Ahead of Pride Toronto, we got a little curious: What are Pride celebrations like around the world? The very political origins of Pride are familiar to many, but we wanted to know how the LGBTQ+ community abroad took Pride and made it unique to their city or country.
To find out more we turned to Adam Groffman, creator of Travels Of Adam, a travel and lifestyle blog for men and other “stylish travelers,” featuring extensive LGBTQ+ travel tips and guides. Groffman quit his job in 2010, and took off to explore the world for 15 months. Once the global trek wrapped he settled in Berlin, and by 2018, had made his way back to the US, keeping New York as a home-base between trips.
I’ve celebrated Pride in so many different places around the world—I’ve shared a lot of the stories, but probably not all of them! I’ve loved visiting so many prides across Europe because each city has their own unique flair and style, and that local culture is reflected in the Pride, too. Like in Amsterdam, Pride takes place down the canals, while in Berlin, it’s a massive street party (with techno music of course). And in places further east such as Prague or Riga, they’re way more political-focused.
What was your most memorable Pride abroad, and why?
While I love Pride festivals that take on important political issues, my favorite ones have been more celebration than frustration. When living in Berlin, I always enjoyed the local Pride because there was so much diversity—so much so that there were often two concurrent marches on the same day! (One was more commercial and the other more alternative). But maybe my favorite was Tel Aviv Pride, which is a big party that takes place on the beach.
Is there a city or country you’d love to experience during Pride Month?
I’ve always wanted to visit Sydney’s Mardi Gras Pride. I actually went once when I was a student studying abroad in Sydney, but didn’t fully enjoy the experience. Now that I’m a little older, I think it’d be a lot of fun.
You’re New York-based. What’s NYC Pride like? What makes it unique?
NYC Pride is really unique because this is where the modern gay rights movement really began—right at Christopher Street at the Stonewall Inn. That important political history plus the fact that it’s NYC and one of the most LGBTQ-friendly places in the world, just means that it’s a really incredible celebration. Because it’s so big and so popular, just about everyone shows up for it.
Finally, a question that generates many fascinating answers, from many different people: What does Pride mean to you?
Pride for me is still really important. But while it’s vital that we know our past and where we’ve come from in terms of equal rights, I think it’s also a great way to celebrate our uniqueness and our diversity. That’s why I really believe we can and should use the chance during Pride Month (in cities like NYC, where it is safe to do so) as a chance for fun and celebration.
This interview has been edited for clarity