Celebrating Pride for the first time can be an equally exciting and daunting experience. It’s ok to be fearful heading into the unknown, but don’t let that put you off from having a good time and thriving with your people.
If you’re feeling nervous about Pride, perhaps if you’ve just come out or haven’t been to Pride yet due to the pandemic, then firstly, know that you aren’t alone. Secondly, we’ve got some tips to see you through.
1. Choose the event that is right for you
While all Pride events might look the same, they aren’t a “one size fits all” kinda situation. Therefore, you should consider where you are going to feel most comfortable. If it’s your first Pride, this could be a smaller bash rather than throwing yourself in at the deep end. If you’re anxious, you might want something more lowkey than a five-day affair. There could also be a specific city that feels more like home and where you can safely be yourself. Do your research and seek out the event where you’re going to have the best time.
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2. Look after yourself
We’re about to start sounding like a parent for this one, by reminding you to take care of yourself, even when you’re dancing on the streets and questioning if you actually need a full-time job or whether being queer and happy can just get you by.
Pride is likely to be a pretty intense few days (or weeks), so be sure to have the essentials on hand. Stay hydrated – especially if you’re spending a lot of time in the heat – make sure you eat plenty, get some rest in between celebrations, and dress in a fashion that is comfortable and expressive but going to keep you cool.
3. Make plans in advance
This could even just be the night before, but having a vague idea of what your itinerary is going to be can really put your mind at ease and prevent sleepless nights. Make a plan with friends on what you want to do and where you want to be. The preparation process itself can be exciting, so definitely utilize that time to secure travel, accommodations, venues, and resources.
4. Go with friends or family
While chosen family is very much a thing and it’s pretty much impossible to attend a Pride event and not feel welcome – even by total strangers – it’s bound to reduce your fears if you have a supportive loved one to attend with. You’re bound to meet new people on your travels, but having someone to share the magical experiences with can only make them more special.
5. Hold your head high and be proud
Don’t let your fears spoil your memories. Ultimately, Pride is about celebrating who you are and making a commitment to the journey ahead as we seek equality for all. Pride is about expressing yourself in the boldest ways and showing the rest of the world that who you are is not only normal and valid – it’s beautiful.
So, whatever fears you have, while they’re understandable, they shouldn’t get in your way of a good time, and if something goes wrong, or you end up down a more spontaneous avenue, that’s fine! What matters is that you are safe and thriving.