06/20/2014 04:31 EDT | Updated 06/20/2014 04:59 EDT

WorldPride Toronto 2014: A Look Back At All Of The Hosting Countries (PHOTOS)


WorldPride Toronto kicks off on Friday, June 20, and for the next 10 days, people from around the world will celebrate LGBTQ pride through hundreds of events from picnics to concerts to parties across the city.

WorldPride, which is organized by Interpride, was first held in Rome in 2000. Each year, the organization and leaders of gay and lesbian groups worldwide, selects an international host country. WorldPride events are meant to recognize LGBTQ issues on an international scale and tend to be longer than local pride events. In 2006, WorldPride was in Jerusalem, followed by London in 2012. In 2009, Toronto beat out Stockholm to be the first city in North America to host the festivities.

And while thousands of people from all over the globe are expected to attend, each host country definitely has different values and degrees of acceptance when it comes to being homosexual. While most host countries saw celebration, in Jerusalem, for example, several parade participates were arrested or attacked for being open about their sexuality, according to the BBC.

We've rounded up photos from WorldPride events from all three hosting countries, including snippets of what you can expect in Toronto. WorldPride 2017 will be held in Madrid, Spain.