Pride month in Catalonia
Every year the LGBTI community celebrates across the globe. Various events are held during this special month to celebrate pride in Barcelona and promote the self-affirmation, equality and increased visibility of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex people around the world.
The history of gay rights in Spain
Spain has come on in leaps and bounds in terms of equality and LGBTI rights. The approval of same-sex marriage was a reflection of the social progress of the Spaniards. In 2013, the Pew Research Centre classified Spain as the country with the highest acceptance of homosexuality.
Catalonia is one of the pioneering areas for LGBTI community integration and promoting laws against homophobia and discrimination. Barcelona City Council has stood out for its commitment to the defence of Civil Rights in the city for many years, starting in 1995 when the Department of Civil Rights was founded. The most recent development being the introduction of the LGBTI Municipal Council, which was set up in 2004 to encourage equal rights, freedom and social recognition of LGBTI people within the city.
Barcelona even has an LGBTI Centre dedicated to serving the LGBTI community. The centre ensures that members of the community in Barcelona are aware of their rights, and are supported legally, socially, mentally, and emotionally. Some of their services include counselling resources, sexual health resources, legal advice, and more. They also organise lots of events and activities, perfect for expats new to Barcelona looking to meet people within the community. The centre strives to make all of Barcelona free of discrimination. The centre guarantees to make Barcelona a safe and respectful place for the LGBTI community.
Gay pride in Barcelona
A survey carried out by Nestpick in 2017 identified the top 100 cities with active LGBT communities, to celebrate Pride Month. For a city to rank highly, it must have a vibrant gay dating scene, a lively nightlife, open minded citizens, and low levels of hate crime. Other things taken in to account were the national laws affecting the LGBTI community, such as the right to get married or adopt children, so it comes as no surprise that Barcelona and Sitges are among the best LGBT Cities in the world.
For expats who are apart of the LGBTI community and looking to meet people, Barcelona’s nightlife is the perfect place. Throughout the city you can find many amazing gay nightclubs, restaurants, and pubs to socialise at. While you can find these places all over the city, a specific neighbourhood with the majority of Barcelona’s gay nightlife you can go to is located in the Eixample area of Barcelona, nicknamed ‘Gaixample’. Throughout this neighbourhood, you will find Pride flags, gay couples everywhere, and loads of gay nightlife options.
Barcelona forms part of the Rainbow Cities Network, a collection of 30 international cities concerned with LGBTI policies. TheBarcelona Pride Parade is a must-see event during the month of June. The first parade was held on June 26, 1977 and has been a key calendar event ever since. The Eixample district in particular, is known for its varied offerings for the gay community including fashion, restaurants, bars and clubs.
This year's pride
In Barcelona, the main Pride celebrations take place from the 3rd of July to the 16th. The events consist of concerts, a Pride village, parades, and so much more. In previous years, artists including the AQUA group, La Zowi, and Ginebras have preformed during Pride. The village has consisted of the Exhibition of LGBTIQ+ Entities of the City, the main stage, and tons of bars and restaurants to celebrate at.
Pride in Sitges
Sitges, the seaside resort on the Mediterranean coast, has the most gay-friendly community in all of Europe making their Pride celebration one of the greatest. The main celebrations are from June 14th to the 18th, but you can find pride in Sitges year round. The town is colourful and vibrant, decorated with pride flags and decorations
During the celebration, there is a Pride Village opened in Sitges with over 80 different shows. The village is located right by the sea, and allows people to get drinks and enjoy the shows with free admission. Gay Sitges Link and AFGAL are hosting The Cultural Pride which is a series of organised events to educate and inform people about the culture of Pride. The parade is the grand finale of the celebration, and is one of the most extravagant and unique Pride Parades. Taking place on June 18th, the parade has over 2000 participants and 20 floats.
Among the many options for LGBTI travellers in Catalonia, it’s humbling to see that the majority of hotels define themselves as gay-friendly. You can also find food and wine tourism, sports activities, luxury, or nature experiences exclusively organised for the LGBTI community.