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Attending Pride for the first time

Gay Pride Flag at Pride March in DublinJune is recognised as international Pride month each year. Many cities and towns across the world put together their own Pride weeks and festivities. Dublin Pride week is already underway with Pride Day taking place on June 30th, 2018 and in Cork, Pride day is on August 5th.

Attending your first Pride parade can be an exciting time but it can also bring with it anxieties and worries. Check out this quick list of tips to make sure you have an amazing worry free time at Pride:

1. What should I bring?

A Pride essential is water – water, water and more water! The weather on the last couple of Pride days (both Dublin and Cork) has been hot and the walking route is often long. With this, bring a 1L bottle of water with you. This is an essential. Trust me, you’ll regret not having it.

Most Pride’s do not allow for bags to be brought into assembly areas and finishing points. There are exceptions for medical purposes, disability access and such, but typically a bag bigger than A4 will not be permitted. Make sure to plan what you’ll be bringing with you considering this.

2. Pride gear

Pride is a time to express yourself. For many, this can mean glitter, rainbow flags, identity flags (bi+ flags, pan flags, trans flags and more), colour, costume – whatever you want. You can find Pride clothing in most places this year which is fantastic.

Personally, I would recommend the Pride pop-up shop on Clarendon Street, Dublin as the proceeds go directly back to Dublin Pride. Another amazing Dublin-based resource is Outhouse on Capel Street. There, you can buy bi+ pins and trans pins.

3. Walking

Pride is protest. While it is an amazing time to celebrate LGBTQI+ identities, there are real issues the community still face. Therefore, there’s usually chants that go on during the walking route and, at times, counter-protests.  Join in on chants if you feel comfortable. It’s extremely liberating to do so. You can also try engaging with local LGBTQI+ charities, organisations and groups that will have leaflets and information on the day about various causes and how you can get involved.

Do not engage with any counter-protests. The best way to deal with this is to continue with your Pride unaffected by anyone who is foolish enough to protest it.

If you’re under 18 you can get in contact with BeLonG To on their contact page to have a group you can walk with. If you are a student, get in touch with your college’s LGBT society. If you don’t know your college LGBT society or don’t want to walk with your own college but still want a group – contact DCU LGBTA.

4. Health and safety

Your health and safety during Pride is of utmost importance. As previously mentioned, bring water with you. It’s also a good idea to bring a rain jacket and sunscreen – you never know what the weather will look like.

If you have any emergency during the parade, there will be medics stationed at the back of the walking route as well as stewards and section leaders along the path.

5. Celebrate

Most importantly, have fun! This is your day! Whether you’re lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, pansexual, queer, an ally or any other identity – enjoy your day. Be proud, be you!

This blog was written for by our Youth Editorial Board member Dean O’Reilly.