getting knocked down, stepped over, [or] had people lean on their wheelchairs," Dominick Evans, a trans-masculine hard of hearing filmmaker with Spinal Muscular Atrophy elaborated over email. "People will just stand in your way and you will be stuck. It's a real lack of body autonomy and a whole lot of rudeness," he added.
Pride performances that take place on one or several stages are very much the heart of the season, where drag queens, singers and dancers get to do their thing, but unfortunately, most parades don't even have disability seating areas, and the ones that do may not have accessible stages, sending a message that disabled talent and speakers aren't welcome.
Seating and rest areas also need to be bigger and located near exits and stages; there should be more than one. They need to be shaded or have a cooling system; they need to have interpreters; they should offer donor wheelchairs and scooters, and there shouldn't be anything blocking their range of vision.
Seth recommends a simple solution: bleachers. Add some lifts and fans and it would be a perfect area, especially for solo Pride participants to relax and meet each other.
It's a good idea, and not just for disabled people, to host Pride parades in differing locations, so that not everyone has to commute to one part of town every year, and to concentrate them in smaller towns or neighborhoods with more space.
How about we forget about parades for a minute and organize more Pride picnics, or block parties, brunches, hikes, bike rides, film festivals and more? Can we just have a Pride stroll, emphasis on "roll"?
I doubt anyone at the Stonewall uprising wanted us to trudge through the city for miles on a hot summer day to honor their legacies, but as long as they continue, parade organizers should provide temporary wheelchairs and scooters as well as shuttles to seating areas.
It's actually pretty common for a lot of LGBTQ pride-goers to skip the parade because Pride parties are where it's at, but they present a whole host of other impediments for disabled guests.
Besides the obvious ADA accessible entrances and bathrooms that too many bars lack, there's also strobe lights and loud music, which can be very distressing for people on the autistic spectrum, who have seizures or other sensory issues.
Videos are shown that don't feature captions or speakers will address the crowd without the aid of sign language interpreters.
"My favorite local gay bar has two floors but no elevator," Segarra, who is a semi-ambulatory wheelchair user, told me. "For me, climbing up a staircase can be as risky and painful as climbing a mountain barefoot," she said.
Almost all the disabled people I spoke with described the loneliness they felt after pushing their limits and still leaving Pride events in pain and isolation. "I've shown up a couple of times to make comment," Segarra added, "[but] nothing has changed in the past five years."
The great thing about non-parade Pride events is that they can grant more leeway in how they're organized, as Pride boards can be insular and difficult to get into if you're not a business owner or a politician.
If the venue you're renting doesn't have ADA-accessible bathrooms, then rent portable toilets or ramps for entrances. If you're going to have flashing lights and loud noises in most of the space, keep at least one quiet, scent-free room for people to escape to.
Most importantly, hire disabled people. We should be on Pride boards and organizing committees and event teams. You can hire disability consultants or delegate entire access teams with both disabled people and allies in them to make sure everyone feels safe and welcomed, and you can always consult this checklist.
The good news is, more and more people are getting the message.
WorldPride's centerpiece event, the march, has accessible seating that's already available to book online well in advance, and other events are mentioning inclusivity up front as well.
Multiple seating options make it more likely that people of different ability levels can feel included.
India Hayes/CNN
Above all, don't wait for disabled people to say something online or elsewhere to make accommodations just for them and just for that day—accessibility should be practiced always and everywhere, and especially at Pride. As Dominick Evans put it, "We are here, so make space for us." It's that simple.
Even if you're not an organizer, there's so much non-disabled people can do to make Pride more welcoming and inclusive to us. "I would highly recommend abled Pride participants to be engaged in the conversation about accessibility with disabled people," Segarra says.
Follow the #SuckItAbleism or #AbledsAreWeird hashtags on social media to see what we're talking about, then follow some organizations and disabled accounts on there to stay in the know. "Learn what to look for in regards to access, learn what inaccessibility looks like, and be vocal when you are witness to it," Segarra adds.
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Pride celebrations around the globe. Home of the 1969 Stonewall uprising, New York City is always a major Pride destination. The Big Apple will become an even bigger global draw this year as the site of the first US-based WorldPride this June, called Stonewall50. Click through the gallery to see Pride celebrations around the globe:
Kena Betancur/Getty Images
Some basic crowd etiquette like not blocking or shoving people and watching where you're going would also go a long way, too.
For disabled, blind, deaf/hard-of-hearing, neurodiverse and intellectually disabled people, we already face enormous obstacles in using public space, navigating the medical health systemche and with outright discrimination.
For the LGBT among that group, living with multiple marginalizations can make every day feel like work. Pride can be a time that reminds us that there is nothing shameful about who we are or how our bodies function or appear to others, but for too many of us, it is yet another reminder of how we are left behind.
"Pride started off as a riot led by trans women of color," Bri M. told me. "Let's take that same revolutionary spirit and make pride more accessible." When you venture out this Pride season to celebrate another year of being queer, remember to be intentional about prioritizing accessibility for all.
"Disability justice happens when we all move together," Bri M. added.
Bani Amor is a queer disabled travel writer from Ecuador by way of Brooklyn who explores the relationships between race, place and power. Their work has appeared in Fodor's, Teen Vogue, and Yes! Magazine. Bani started the #CripTravel tag for travelers with disabilities to share their experiences on social media. Follow them on Instagram @baniamor and on Twitter @bani_amor.
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