5 Global Places Where LGBTQ Pride is Protest
by Justin Moran
First starting as a small 2,500-person gathering in 2009, Singapore's annual Pink Dot event has grown to attract more than 28,000 every June 4. Hong Lim Park, the only public park where protests are legally allowed, comes to life in a sea of pink lights, all to celebrate inclusivity and LGBTQ Pride— rebellious, considering same-sex relationships aren't recognized under Singapore law and they have no anti-discrimination laws in place to protect their citizens.
Last year, Istanbul police attacked Pride and this year—its 14th year—the government has banned a public march altogether. Despite being in a country known for its high hate crime rate, Istanbul Pride has always attracted thousands of people to its main shopping strip to celebrate the freedom of love. When Pride participants fought against the Istanbul government's decision, police advised them to "disperse and allow life to go back to its normal course."
Passed in 2009, Uganda's Anti-Homosexuality Act attacked the country's marginalized population, making same-sex relationships a cause for life in prison. Since then, the negative attitude toward LGBTQ people has intensified, with President Yoweri Museveni urging Ugandans to actively report "suspicious" activity. This has made Pride a more cautious practice, but it hasn't halted the celebration altogether. Hundreds still show up to Entebbe, hiding their identities with masks and waving rainbow flags.
In India, same-sex relations are criminalized, but that hasn't stopped the LGBTQ community from rallying together for its annual Pride celebrations. This past spring saw more than 7,000 people come together in Mumbai to march and and protest against the rights of marginalized queers.
In June 2012, Moscow's top court issued a 100-year ban on all LGBTQ Pride parades, arguing it would cause public disorder. Regardless, Russians still illegally push for inclusivity and risk arrest by waving rainbow flags outside the Mayor's office or, more recently, putting flowers outside the U.S. Embassy to honor the victims of Orlando's Pulse shooting.