It’s Pride 2023! Where rainbow flags fly high, love knows no bounds, and equality takes centre stage. As the Pride season for 2023 unfolds, cities across the globe are gearing up to embrace the remarkable spirit and energy that fills the air during these celebrations. Rainbow flags adorn entire streets, creating a vibrant tapestry of diversity where people of all backgrounds come together to commemorate the progress made in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights.
Pride celebrations hold a special place in the UK, and attending one can be a transformative experience. I vividly remember my first Pride event in London. As I strolled through the vibrant streets, surrounded by a sea of rainbow-hued revellers, I couldn’t help but feel an electric surge of unity and empowerment. It was a moment when labels faded, and the power of authenticity claimed the spotlight. Pride is not just a celebration; it’s a fierce protest against discrimination and a testament to the resilience of the LGBTQ+ community. To delve deeper into the historical significance of Pride, check out our article on the history of Pride here.
Join me as we explore how to make the most of your first Pride event, packed with activities, inclusivity, and valuable tips for a memorable day. Are you ready to join the party?
1. Pick the Right Pride Event for You
Let’s kick off your Pride journey by finding the perfect celebration in the UK. Whether you’re looking for a dazzling extravaganza or an intimate gathering, there’s a Pride event that suits your vibe. Explore the options and choose the one that resonates with your soul. For example, if you struggle in loud or overcrowded surroundings, London and Manchester may not be for you as they are the biggest events you’ll encounter in the UK.
In contrast, Glasgow and Birmingham, though still popular, are a little smaller. No matter where you are in the country, there’s sure to be a Pride event that’s right for you. In addition to the larger events, many smaller Pride events are happening throughout the UK, and if you’re looking for a more specific type of Pride event, many niche events are also happening throughout the year. For example, there are Pride events for the LGBTQ+ community of colour, the LGBTQ+ community of faith, and the LGBTQ+ community for neurodiverse people. Luckily, we’ve curated a list of exciting 2023 Pride events just for you.
2. Plan Ahead
To ensure an unforgettable experience, a little planning goes a long way. Mark your calendar and ensure you know the date and location of your chosen Pride event. Plan your day, keeping in mind the must-see performances and activities that pique your interest. If there is a particular artist or performer you want to see, check the event’s website or the creator’s socials. By having a game plan, you can make the most of your time and immerse yourself in the incredible atmosphere.
3. Recognise Pride is a Protest
While Pride is synonymous with joyous celebrations, it’s important for non-queer allies to remember its roots as a protest against inequality. If you are not part of the rainbow and are planning on attending Pride, it’s essential to recognise that amidst the laughter and revelry, we are honouring the fight for LGBTQ+ rights and keeping the spirit of activism alive. Pride events are not just about partying; they are a powerful statement of solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community. Use this opportunity to stand alongside and support your LGBTQ+ friends, colleagues, and loved ones. Educate yourself about their challenges, uplift their voices, and promote a safe and inclusive environment for everyone. By participating in Pride, you contribute to the ongoing progress towards equality and help create a society that celebrates and embraces diversity in all its forms.
4. Travel Arrangements and Hotel Booking
Ready to hit the road? Consider booking your travel and accommodation in advance when attending large Pride celebrations, it gets pretty chaotic, and hotels get booked up quickly. This way, you can secure the best deals and ensure a stress-free experience. Opt for centrally located hotels to maximise your time at the heart of the festivities.
5. Research the Event
Take a deep dive into the Pride event you’ll be attending. Familiarise yourself with the scheduled performances, workshops, and exhibitions. Keep an eye out for discounted passes that offer access to multiple events. From electrifying musical performances and captivating drag shows to thought-provoking panel discussions and interactive workshops, there is an array of offerings to cater to diverse interests and passions. By delving into the event program, you can create a personalised itinerary that aligns with your preferences. Planning ahead will help you easily navigate the bustling Pride festivities, ensuring you don’t miss out on any highlights that pique your curiosity.
6. Go with Friends
Pride is all about having a blast, and trust me; it’s even more fun when you bring a friend along for the ride. The atmosphere at any Pride event is absolutely buzzing with joy and positivity. While you’ll definitely meet new people and make new connections, having a bestie by your side adds that extra special touch. So grab your partner-in-crime, hit up Pride together, and get ready for an epic adventure that you’ll cherish for years to come.
7. Pack Appropriately
It’s important to consider the weather, your planned activities, and your style when packing. Pack comfy, weather-appropriate outfits that make you feel confident and fabulous. Don’t forget to slather on some sunscreen, and have an extra outfit on hand, just in case. Stay refreshed and hydrated by bringing your water bottle. It’s always a good idea to have some snacks and a bit of cash for those impromptu moments. If you’re up for it, bring along some playful costumes and accessories like rainbow flags, face paint, or a touch of glitter to fully embrace the festivities.
8. Be Respectful to Pride Performers and Artists
Pride showcases many talented performers and artists, including drag queens and musicians. As you revel in their artistry, show respect and seek consent before taking pictures or engaging with them. Understandably, there are a lot of wacky costumes and beautiful makeup, but don’t assume that just because they’re fabulous, you don’t need to ask for consent. Let’s create an atmosphere of appreciation, respect and understanding.
9. Pride Safety first
While Pride events are typically filled with love and acceptance, it’s crucial to prioritise your safety throughout the festivities. By acknowledging potential safety concerns and taking necessary precautions, you can ensure a memorable and secure experience. Remember to stay hydrated, especially during outdoor celebrations, by carrying a water bottle and regularly taking sips to keep your energy levels up. Additionally, be mindful of your surroundings and avoid overcrowded areas if they make you uncomfortable. Trust your instincts, and if you ever need assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to event staff or security personnel. By prioritising your well-being, you can fully immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Pride while having peace of mind.
10. Keep an Open Mind
Pride is a fantastic experience that exposes us to diverse perspectives, identities, and cultures. Embrace the opportunity to learn, grow, and challenge any preconceived notions you may have. It’s a place people come to celebrate their individuality and express themselves safely, so please make sure you are respectful of the people around you.
11. Support Queer Businesses and Artists
Pride events are a fantastic platform to uplift and support local queer businesses and artists. Discover unique stalls and exhibits where you can find treasures created by incredibly talented queer artists. By purchasing their products, you’re not just supporting their livelihoods; but the community as a whole. Check out our curated list to explore some of our favourite queer businesses and artists.
12. Have fun
Above all, let loose, dance with abandon, and revel in the joyous celebration of Pride. Cherish the friendships you’ll make, the memories you’ll create, and the powerful sense of belonging that fills the air. Together, we’ll continue to pave the way towards equality and acceptance for all.
For individuals with disabilities, navigating Pride events can be a rewarding experience with a few key considerations. Begin by researching the event beforehand to familiarise yourself with available accessibility features, such as wheelchair ramps, accessible restrooms, and designated viewing areas. Look out for sign language interpreters who can facilitate communication for those who are deaf or hard of hearing. If you have sensory sensitivities, identify quiet spaces or areas where you can take a break from the bustling crowds. Remember to pace yourself, listen to your body, and take breaks as needed. Don’t hesitate to seek assistance from event staff or volunteers who are there to support and ensure your enjoyment throughout the festivities.
With our guide in hand, you can navigate this transformative journey with confidence and excitement. Remember, Pride is a celebration of love, acceptance, and the indomitable spirit of the LGBTQ+ community. So, embrace the protest, spread the joy, and let your Pride shine through. Safe travels, and most importantly, have an absolutely fabulous time!