Londoners are talking in superlatives these days, because the city is about to see a summer like no other: Drag performers singing torch songs and athletes running torch relays. Tower Bridge illuminated with Olympic rings and Trafalgar Square draped in rainbow flags.
The city this summer is hosting the conclusion of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee and two major international events – the summer Olympic Games and WorldPride 2012.
Pride London is the presenter ofWorldPride2012, which begins in mid-June and builds to a climatic weekend July 7-8.
Organizers promise the city’s “biggest Pride event” ever – with a longer parade route from Baker Street, a monumental post- parade rally in Trafalgar Square and the celebration of the first- ever WorldPride Award honoring human rights advocate and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
“We’re expecting hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over the world to join us … so we really want to put on the greatest Pride ever to really show what Pride means in London,” says organizer Paul Birrell.
WorldPride traditionally has a political theme, and this year’s event will focus on the push for the decriminalization of homosexuality in 41 countries where LGBT people can be punished with fines, prison or even death for same-sex relations.
“Considering that the criminalization of homosexuality and sodomy laws is a legacy of the British colonization of these countries, we have a responsibility to the LGBT people living in those countries to fight for their rights as human beings,” says Pride London chair Patrick Williams.
London’s celebration lands just a few weeks after the majority of LGBT Pride events on the 2012 calendar take place.
A glance at the schedule:
• Through June 17:Vienna. • June 15-17: Portland, Ore.; Nashville; Bozeman, Mont., zurich.
• June15-16: Louisville.
• June 16: Portland, Maine; Boise, Idaho.
• June16-17: Denver. • June16-24:NewYorkCity. • June 22-24: New Orleans, Harlem.
• June 22-July 1: Barcelona, Dublin, Toronto, Oslo.
• June 23-24: San Francisco, Minneapolis/St. Paul, St. Louis.
• June 23: Cleveland and Houston, also, Rome, Lisbon and Berlin.
• June 24: Chicagoland Seattle.
• June 25-July1: Helsinki.
• June 26-July1:Paris.
• June 29-July1:Madrid.
• June 30: St.Pete,Fla.; Omaha.
• July 5-Aug. 5:Stockholm.
• July 6-8: Cologne, Germany.
• July 14: Green Bay.
• July 21-22: San Diego.
• July 28-Aug. 4: Belfast.
• July 28-Aug. 5: Hamburg.
• Aug. 3-5: Amsterdam.
• Aug. 5: Vancouver.
• Aug. 6-12: Antwerp.
• Aug. 13-19: Prague.
• Aug. 14-19: Montreal.
• Aug. 15-19: Copenhagen.
• Aug. 18-19: Madison.
• Aug. 25-26: Charlotte, N.C.
• Sept. 6-10: Key West.
• Sept. 7-8: Las Vegas.
• Sept. 9: Salvador da Bahia, Brazil.
• Sept. 22: Austin, Texas; Burlington, Vt.
• Sept. 29: Richmond, Va.; Durham, N.C.
• Oct. 6: Orlando, Memphis, Tenn.
• Oct. 11-15: Rio De Janeiro.
• Oct. 13-14: Atlanta.
• Oct. 20: Columbia, S.C.
• Nov. 3: Buenos Aires.
• Nov. 4: Palm Springs. Pride events took place in May in Washington, D.C. and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Pride was celebrated earlier in June in Milwaukee, Salt Lake City, Honolulu, Detroit, Kansas City, Mo., Indianapolis, Anchorage, Los Angeles, Pittsburgh, Boston, Philadelphia and Des Moines, Iowa in the United States and also Mexico City, Tel Aviv, Sao Paulo and Athens.