For many LGBTQ+ individuals, the month of June represents the celebration of their identities and the struggles associated with them. Until June of 2015, it was still illegal for gay couples to get married in all states in America. In honor of this monumental and life changing legislation, Pride Month activities are scattered all throughout the USA for LGBTQ+ individuals to celebrate their victory. However, many hyper-conservative and religious homophobes can make events like the Pride Parade dangerous and upsetting. In order to stay safe and have an enjoyable time, I’ve put together some suggestions on how to have the best possible Pride experience.
Have a trusted contact.
Having someone who is not participating in the festivities that you can call in case things go south is critical. This contact will be able to assist you in getting to a safe space in case of disaster and can keep you updated on any important news developments that may affect the event. Despite any emergency situations, you might decide to leave early and may need a ride. Having backup is always a good idea.
Decide on a central meeting place.
With the fun and chaos ensuing all around, it’s easy to get separated from your group. Since cell coverage at big events can be tedious, having a meeting up location in case you get lost is critical. And in the case that your group wants to separate and do separate activities, you can easily meet back up once you’re done.
Download a ride app of your choice.
Finding a taxi at large events can be nearly impossible so apps like Lyft and Uber are a great choice to catch a ride. If you aren’t comfortable with either of those companies, there are several reputable alternatives that are known for providing safe rides for women and LGBTQ individuals. Ride-Share cars usually arrive in a matter of minutes and can quickly transport you and your friends home from Pride.
Keep an eye out for suspicious activity.
With everyone in a celebratory mood, suspicious activity can be easy to miss, even for the authorities hired to monitor the event. Even if it turns out to not be a safety issue, make sure to inform someone if you see anything suspicious. Who knows, you might just save a life.
Keep drinking to a minimum.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many face-down drunk people I saw yesterday at the D.C. Pride Parade. Although alcohol consumption is strictly regulated, participants over 21 are allowed to consume at their discretion. If you are planning on drinking at all, at least make sure you have a sober friend with you in case things get out of hand. But the best course of action is to drink only as much as you are capable of maintaining your basic reasoning skills and consciousness.
And most of all, have fun and celebrate your personal identities while lifting up others! Ultimately, Pride is all about self-love and mutual acceptance. Have fun and Happy Pride Month!