2019 Gay Pride Guide - 7 Tips to Get the Most Out of This Year's Festivities
It's that time of year again! Time to lay out your flashiest leather gear and break out the good glitter because we're going to party!
Cities all around the world are getting ready for the festivities and this year's going to be a big one!
It's been 50 years since the Stonewall Riots and even though we've come a long way, a passing glance at your newsfeed is all it takes to see that we have a whole lot further to go in the fight for equal recognition, not only under the law but by society as a whole.
happy Pride month to this video and this video only pic.twitter.com/LDkWKVw5CA— ✨ zachy o 🦊 (@Z_ninetales) May 31, 2019
This big anniversary is a perfect time to get out there and show the world that we're not going anywhere and that those who don't like it had better accept it or die mad about it.
Don't worry, this isn't going to be a political rant. I just mention all this to point out how far we've come, add perspective to how far we have to go and, most importantly, add emphasis on the importance of getting out there so the world can see us being us.
If you are looking for a more political view of Pride and the history of how we got here, this article should do the trick nicely.
No, the purpose of this article is to give a few tips about how to have a safe, fun time when you're out and about during Pride.
Whether it's your first time attending Pride or you're Pride veteran looking for a few life hacks to iron out the kinks, this guide has got you covered!
So, with no further ado, here are our top tips for having an amazing Pride experience!
1. Pacing - Prioritize Events You Are Most Interested In
Pride is a month-long event, and even though most of the major festivities in a given city aren't rockin' full blast for the whole month, you should definitely temper your expectations for what you can get done and treat the event more like an endurance race than a balls-out sprint.
Any Pride celebration worth a damn is going to have more to do than any one person could ever get done in such a short timeframe.
So, it's important to take a hard look at the events you are most interested in and prioritize them. If you try to go full-tilt and do everything, you're going to burn out fast, especially if you're drinking.
Remember, some of these events are spread out around a rather large area and you will likely be walking a lot.
Add to that the fact that the weather is usually pretty warm and sunny for Pride events, and it gets easy to see how you could get worn out quickly.
Basically, this boils down to knowing your limits and knowing what you want to spend your energy on so you can get the most out of Pride without ended up like a walking corpse by the end of it.
"...it's important to take a hard look at the events you are most interested in and prioritize them. If you try to go full-tilt and do everything, you're going to burn out fast, especially if you're drinking."
2. Don't Feed The Trolls - They're Not Going Anywhere. Save It For The After Party!
Remember how I said we have a long way to go in our fight for acceptance from society at large?
Well, this is made unfortunately clear at every Pride celebration by the presence of wack-job haters showing up to the party to let everyone know just how they feel by waving Bible verses around and generally being a bunch of intolerant cockheads.
While it is tempting to engage these pedigree shitwaffles by returning some of the hate, it's really not worth it in the end.
You're here to celebrate and they're here to ruin that celebration. Don't let them win by tarnishing your experience.
Ignore them and move on, secure in the knowledge that their shitty lives are their reward for their shitty views. You can argue with homophobic pricks any day of the year - They're not going anywhere anytime soon, sadly. Save it for after the party!
3...Safety Is A Concern - Our Strength Is In Our Numbers And In Our Solidarity
You would have to be living under a rock not to have noticed that the political atmosphere over the last few years has gotten pretty damn tense, and political violence is becoming more common with each passing day.
While hate-crimes and violence have always been an unfortunate feature of Pride events, the risk seems just a little more palpable than it has in a long time and the haters have been emboldened and invigorated by a new wave of Neo-Fascist bigots.
As always, our strength is in our numbers and in our solidarity. Try to attend Pride with a friend or friends. There is safety in numbers and lone bigots with violent intent will be less likely to target people who are part of a crowd or group.
It sucks to have to worry about shit like this, but it definitely highlights the need for continued resistance against those who would rather we be wiped from the face of the earth forever.
Don't spend all of your time worrying. Just make sure that you are aware of your surroundings and try to stay with people you know and trust so you don't have to.
4. Pride Is For The Whole LGBTQ+ Family
Even in the face of the bigotry of those outside the community, there are splits within the LGBTQ+ community that are nearly as ugly, possibly more so, considering those who hold these bigoted views should know better than anyone just how ugly they truly are.
graphic design is my passion pic.twitter.com/Nm5QgVrR5b— ty || james mcavoy lovebot (@b99danvers) June 1, 2019
That doesn't stop some of the less enlightened of our community from talking shit about bisexuals, trans individuals, asexuals, and others who don't fall under the category of "Gay".
Just because a person doesn't fit your definition of who should be considered a member of the community, doesn't mean they aren't as much a part of it as you are.
You only speak for you.
Thinking that someone doesn't belong because they aren't strictly attracted to members of the same gender, whatever the fuck that really is, is no different than the attitudes of the Right-wing trolls who think you shouldn't be part of society as a whole.
Gay, bi, trans, asexual, or whatever, they are all part of the family. Act like it- We're all in this together!
Chances are, you aren't the one who needs to hear that but, sadly, it needs to be said all the same.
5. Always Be Prepared - Bring Cash & Charge Your Phone...
You want your time at the festivities to be as carefree as possible and scrambling around for something you need but didn't bring is a great way to spoil the mood in a hurry.
The biggest thing to remember is to bring some actual cash with you.
There are going to be a lot of vendors selling all sorts of stuff from delicious food and booze, to delightful art and little chochkes. They don't all accept cards and you don't want to have to run to an ATM every time you want a beer or to have your face painted with glitter.
Just make sure you have a safe place to keep your money while you are walking around.
It's also a good idea to have a plan for reuniting with your friends if you are separated. There is a lot going on at a Pride festival and it can be really easy to get lost in the crowd. Having a central meeting place is a great way to ensure that you can always find each other again in the event that your phone runs out of juice and you can't communicate.
Which leads me to the next point: CHARGE YOUR PHONE!
You're going to need your phone so you can keep in touch with your fellow party-goers, have access to maps and schedules of events, adding new contacts you meet, and for taking pictures of the spectacle around you.
You'll also want to have it handy in case you get sick of walking and need to catch an Uber to a party or event that's just a little out of your walking/sobriety comfort zone.
Oh, speaking of walking, you're gonna want a nice pair of comfy walking shoes. You're going to be on your feet almost constantly and, unless you are a mythic-tier drag queen, you'll never be able to rock those heels the whole time.
Seriously, get some sunscreen and use it throughout the day or you will definitely regret it. Take it from one of those poor guys who ended up burnt to a crisp in the med tent one year. Nobody wants to be that guy, seriously. Use the fucking sunscreen!
6. Traveler's Tips - Make Arrangements in Advance to Save Money and Increase Your Options...
A lot of the people you meet at Pride festivals in the major cities are travelers who have come from surrounding rural areas where there simply aren't festivities to attend.
I grew up in a small town in the Midwest and, for many years, this was the case with me. After a few years of this, I learned some tricks to make it a bit easier.
Whether you're one of the turnip-truck crowd like me or you're just looking to get away from your usual scene and check out how they do things in another city, you gotta play your cards a little smarter than the person who just rolls out of bed and catches the city bus to the party.
Good planning is crucial.
Try to make arrangements well in advance of the event to keep the costs down and increase your options.
Hotels get pretty packed during Pride, so the earlier you get started, the better chance you have of finding accommodations closer to the event.
One of the smartest things you can do is to get a hotel room that is as central to the festivities as possible so you can have a base of operations to work from. It's super-convenient to know that you have a clean, reliable bathroom and place to safely store your things nearby.
Not to mention the ability to take a cold shower if it ends up being balls-hot outside...
If you plan on doing any drinking or hooking up, it' also pretty damn sweet to have a place within stumbling distance you can go to for a more intimate encounter or to just pass out at the end of a night of ferocious drinking.
Finally, make sure you bring everything you think you might need to have a good time away from home.
If you're not sure what that might be, this guide should give you a good idea of some of the essentials.
7. Do You! - Let Go & Relax
The main thing to keep in mind is that Pride is a celebration of individuality, at its core.
Put aside all of the political bullshit, all of the commercialism, and all of the queer infighting, and what you have left is a group of people coming together to be who they are without fear of judgment.
You wanna dress up in a rainbow-sequined banana hammock with combat boots and a tiara?
It probably won't even be in the top 25 weirdest looks of the day but I'll probably want a selfie with you, if that's alright. I'll be the half-naked glitter fairy who swears and drinks too much.
The point is, stay safe and be smart, but fuckin' let go and relax over everything else.
This is a time to let loose, push boundaries, make new friends, and let the world know that we aren't going anywhere and they might as well join the party.
So, make it a good one!
Me from June 1 through June 30 pic.twitter.com/iamYfXrj6B— The Gay Burn Book (@SouthernHomo) June 1, 2019