What a lot of people don’t realise about pride parades, is that they aren’t just an excuse for a party, in fact, they’re much much more than that and it’s really important to attend pride parades.
The first pride parade was held in Boston in 1970, one year after the Stonewall riots, when members of the gay community clashed with police who had raided the Stonewall Inn in Manhattan. The parade was held as a demonstration of the LGBTQ+ community’s rights and to celebrate their pride in being themselves.
Be an ally
Pride parades these days have changed a lot and are a lot more about celebrating being proud rather than fighting for rights, as thankfully the LGBTQ+ community has a lot more respect than it did back in 1970. However, it is important to remember that the community is still not completely accepted and still not respected by a lot of people. Therefore, it is really important to attend pride parades, even if you are straight, to show your support for the community. Be an ally to the community, go along and support your LGBTQ+ family members, friends, colleagues, etc. Show the community that you are a true ally.
Support the cause
Pride parades help to raise funds for the community. Often, buying tickets, flags, mugs, t-shirts, wristbands, etc all mean money is donated to support the LGBTQ+ community. Brighton Pride, for example, has raised over £310,000 for community good causes in the last four years and helps to support the Rainbow Fund – a Brighton and Hove based grant-giving fund for local LGBT and HIV organisations and charities. Causes like this exist all over the country and help to give disadvantaged members of the community equal opportunities – so it is vital that we support the cause! Go along and buy as much as you can and donate as much as you can, because this money can really make a difference.
Show you’re proud
If you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community but don’t really understand why pride matters, think of it as a big middle finger to the homophobes, biphobes, transphobes, etc. Pride parades are your chance to SHINE and let your true queer colours flow with pride! Think of all of the people that have ever judged you or discriminated against you and then get dressed up and go out and celebrate being your wonderful self. It’s so important to show that people’s homophobic/biphobic/transphobic etc opinions won’t stop you from being yourself and being proud. It’s also a really great opportunity to love yourself, and to do so while surrounded by so many fellow LGBTQ+ people – what could be better?
To get dressed up and have some fun
Despite all the really serious and important reasons to attend pride parades, it also is about having some fun. It’s a great opportunity to get together with your friends and have a really great time over summer, whilst also making a difference. Pride events are all about having fun and being free and non-judgemental – so go enjoy! Throw on your most colourful, wild outfit and coat your face in glitter and go have a boogie at your local pride parade! Take your friends, your family, your teachers – literally anyone – and go enjoy yourself.