IF you’re a sexual or gender diverse Australian looking to travel abroad, you’d be hard-pressed to find a destination more LGBTI-friendly or inclusive than Britain.
With queer spaces and cultural events dotted throughout the year in most cities, you can plan a big gay trip irrespective of the time of year.
It’s easily one of the world’s largest and most revered LGBTI festivals – last year’s event drew in over 300,000 attendees with an electric headlining performance by Carly Rae Jepsen who belted out her brand of eighties synth-pop to a park filled with joyous festival-goers.
When the Pride March kicked off in the morning, visitors from around the country had well and truly filled the streets ready for the procession and one couldn’t look in any direction without seeing every colour of the rainbow – draped around the arms of a same-sex couple, held swinging on a flag by a young gender diverse person, or painted on the faces of allies everywhere.
The city also boasts a ‘Piers and Queers’ tour that may be of interest to any history nerds out there.
As part of a walking group travelled are led by an extraordinarily knowledgeable tour guide who explains the city’s queer past, including sites where notable figures Lord Byron and Oscar Wilde enjoyed a bit of fun and freedom to sexually express themselves.
The newly-installed Brighton i360 is also worth a visit as well, an observation tower standing at 162-metres tall with views around the city and the beach on a clear day.
The historic Brighton Pier is also worth a visit, a beautiful and famous pier boasting carnival rides, arcade games, food kiosks, and more.
Once the pride festivities have finished in Brighton, why not head over to Cardiff in Wales for Pride Cymru?
As Wales’ largest celebration of equality and diversity, the most recent annual pride celebration drew in more than 5,000 people to take part in the colourful parade.
Pride Cymru, which was previously known as Mardi Gras, first took place in 1999 and has steadily attracted more and more visitors ever since.
In 2010 the event became a registered charity with the aim of eliminating all types of prejudice and discrimination against sexual and gender diverse people in the community, before being relaunched as Pride Cymru in 2014.
Following the parade Pride-goers move on to Cooper’s field where the larger festivities begin.
At the park there’s food, drinks, dance tents, carnival rides, and a main stage holding performances by a number of incredibly talented musicians – last year’s headlining performance was by none other than the double-denim wearing nineties pop outfit B*Witched.
If you’d prefer to stay central and plan to travel slightly earlier in the year, Pride in London is a 16-day-long event celebrating all things LGBTI.
The festival features theatre shows, comedy gigs, exhibitions, and most importantly, the annual parade and street part in June.
Comprising hundreds of community groups, student unions, charities, and campaigners, the parade winds its way by London landmarks while a huge stage in Trafalgar Square hosts live performances and speeches.
There’s also Pride Edinburgh in July, celebrating its 21st anniversary this year.
Pride Edinburgh is Scotland’s national LGBTI festival, combining a colourful march through the city with a health and community fair and live music.
The event also brings together politicians, activists, and individuals to support diversity the proud expression of sexual and gender diversity.
The UK’s LGBT calendar is filled with incredible and fun events throughout the year, so if you’re thinking of traveling to Britain in the coming year, it’s worth checking out some of the great LGBTI festivals or events that are happening around the country.
To find out about all the amazing cities and events you can visit in Britain, visit: www.visitbritain.com/loveisgreat