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Making the Most of Pride

How to Engage with LGBTQ+ Events and Activities

Pride is here, and you know what that means: events galore! You could easily find a different event to attend every night. However, if you're new to the community or stepping out on the scene for the first time, it can be incredibly overwhelming. Here's a step-by-step guide to overcoming whatever is holding you back and getting some exciting events on your calendar.

Experience Pride

Step 1: Acknowledge Your Hesitations

Feeling hesitant about attending Pride events is completely normal. The first and most important step to overcoming these hesitations is to acknowledge them. Here are some common concerns and how to address them:

"I Don’t Feel Like I Belong"

Remember, the LGBTQ+ community is incredibly diverse, and there is no one way to be queer. Even allies are welcome at Pride events; the idea is for everyone to celebrate together and raise awareness for the LGBTQIA+ community. Your unique identity adds to the richness of the community.

"I Don’t Know What to Expect"

Educate yourself! There’s no shame in researching an event and doing a little creeping—I mean research, of course! Check out the location, times, what past events have looked like, and what people are opting to wear. Often the more you know, the more in control you'll feel.

"I Feel Overwhelmed by Crowds"

There’s no need to start off your first event by going to a parade or club. Look for smaller, community-centered events that take place during Pride. Check your local town’s FB queer pages or IG tags to find more intimate gatherings. I once attended an event I found posted on my favorite local coffee shop's bathroom bulletin board!

"Being Social is Draining"

Trust me, I get this. There is ZERO shame in staying home, but if you want to go out but get easily drained, make sure you are practicing self-care. This might include relaxation techniques, journaling your experiences, or simply taking things one event at a time. There is nothing wrong with canceling if you feel overbooked. 

Finding the Right Pride Events

At the end of the day, what matters most is that you find what you're looking for by attending Pride events. There’s no need to attend every event or go to the biggest ones. It’s perfectly fine to stick to smaller gatherings, such as local workshops or talks. Volunteering is another excellent way to participate, meet others, and have a purpose while you're at the event. For those unable to attend in-person events, there are numerous online events this month as well! Remember to take care of yourself and celebrate who you are this Pride, in whatever capacity feels right for you.


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