How to Celebrate Your First Pride
Everything you need to know if you’re a first-timer at Pride
For many people, attending Pride for the first time can be intimidating. Streets full of (often drunk) people and loud music are my worst nightmare. For others, Pride can be downright terrifying if you’re not out yet. Just remember: even the loudest and proudest attendees had their first Pride at some point.
If you’re not sure what to expect from your first Pride, here are some tips.
What is pride?
Pride is first and foremost a political protest against the mistreatment of LGBTQ+ people and a chance for us to assert our identities. It’s also an opportunity for everyone to get together, feel free to be themselves and party.
Celebrated in June every year, Pride Month is a tribute to the Stonewall riots which started in New York City on June 28th, 1969. These riots sparked the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the USA and led to the first ever Pride march on June 28, 1970 in New York.
Today, Pride usually involves events such as club nights in local bars, live music and a parade. In short, towns and cities are filled with a sense of merriment amidst a shit load of rainbows.
Educate yourself about the significance of Pride
If you haven’t already, read up on queer history or watch some LGBTQ+ documentaries to understand why we still need Pride. Attending Pride as a queer person isn’t compulsory, but we should know our history.
Listen to Pride playlists
One way to get yourself in the mood is to listen to themed playlists (or create your own). They usually contain certified queer bops, gems from LGBTQ+ artists and cheesy pop. A lot of cheesy pop.
Wear comfortable clothing
Should you wear a costume? Should you dress head-to-toe in rainbow-adorned attire? It’s really up to you. Some people seize the chance to go all out, wearing crazy colour combinations or dyeing their hair bright colours, while others simply go with what they’d wear to a festival.
Many brands launch Pride-themed t-shirts during June and donate portions of profits to charity, so this is another option. The important thing is to dress comfortably. If you’re going to be on your feet all day and night, wear appropriate shoes, or at least bring some flats to change into. Bring sun cream, an umbrella and a jacket because the weather is unpredictable.
You don’t have to be out if you’re not comfortable
If you’re still exploring your sexuality or trying to inch your way out of the closet bit by bit, you don’t have to explain yourself to anyone. Being around visible queer people is incredibly empowering and validating and may even give you the courage you need. Even if you’re not out, Pride is still yours as much as anyone else’s.
Chat to people
This is especially important if you feel isolated. Pride is all about community and togetherness, so try to make the most of that. Get to know people, whether it’s party-goers or people from local charities.
Don’t drink if you don’t want to
Lots of Pride attendees love the party element, but inebriation isn’t mandatory. Do whatever feels right for you and whatever you do, make sure you stay hydrated.
Volunteer instead of going alone
Don’t have anyone to attend your first Pride with? You’re not alone there. Depending on the size of your local Pride, there are usually different events to get involved in. Volunteering is a great way to get involved and meet new people. You can volunteer to be a steward, create floats and banners for the parade or even help clean up afterwards.
Pride is a time to just be you, to celebrate who you are and connect with your local community. Enjoy every second of it and make it yours.