I am honestly not sure I have a top five exactly or what criteria I should have but here goes:
5. New Orleans – I think this was actually the first Pride Parade I ever attended and it was as colourful and bead filled as you might expect. The vibe of it was sparkly and happy and it was absolutely the best introduction to Pride I could have hoped for. I love New Orleans as a city, and the gay scene that I experienced was hella vibrant, I would go back like a shot.
4. London – I’ve never actually been to London Pride, not for the Parade or any of the associated events. However I would very much like to attend this one because it’s the big one in my country. Also because though they’ve gotten things wrong and right (in my opinion) on TERF issues they did take a stand last year about uniformed police marching in Pride parades and I think that’s going to have some good echoes.
3. Tokyo – This was the first Pride Parade I marched in with the Squirrel and Chestnut girls and it was my first real understanding of the sort of solidarity and community the QUILTBAG could provide. I loved it, it has its own issues of course not least of which it’s irregularity but I will always have a soft spot for Tokyo and I would love to visit it again someday.
2. Lancaster – my local Pride, I have been so happy marching with my local queer community, raising money for Russian queer family when all that kicked off and seeing rainbow flags hanging out of bars that once kicked us out for being queer. (2000-2004 those places were kicking us out so really not that long ago, less than twenty years in some instances).
1. Manchester – before Lancaster got organised me and The Jellicle et al would usually try to head to Manchester. 2009 marks the first time I attended and it was my first pride in this country. I’m pretty sure I’ve marched in Manchester Pride more often than any other Pride parade, hell I’ve dressed up and danced in it. It’s got a lovely vibe and Canal Street has been my local gay town for almost half my life at this point. So it’s gotta be my number one.