It’s PRIDE month! A month where we take time, as a country, to reflect on the historically harmful, ignorant prejudice and discrimination those of us who identify as something other than heterosexual have had to endure. It allows us to see how far we’ve come, and focus on progress towards true equality in the future. PRIDE at its core is a resistance to the status quo, and yes, politically charged.
But it is also a time for the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Asexual (LGBTQIA) communities and our allies to celebrate each other as our authentic selves. It’s like a birthday but with better outfits, more family than you could ever dream of, and a lot more love. So come! Be reborn! Celebrate with an open mind—safely.
With safety in mind, we put together a handy little list of things you might find useful at your local PRIDE event.
Sunscreen: This is huge. No matter your complexion, bring sunscreen! Even if you think you might not need it—you will—chances are you’ll see someone who does, and it will make their day much easier. Plus, it’s a great way to start conversation and make some new friends!
Swimsuit: you never know what could happen.
Hat: Keep them rays of sunshine out of your face as much as possible. I’m sure not everyone will agree—you can’t have fabulous hair underneath a hat, after all—but it will save you from the dreaded raccoon suntan on your face.
Sunglasses: It’s June! It’s hot! Save yourself from squinting all day and bring some sunglasses.
Fanny pack, festival belt or small backpack: You have to have somewhere to pack the necessities for the day! Leaving because you forgot something crucial would suck.
Baby wipes/Face wipes: These are a lifesaver when it’s hot outside. Perfect for when the sweat becomes too much and you need a once over.
Deodorant: Chub rub, anyone? I use this for more than just underarms. For those of us with thick thighs and a big bust, deodorant is great for chafing and under-boob sweat.
Hand sanitizer: Because port-o-potties are disgusting and often run out of hand sanitizer.
Chapstick: Keep them lips kissable! You never know who you could meet!
Medications: This is a biggie. In the rush and excitement to get out the door to celebrate, make sure you don’t forget any medications you might need during the rest of your day.
Portable phone charger: Somehow the person that ends up straying from the group is always the one with a dead phone. Don’t be that friend this year. Unless you want to. Then, of course, do you.
First-aid kit: A mini first-aid kit or even just some Band-Aids and Neosporin will come in handy. For those who choose fashionable over functional shoes—by all means, do you, you look great!)—you’ll need these by the end of the day. And if you don’t, someone else surely will.
Ear plugs: Trust me.
Condoms: We suggest Sir Richard’s, which are non-toxic, PETA-approved and vegan-certified condoms, or Kidd Bell’s consent condoms for AMFAR. One hundred percent of the proceeds go to AMFAR— the Foundation for AIDS Research.
Tampons: If your moon cycle is even close to starting, bring a few.
Identification: There’s always that one time. Double and triple check if you must before you leave your house.
Hair ties: Leaving your hair down seemed like a good idea this morning, but may not be later in the day.
Bio Glitter: Biodegradable glitter is the only way to go. There are several companies that carry it now. Be the unicorn you know you are, without all the pollution in the process.
Cash money: Cash is an always accepted currency, and you won’t regret having some small bills in case a bar, venue or street performance (why not tip the artists?) only accepts the green. Also, being able to donate to the organizations at PRIDE on the spot is excellent.
Umbrella: If you want to be a little extra and keep the sun off your face but don’t want to ruin your hair, an umbrella is a great go-to. Keep in mind you have to carry it for the duration of the festival, though.
Chairs: If you’re the type to want to land a seat near the parade, do so early and bring a sweet seat with you—the pavement gets hot.
Coolers: Again, pack this only if you want to sit at the parade; carrying a cooler around otherwise would be pretty miserable.
Patience: The heat + crowds + a few maniacs waving signs, screaming about an angry white Jesus = you’ll need to remember to take a few deep breaths.
DOPEn: Anxiety relief to the rescue. Crowds are hard.
Most importantly, come with an abundance of love and understanding. Celebrate the diversity that surrounds you without judgement, and you’ll have an amazing time and meet a plethora of phenomenal people.
Love and light to you all—and Happy PRIDE!!