I remember going to my first Pride like it was yesterday – it was only 3 years ago!
My initial push to go was actually my partner: S and I had just started dating, and they really wanted to go. I’d been meaning to go while I was still in high school, but life had always gotten in the way. There were booked cabins, parties… you name it. So when I finally had the weekend off – and a person to go with – I was thrilled.
I was super nervous to go, believe it or not. There had been minor attacks on the Pride parade before, and I was scared of being harrassed. So, the question is:
Do I have to be scared during Pride?
Nope. You don’t. There’s a lot of people, for sure, and you might get stared at and photographed, but it’s all good. There’s champagne and picnics, families with kids, people dressed up super fancy and people just hanging out. It’s all about the fun – this post is not going to about the worst case scenarios!
PRIDE SURVIVAL GUIDE
i.e. how to have a good time and not be dumb
Dress for the weather.
I get it! You’re going to the freaking Pride parade. You want to dress cute and fancy and express yourself. But if it’s rainy and windy and cold – you’re not gonna have too much fun. (You might have a nice fever later on though.)
So please: bring a jacket to go with that rainbow bikini. (If you don’t live in a cold place, like I do, your Prides are probably way more fun.)
I hear you cackling, but I do mean exactly that. If you’re single (or just ready to mingle), Pride is a great opportunity to meet like-minded people and get it on. Just make sure you’re protected from STDs and heartbreaks.
Bring water. Drink water. (Or just… anything that’s not alcohol?)
I love funky colored drinks, questionably named shots, and bubbly just as much as anyone else. But holy sh*t you’re going to have a long day – our parade starts at noon, and bars can stay open till 5AM. So just imagine what happens if you’re 2 bottles in at 5PM. Last year the weather was bad so I drank a lot; I can barely piece together what happened after we left the picnic.
Water keeps you hydrated, non-nauseous, and helps you keep going till the AM. By the way: this entire step can be fortified with “bring & drink less alcohol”.
Do you know how fast after party tickets sell out? Never mind. Do you know how expensive they are?
I live in Finland. Last year Helsinki Pride had one advertised party. That’s one party for around 35K people. So honestly, I would just suggest you pick a bar you wanna go to, and ditch the official parties. This way you skip the crowds and expensive tickets. As long as you bring your friends, the atmosphere will be there – bring the pride spirit all around town!
Be open, loving, and all that good stuff.
If there’s one thing you should know about Pride, it’s this. Pride is all about celebrating acceptance. Yes, you can show up if you’re not part of a minority! I think the same rules apply to everyone: don’t use Pride as a way of spreading your gross transphobic/racist/ableist ideas. It’s not the right place or time.
The best way to enjoy Pride is going in with an open mind and just taking it all in – so whether this is your first or 50th Pride, make the most of it!