Overview How Many People Are GLBT? Are Lesbians Distinct From Gay Men? A Few Words About the B's and T's How Much Do Gays Earn? Where Do Gays Live? How Many Households Are There? Media Usage, Purchasing Decisions, and the Value of Gay Marriage Annual Gay Events Attract Hundreds of Thousands What About A Backlash Against Gay Marketers? What's Missing? What About Print?
Gay events carry huge economic impact too.
In 1993, an estimated one million people marched on Washington D.C. to demand equal rights for lesbians and gays. Their presence brought in $177 million to city businesses. In 1994, the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and Gay Games IV brought in hundreds of thousands of visitors to New York City, and an estimated $200 million with them.
Gay Pride events occur in every major city. In 2004, an estimated 15 million people participated in U.S. Pride events alone, according to InterPride.
An economic impact survey calculated that Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras (over 25 years old) attracts 500,000 spectators and contributes AU$100 million to the Australian economy each year. And a 2001 study of Berlin's Christopher Street Day parade by Publicom! found that event also brings in 500,000 attendees who contribute €134 million, 38% of whom were heterosexual and 62% were gay and 81% of whom were ages 20-39. Estimates for the economic boost to the city and county of San Francisco for its Gay & Lesbian Pride parade are at $100 million, Southern Decadence in New Orleans is $72 milion, and Montreal's Black and Blue Ball generates C$34 million and attracts about 80,000 people.
Toronto Pride Parade is Canada's most attended single-day event, with an estimated crowd of more than a million people, and Pride Week festivities bring about C$60 million to the city's economy. Montreal Pride Week, called Divers/Cité, brings in C$40 million with about 850,000 attendees, while Vancouver's Pride brings in about C$23 million.
There are a number of major non-Pride related events as well. The still-unofficial "Gay Days" at DisneyWorld, begun in 1991, now attracts 150,000 to events citywide and has competing activity organizers, including One Mighty Weekend. The events pump an estimated $100 million into the Orlando economy, according to organizers. A smaller version now also appears in Anaheim, Calif. too. Aspen Gay Ski Week, one of several popular ski events, brings in a reported $12 million to the resort town.
The Gay Games events were founded in 1982 and now attract more athletes than the Olympics, 14,000 every four years. In 1994, it provided an estimated $300 million to New York City, 125 million Dutch guilders ($55 million) in Amsterdam in 1998, and Gay Games VI in 2002 generated roughly AU$100 million (US$60 million) for Sydney, Australia. A competing major sporting event launched in 2006 is the World OutGames in Montreal.
Across the U.S. are also a number of sporting organizations that have regional and national competitions, among the largest are the International Gay Rodeo Association with 20 member associations, the International Gay Bowling Association with roughly 20,000 bowlers in 200 leagues, and theNorth American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance with 51 chapters of gay and lesbian softball leagues in 35 cities.
The Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco attracts 300,000 interested in leather annually, and International Mr. Leather competition has been a major event for thousands since 1979 in Chicago, where there is also the Leather Archives & Museum.
Most major cities have popular annual gay film festivals as well, many of them over 10 years old, includingOutfest in Los Angeles and The New Fest in New York City.
The largest national gay women's event of any kind is the Dinah Shore Golf Tournament (still known as such, though sponsor Nabisco removed her name from the title in 2000, it is now the Nabisco Golf Tournament). No lesbian attendance figures are available, though some industry analysts estimate 40% of the 80,000 spectators attending the games are lesbian, and there are many event-related activities, including The Dinah Weekend. Other big women's events include the Michigan Womyn's Music Festival,Women's Week in Provincetown, Mass., and new circuit parties for women, including Aqua Girl in Miami Beach, and Girls in Wonderland, in Orlando.
Gay & lesbian film festivals also are a major draw in many large and small cities internationally, some that have celebrated a decade or more of existence and attract over 15,000 attendees during the run.
Gay business, entertainment, travel and marriage/wedding expositions are also becoming an option for corporations to reach thousands of consumers and small business owners in New York City and a handful of other major cities.
Additionally, major national GLBT organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign, Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, National Gay & lesbian Task Force, Lambda Legal and major state GLBT rights groups have numerous national and regional events that attract thousands of supporters and top-level sponsors.
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