Istanbul Pride (Pic: Elvan Solmaz / Facebook)

Many parts of the world turned pink this weekend, with capitals and major cities around the globe commemorating Gay Pride in a mass celebration and demand for equality.

The annual Istanbul Pride March was among the most significant events. It attracted up to 100,000 people and has been dubbed the Muslim world’s largest Gay Pride gathering.

While homosexuality is not criminalised in Turkey, it remains a social taboo and there is no legal recognition for same-sex couples. The event received criticism because this year it overlapped with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

“I have not ‘come out’ yet to my father, my mother or my friends,” a participant, Senef Cakmak, told AFP. “Today is the only time of year that I am myself. I don’t have to hide from anyone.”


New York’s Empire State Building lit in rainbow colours

Gay Pride was also held in cities across the US, notably in San Francisco, Chicago and in New York City, which gave birth to the LGBTI rights movement in 1969.

The Big Apple’s Empire State Building displayed its rainbow lights for the week in support, while the city’s Pride Parade on Sunday drew around 1 million people, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and the cast of Orange is the New Black.

San Francisco Pride featured Mayor Ed Lee, semi-out Apple CEO Tim Cook (together with around 4,000 of the company’s employees and family members) as well as South African-born activist Melanie Nathan as a Community Grand Marshal.

In Toronto, Canada, more than 12,000 marchers took part in the city’s Pride Parade, which this year, was also the 2014 WorldPride celebration. The afternoon came to a close with a shower and a glorious rainbow across the sky.


London Pride (Pic: Peter Tatchell)

Marchers braved more enduring rain in London as the UK capital took to the streets to celebrate Pride on Saturday.

A group of African LGBT activists marched with British human rights defender Peter Tatchell, calling on the 42 Commonwealth countries that still criminalise homosexuality to repeal their unjust laws.

The London parade climaxed with a performance by Eurovision Song Contest winner Conchita Wurst in Trafalgar Square.

In South Africa, around 600 people took part in Durban’s annual Pride celebrations on Saturday. The event took place amidst controversy following alleged homophobic comments by a municipal councillor and a lack of support from the city.

Other cities that marked Gay Pride this weekend included Singapore, Barcelona, Paris, Oslo, San Salvador, Lima and Mexico City.

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