In honour of LGBT Month this February, we take a look at the role some of our most popular city breaks have had in shaping LGBT equality throughout history.
Arguably the birthplace of the modern LGBT equality movement, New York simply has to feature on this list. The Stonewall Riots in 1969 are widely considered to have been the catalyst which began the modern Pride movement. Following police raids and rioting in popular gay haunt The Stonewall Inn, the community of surrounding Greenwich Village united and LGBT organisations were set up across the US and around the world. A year later, the first Gay Pride marches were held in New York – with simultaneous events in Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco – in commemoration of Stonewall.
Two years later, the first official Pride march in the UK was organised in London. Attracting around 2,000 people, the event dwarfed previous attempts to organise gay marches in the capital and has grown in popularity since. Originally a deeply political march, the event has become more festival-like since the early 1990s. More recently, London has also been the host city for even larger, more international events such as Europride and World Pride.
As the first country in the world to recognise same-sex unions (back in 1989), Denmark is forward-thinking when it comes to LGBT rights. Same-sex marriage has been legal since 2012. Copenhagen itself is particularly known for its LGBT rights, and the city has been named by Lonely Planet as the most gay-friendly place in the world. Featured heavily in recent film The Danish Girl, the city was also home to one of history’s first identifiable transgender women – artist Lili Elbe – who was played in the award-winning film by British star Eddie Redmayne.
Brighton, and nearby Worthing, have played a huge role in Britain’s LGBT story. Widely accepted as the UK’s gay capital, contemporary Brighton has the highest percentage of LGBT residents and the UK’s biggest Pride festival too, bringing over 150,000 people to the town each August.
Worthing – aside from being a former home of Oscar Wilde – earned its place in the LGBT History books in 2005 as the location of Britain’s first Civil Partnership. Officially, the first Civil Partnerships should have taken place on December 21st of that year, but Matthew Roche and Christopher Cramp were a special case. Because Roche was dying from terminal cancer, the usual 15-day registration period was waived and the couple’s ceremony was held on December 5th. Sadly, Roche died the following day, but the couple’s union will long be remembered for its significance in British LGBT history.
The latest country to pass Marriage Equality legislation, what’s so impressive about Ireland’s law is that it was passed by a popular vote. An impressive 62% supported the change in a public referendum, with a majority of people voting ‘Yes’ in 42 of the 43 voting districts around the country. Unsurprisingly, the result was most clear-cut in cosmopolitan Dublin, home of Ireland’s biggest Pride event each summer as well as its biggest LGBT community.
Book a short break to one of these notable cities this spring, to find out more about their inspirational history and explore the beautiful sights.
Have you visited one of our LGBT landmark cities? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!