After years of traveling to the England, I’ve finally got the chance to explore a city beyond London, and I decided to make it Manchester for its annual Pride weekend (known as The Big Weekend – and boy was it a big one!). Unsure what to expect when I arrived, I boarded my train from London after spending a week there (more to come on that), and arrived into the Manchester Piccadilly station. I followed the gaggle of gays that were on my two-hour train ride to make sure I was headed out the right direction, and my instinct proved me right. I was literally welcomed by a sea of rainbows flags at the station and in the city center.
A short walk down from the station (and really close to the Holiday Inn Manchester City Centre), was one of the entrances to the four-day Pride festival at the famous Canal Street (the heart of the gay village in the city). The Village is both party central for the festival weekend (and year-round for the community). Hundreds of the LGBT community were outside celebrating almost nonstop all weekend long. Check out photos from the festival below, as well as the parade (which had 150 participating in the parade and thousands of spectators):
It’s not just the 19 gay bars and clubs that make the Mexican Pacific Coast destination of Puerto Vallarta a gay mecca, but they certainly help and keep the evenings entertaining. After spending a few days in PV for its annual Pride festivities, this year with a 15-day agenda that brought together thousands of locals and visitors for the Pride parade and to celebrate this year’s approval of same-sex marriage in the state of Jalisco (where Puerto Vallarta is located), I really got to see the power of the beach escape for the LGBT community – and how it’s been blossoming for decades.