We’re here. We’re queer. And we’re unprepared to go to Pride because we forgot when it was and it snuck up on us again. Yay!
Every summer Pride rears its rainbow and glittered head, yet many of us in the community go unprepared for an entire day of gayness. Well, no more, because I’ve created a manageable list of items to bring to ensure a day full of fun, sound logistics, and insanely obvious flirting.
Sunscreen is more than just burn, thus cancer, prevention. It is a legit invitation to ask the cutie you’ve had your eye on to touch you and gage their interest. Please read this sample dialogue for more details:
You: Hi, I’m <your name>, and I’m sorry to bother you, but my friend hasn’t come back from the beer tent yet and my shoulders are starting to feel like they’re getting burned1. Would you mind putting some sunscreen on me?
Cutie: Sure. I’m Chris, by the way.
You: Thank you, Chris. <Gives the lotion to Chris and turns for lotion application> You know, if you’d like me to return the favor, I wouldn’t mind.
Not all vendors have the Square or Venmo. Therefore, it is handy to have cash on hand in a variety of denominations. I’m not saying to carry around fifties, but making change is difficult for small vendors especially if the only bills they get all day are twenties with funnel cake residue.
Also, if your town’s pride is like my town’s, there will be a mini-drag show. And when there is a drag show, the need for singles in imperative.
Note: Do not tuck a single in the pocket/bra/thong of the random cutie dancing to the music. May I suggest walking up to said cutie and saying, “I find your moves provocative. May I please give you this dollar by tucking it between your supple skin and elastic?2”
Pride is becoming bigger and bigger, which is fantastic, but it comes with a consequence. To accommodate the larger population of people, events, and cars, it is possible your city will need to close streets for traffic or a parade. In my opinion, this is a necessary inconvenience, but you won't feel that way if you're supposed to meet your friends at a specific time by the rugby tent, but Dykes on Bikes is revving their engines on Main Street.
Lastly, because Pride is a growing event, your city may be running shuttles for the day3. Take advantage of public transportation when you can.
Some of you are probably thinking, “Hell, no!" And that's fine because you probably aren't the type to buy merch or pick up swag4. However, there are a lot of you out there who need to possess every free sticker, pin, bottle opener, USB drive, drink cozy…you get the idea. And that’s just the free stuff! Vendors will also have Pride paraphernalia for purchase: shirts, hats, possible fanny packs, and some may even be selling their latest novel, Beards, for $12 with an autograph and everything. Hypothetically.
When I was a kid and young adult, Pride wasn't available in my town. Pride was an event that you had to travel to one of the biggest cities to go to. Flash forward fifteen years and now I have to choose which Prides I'm attending. Granted, I live in the population-dense Northeast US, but still, it amazes me that Pride is happening everywhere. Even in the "red counties". That's significant progress and we should be proud of it.
So, during Pride, be proud to be exactly who you are. Wear what you want to wear. Talk how you want to talk. Be you and only you5.