This article was published on October 26th, 2023
Ever thought about attending Gay Pride in Honolulu?
No? Well have you ever considered that…
Pride events are a celebration of love, freedom, and self-expression, but they also provide a unique platform for LGBTQ+ community members to connect with one another on a deeper level.
Traveling to different Pride events across the globe amplifies this experience as it exposes individuals to diverse cultures, narratives, and histories, enabling them to forge new friendships and strengthen their sense of community.
And speaking of unforgettable Pride celebrations in exotic locales…
2023 Gay Pride in Honolulu
For an entire month, Honolulu becomes a melting pot of LGBTQ+ pride, education, and cultural festivities. These events shine a spotlight on the exuberant LGBTQ+ community and Hawaii’s loving embrace.
The people of perfection of this celebration was just held on October 21, 2023, when the streets of Waikīkī were dressed with rainbows and filled spirited marchers for the Honolulu Pride Parade.
This light hearted procession started its journey at the scenic Magic Island of Ala Moana Beach Park and finish at Kapi‘olani Park.
But the festivities didn’t stop there.
The Honolulu Pride Festival offered attendees an impressive lineup of live performances, motivational talks, and engaging activities.
Making the occasion even more colorful, Sasha Colby, the dazzling winner of RuPaul’s Drag Race 2023 and Hawaii’s own star, graced the Pride events with her presence.
The only thing as hot as the temperatures was the enthusiasm and excitement for Honolulu Pride 2023. Standing out as one of the grand finales in the global Pride calendar, Honolulu Pride in Oahu was a spectacle like no other.
From October 20 to 22, the shores of Waikiki buzzed with events, from the essential Pride parade and festival to electrifying dance parties, alluring drag brunches, and refreshing pool parties.
The heart of Honolulu Pride 2023 was exemplified in the core weekend events in Waikiki. The attention garnered from the event wasn’t just local; it beckoned people from other Hawaiian Islands and even from various parts of mainland USA. It was not just a weekend; it was a time to defend rights, enjoy the spirit of Pride, reconnect with old friends, make new bonds, and etch memories to last a lifetime.
So what exactly was all the buzz about?
The Unforgettable Pride Parade in Honolulu
On Saturday October 21, on a day as gay as the festivities, downtown Waikiki was covered in glitter and rainbows as the Pride parade stepped off from Magic Island at Ala Moana Beach Park, made its way along the main street of Kalakaua Avenue, to Kapi‘olani Park.
By the time the parade began the streets were lined with thousands of participants and spectators alike. In a stunning three hour event people enjoyed:
- Vibrant costumes they couldn’t take their eyes off
- Eccentric floats lavishly decorates in all the colors of the rainbow
- Community groups from across the island
- LGBTQ+ positive sponsors
- Local LGBTQ leaders
- Rights activists
The pride parade was complete with the addition of this year’s Honolulu Pride grand Marshal, Kanaka (someone with native Hawaiian blood) and winner of RuPaul’s drag Race Season 15, Sasha Colby.
Along the route cries of joy and fervor could be heard with echoes of “Happy Pride” reverberating through the streets of the city.
But what happened at the festival after the parade was just as exciting as the parade.
The Honolulu Pride Festival Was Fabulous
The inclusive and family-friendly atmosphere, combined with the colorful and vibrant marketplace, is truly representative of what Pride festivals stand for. Celebrating diversity and inclusion is necessary, especially in today’s world, and events like this play a special role in fostering community and promoting acceptance.
Honolulu, with its beautiful and scenic surroundings, created the perfect backdrop for such an event. The fact that the festival took place at the scenic Kapi‘olani Park with performances at the Waikīkī Shell undoubtedly added to the festival’s upbeat atmosphere.
The most thrilling event was Sasha Colby taking the stage as the headliner, especially after winning RuPaul’s Drag Race in 2023. It’s always heartening to see local talent being recognized on an international platform and then returning to celebrate with their home community.
The mix of local and international performers and groups showed the breadth and depth of talent within the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. From drag queens to dance troupes, the variety ensured that there’s something for everyone.
It’s essential to recognize how the festival provided a platform for local businesses and organizations. The marketplace was like a living, breathing hub of acceptance, not just of merchandise but also of ideas, community engagement, and opportunities for attendees to connect with local resources.
The Honolulu Pride Festival was an essential fixture on the island’s event calendar. It was a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies, showcasing the islands diversity and promoting a message of love, acceptance, and unity. The island’s spirit of ‘Aloha’ is truly encapsulated in this festival, bringing together people of all backgrounds in a joyous celebration of identity and community.
But, the real fun happened at…
Fly with Pride Brunch
On Sunday, October 22, the Alaska Airlines Fly with Pride Brunch took place at the Deck within the Queen Kapi’olani Hotel. Guests indulged in mimosas and delightful morning beverages while savoring a lavish brunch spread.
Stars from RuPaul’s Drag Race, Kylie Sonique Love and Laganja Estranja, graced the event. Attendees had a special opportunity to meet Sasha Colby up close, and the highlight of the day was a performance by Kerri Colby.
But this wasn’t the only event you could have attended.
Other Pride Community Programs and Events at Honolulu Pride 2023
Throughout the weekend, numerous official Honolulu Pride events took place, including:
- A kick-off concert at Hawai’I Theatre
- Aninaugural bash at Hawaiian Brian’s Social Club
- Celebrations at Hula’s Bar and Lei Stand
There was also Alan Cumming’s stellar performance at Hawai’i Theatre, the spooky-themed After After Party Monster Mash at ÆTHER, and a refreshing Pool Party at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikīkī Beach.
Local bars and businesses eagerly joined in the Pride celebrations. They orchestrated their own events, filled their venues with festive decor, and rolled out exclusive deals. The city was alive with energy during the week-long festivity.
Despite all the joy, there was, as to be expected, those who wanted to put a damper on the festivities.
Protesters (which had virtually no impact)
As is often the case with LGBTQ+ events, a few protesters made an appearance at Honolulu Pride 2023. Stationed on Kalakaua Avenue along the parade route, these individuals wielded prominent signs and voiced their opinions via megaphone.
Our community was far too fabulous for them. Their presence didn’t dampen the spirits or change the atmosphere for event participants.
While many attendees chose to overlook the protesters, a few countered by overshadowing their voices. Law enforcement was present close by but had no cause to step in.
Does that mean you shouldn’t head to Honolulu for this annual event?
Not at all!
In fact we recommend you…
Plan to Attend Gay Pride in Honolulu in 2024
Why are you still sitting there? Get up, grab your calendar and mark Honolulu Pride on your 2024 LGBTQ+ calendar. This late October festivity offers a sun-soaked escape just as cooler breezes sweep across much of mainland North America, letting you prolong your summer joys into the heart of autumn.
Then once you’ve got it penciled in, visit www.honolulupride.com to learn how to travel in Homoculture approved style.
Still sitting there? Hear us out a moment.
Start planning your trip to Honolulu for Pride 2024 now!
Gear up for your Waikiki adventure!
Honolulu, situated on Oahu’s southern coast, is Hawaii’s capital and the entry point to its stunning islands. Dive head first into Waikiki’s gay scene, enjoy delectable dining, lively nightlife, and enticing shopping options.
Waikiki’s renowned crescent-shaped beach, framed by palm trees and towering hotels, provides a picturesque backdrop with the majestic Diamond Head crater standing tall afar.
You’ll kick yourself in the rear if you miss this so – stop procrastinating and start planning today.
The Hawaiian Islands is your go-to guide for an unforgettable gaycation. Discover top recommendations for accommodations, activities, nightlife, dining, and shopping destinations on their website.