Auston and David are a married American couple who live in Spain and blog their travel adventures on website Two Bad Tourists. They recently launched their #mygaypride campaign for the second year running, and Winq spoke to them to find out more.
What is #mygaypride?
#mygaypride is a ground-breaking, online campaign that brings together LGBT and allied bloggers and ambassadors to experience the gay pride celebrations across Europe and throughout the world. The team of bloggers will visit both gay-friendly destinations and cities fighting for LGBT acceptance.
We created #mygaypride after being inspired by the diversity of gay pride celebrations we’ve experienced during our travels, and want others to share their pride and be part of the experience.
#mygaypride encourages LGBT people to share their summer of Pride through photos, videos and personal experiences on social media, using the hashtag. The project is also supported by several partners including Eurail, KLM, AirBaltic, ManAboutWorld and Gay Star News.
Who is on the #mygaypride team?
We, along with a group of 15 gay and straight-allied bloggers and 100 ambassadors, will be attending gay pride events around the world, to promote the campaign and share their version of Pride through their digital storytelling and experiences meeting new friends.
Which Prides will you be reporting on?
Our team of bloggers will be visiting eight prides in Europe including Riga, Barcelona, Berlin, Cologne, Ibiza, Stockholm, Copenhagen and Benidorm. But with our team of 100 ambassadors from around the world, we’ll represent more than 50 prides in 20 different countries. We’ll start in Riga, the host of the EuroPride this year and the first former-Soviet country to host the event. It’s not particularity well-known as a gay destination but we think it’s important to support places still fighting for LGBT rights.
Why is Pride important to you?
Pride celebrations are important public statements of LGBT rights, acceptance and the continued fight for equality. We hope to increase visibility for LGBT travel and gay pride events around the world. We are excited about Pride this summer and we want all our friends and followers to join along and support our community. We believe that coming out is one of the most important things you can do to improve LGBT acceptance and travel is a great way to accomplish that.
Every year, more and more LGBT people are travelling to visit new prides. In fact, LGBT travelers are an extremely important part of the tourism industry representing 10 per cent of tourists worldwide and generating 15 per cent of the total tourism expenditure. And with marriage equality gaining momentum around the world (now recognised in 25 countries!) there’s no better time than now to visit a gay Pride event in a new destination.
What has been your favorite memory from a Pride event?
Our favorite Pride memory was last year in Iceland. We met a group of locals the night before the parade in Reykjavik and they invited us for brunch the next day. Later, they asked us to march in the parade alongside their group – the local gay swim team… Need we say Speedos?! Reykjavik Pride was amazing – 100,000 people turned up, which is one third of Iceland’s entire population. The day could not have been better – the sun was shining and temperatures were 20 degrees celsius – a rarity in Iceland!
What is the craziest/funniest thing you have seen/experienced at a Pride event?
The craziest Pride we’ve ever experienced is definitely in Madrid. We first visited back in 2012 to find 1.5 million people attending the event. The streets were packed along the parade route on Gran Via, the most famous street in the city. The weather was hot that day and everyone with apartments along the street were throwing buckets of water from the balconies down below. Whether you wanted it or not, there was a good chance you got soaked – but it was all in good fun!
What are your tips for a great Pride experience?
The most important aspect of enjoying Pride is to just be yourself. Everyone celebrates Pride differently – whether dressed in drag, marching in high heels or simply watching from the sidelines. We’re a diverse community and Pride is a time to embrace each other’s differences. Another great tip is to get involved with the events. You can volunteer, march and meet new friends. If you’re travelling to a new Pride, one of the best things to do is to meet locals. You’ll make new friends and they can give you all the best tips and insights to make the most of Pride in their city.
How can people get involved with #mygaypride?
We want people to share what Pride means to them. Whether it’s sharing photos live during a gay Pride festival or sharing a message about why you are proud to be out, we want to build a global community across social media for LGBT people to connect and share their pride with each other.