It’s June.  The days are longer and lighter and summer, at long last, has truly begun.  Amid the sunshine and the joy of seeing in a new season, Pride Month has arrived.  With celebrations around the world kicking off for the start of summer and beyond, let’s turn to Europe to see what the continent has in store for this annual celebration of LGBTIQA+ culture.

Festivities in cities large and small

While the origins of Pride Month are rooted in the 1969 Stonewall Riots of New York City, celebrations of LGBTIQA+ culture are today to be found across the world — including, of course, right here in Europe.  From June into the late summer, cities large and small host events, festivals, and parades to celebrate the achievements of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Intersex, Queer, and Asexual communities (the ‘+’ represents other identities and orientations not covered by the LGBTIQA umbrella), occasions that are widely attended and well-supported by travellers across Europe.  

While the early part of the month saw Pride festivities unfold in Zurich, Rome, Bergen, and Athens, the latter half of June ushers in celebrations in cities as diverse as MunichDublinEdinburghOsloHelsinkiMadrid and Paris.  A turn of the calendar into July and August makes way for even more celebrations, as Pride events come to life in LondonBrightonBelfastBudapestBerlinAmsterdamStockholm, and more or less everywhere across the continent.  In addition to marches and parades, Pride celebrations across Europe — many of which are long-established events with deep historical pedigrees — also feature films, seminars, debates, workshops, performances, and art exhibitions dedicated to exploring the incredible panorama of LGBTIQA+ culture.

Looking ahead to EuroPride

Summer will be over in a flash, but even the change of seasons can’t stop the celebrations.  A case in point are the annual festivities brought about by EuroPride, the continent’s ultimate LGBTIQA+ event.  This year,  EuroPride comes to the Maltese capital of Valletta in the early autumn, from 7-17 September.  The theme of this year’s event — which will see marches, parades, concerts, DJ sets, themed parties and more take place both on the main island of Malta and its smaller neighbour of Gozo —  is “Equality from the Heart”.

While the full schedule of events is available to view here, EuroPride is a party with a point.  As an event, it is a major forum for celebrating the LGBTIQA+ community from across the continent and well beyond.  But as a kind of safe space, this year’s event in Valletta is intended to be a call to action for greater support for LGBTIQA+ rights in Europe as well as in the Middle East and Africa, two areas where the struggle for equality is especially pronounced.

The joy of Pride is part of the joy of the season.  Wherever you choose to mark the occasion, there’s something for everyone in every corner of Europe this summer.