Thomas Cook Airlines analyzed close to 1000 incredible moments -- including first Prides around the world -- from over 100 countries that have all propelled the LGBTQ community forward since the Stonewall Riots in 1969. This information has been aggregated into an interactive world love map.
Some U.S. trends uncovered in their research include:
- Changes in U.S. law that positively impacted the LGBT+ community since Stonewall, such as anti-discrimination laws and the right to adopt, mostly took place in the 2000s. Research shows 63 legislation changes in this decade alone, compared to just three in the 80s.
- 90s America was the most active decade when it comes to analyzing activist movements. The huge number of legislative changes that took place in the following decade proves that these movements truly spurred positive change.
- 20 Pride events were established in the USA in the 1970s alone. Six of the notoriously right-wing southern states held their first Pride marches during this time, too.
To see how accurate this research was, Thomas Cook Airlines also sent LGBTQ YouTube stars Riyadh Khalaf and Doug Armstrong to the U.S. to experience NewarkPride (yes, Newark... as in New Jersey!) and San Diego Pride. Both created epic video diaries of their time there... have a watch!
Riyadh said: "Newark Pride was a surprise for us. If I'm honest, I expected the event to be bigger but what we were greeted with was an intimate crowd of passionate marchers that weren't more than 400 in size. Compared to gigantic pride celebrations like that of London and Manchester, Pride in Newark felt incredibly intimate and poignant. The local LGBTQ+ community may not be huge but they were beaming with Pride, colour, bravery and conviction. It felt like a real honour to step into their space and celebrate this moment alongside them."
Doug said: "San Diego Pride itself was the best part of the trip. I was a little bit nervous about attending alone, but within seconds of getting out of my cab a friendly drag queen came over, made conversation, and filled me in with everything I needed to know. I quickly made friends throughout the weekend too. The atmosphere of the parade was electric and although it stretched for miles, it was a lot more intimate than other pride events I'd been to. Anyone is free to walk in the parade, and there was a real sense of community and friendliness that made me feel at home."