Pride parade

It’s Pride, and you know what that means: parades, sex, parties, sex, celebrating overcoming centuries of oppression and fighting against the oppression we still experience, and sex. 

Now, to be totally honest about this, I’m just a 17-year-old, so I haven’t been to too many Prides. And I’ve never been to one in the UK (though if someone wanted to buy me a plane ticket, I wouldn’t say no), so maybe there are some cultural differences. But I’m going to do my best to run down my recommendations for having fun and staying proud.

1. Okay, it’s not *all* about sex. It can be. But asexuality is a form of queerness, and some people at Pride are in happily monogamous relationships. So, if you’re on the prowl, that’s wonderful, but don’t assume everyone else is. Just because that handsome fella in the rainbow jockstrap is showing off his buns doesn’t mean he’s asking you to frost them. Ask first. And be respectful – if someone says no, walk away. You’re not entitled to sex at Pride. But if you’re looking to celebrate your queerness in the throes of orgiastic passion, it shouldn’t be too hard to find a place that’ll welcome you. Just ask. Oh, and please, bring a condom and lube. Not everyone is on PreP, and if you’re going for a quickie in the bathroom stall, there’s probably not going to be a lube dispenser there. Depends on which bar the bathroom's in, I guess. But it’s best to be prepared.

Jack of Hearts guide to surviving Pride

Just because that handsome fella in the rainbow jockstrap is showing off his buns doesn’t mean he’s asking you to frost them.

2. Fashion: You aren’t required to wear a thong and nothing else. If you want to, great! But Pride is expressed by being proud of you – maybe that means showing off your six pack, but maybe it means showing off your amazing slacks, or a rainbow dress. Wear whatever you want, as long as it’s not a t-shirt with a slogan that aims to make people feel ashamed. I’ve seen those “no fats, no femmes” shirts, and they’re hideous and the worst, and no one will like you if you wear them, no matter how nice your ass looks.

3. Straight people: Hey… if you get hit on by someone queer… think about it. It’s Pride. Everyone’s a little queer during Pride.

4. Hydrate often. Alcohol doesn’t count. And eat something. It can be a blended smoothie if you want to keep things running smoothly. But passing out at Pride isn’t as funny a story as you think it is.

5. Finally, and this is important: have fun. I like to think that Pride is the moment we get to see what the world would be like if everyone weren’t so intent on killing and hiding queer people. The moment we see what life could be if we didn’t have to worry about closets or definitions or being the right sort of queer, or the wrong sort, or people who want to hurt us. It’s this perfect moment where everyone can be exactly the kind of queer they want to be – leather daddy or femme queen, or some combination of the two, or something completely different! The rainbow isn’t just about, like, sex, life, sunlight, or whatever else my ex Jeremy says each colour represents. The rainbow represents how there are so many different ways to be queer. And you get to be proud of the kind you are, and no one, not even other queers, are allowed to judge you for it. Imagine that world – where everyone gets to be exactly the kind of queer you want to be, and there’s no shame. That’s Pride. And that’s how you celebrate it.

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