These Are The Best Things About Pride Day

by Maya M

It's finally my favorite time of the year! June marks Pride Month in many cities both in the United States and abroad, with the most exciting event during the month-long celebration being Pride Day itself: The actual day of the Pride Festival and Pride March. Some of the best things about Pride Day are universal, whether you're celebrating in San Francisco or Spain, Hawaii or London, including the endless amounts of love, rainbow paraphernalia as far as the eye can see, the occasional celebrity appearance, the tears, the laughs, and most importantly, the joy that comes from seeing a group of people who have been historically marginalized and persecuted celebrating themselves and each other.

If you're a person who identifies as LGBTQ, Pride Day can be a tremendously important and empowering time; however, you don't have to be a member of the LGBTQ community to go to Pride and support the hundreds and thousands of people who show up to march, participate, and celebrate each year. What's important is that you're an ally — someone who shows solidarity with friends, family, or the community in general.

Want to get in on the action? Head here to find the Pride event nearest you, and get ready to experience all the best things about Pride Day:

1. The Sense Of Community

When you attend a Pride event, whether that's the Pride March, a Pride festival, a Pride night at a local restaurant, or just a little Pride get-together with your friends, one thing is for certain — the sense of community is strong, beautiful, and unlike anything else. The first time I went to a Pride event, I went alone. I had just come out and only knew a handful of other queer people besides myself, so to be surrounded by people I knew would accept me for who I was liberated me and made me feel at home.

2. The Ability To Be Totally Out

Some people are only out to their friends. Others, only out to their partner or siblings. Some aren't out to anyone. But Pride Day creates an environment that, for a lot of people, enables them to be totally out to all the people they're surrounded by without fear, embarrassment, or potential for rejection.

3. The Ability To Freely Hold Hands With Your Partner

Even if you live in the safest, most LGBTQ-friendly city in the world, there are spots you will visit in your life — or even areas in your own city — where holding hands with your partner if you belong to the LGBTQ community can feel unsafe. But Pride is different. Since everyone is there to celebrate love, celebrate queerness, and show pride for something they have so long been told to feel ashamed for, the unparalleled feeling of safety makes it possible to hold hands with your partner wherever you go.

4. There Are Attractive People All Over The Place... And They Might Actually Be Into You

Many queer people know what it's like to crush on a straight person or someone who won't return their affections due to their orientation; the default in our heteronormative world is that most people around you aren't LGBTQ, since statistically speaking there are fewer openly LGBTQ people than there are heterosexual, cisgender people. However, this is flipped at Pride: If you like cute babes, and you see a cute babe from across the way who doesn't seem to be entangled in another cute babe's arms, chances are much, much higher that you can actually go hit on said cute babe. It's math, guys.

5. There's Going To Be Glitter. There Are Going To Be Rainbows.

Need I say more?

6. There Are Usually Tons of Freebies

Many Pride events around the country have tons of free things from participating companies; common offerings include water bottles, pins, stickers, food, rainbow flags, stuffed animals, and games, not to mention the ability to win prizes like iPads or gym memberships. While the free stuff is an obvious bonus and and ofitself, it also serves an important purpose: It helps LGBTQ folks get a better understanding of the businesses and community members that stand with them.

7. It's A Celebration of All Sorts Of Diversity, Not Just LGBTQ Diversity

Pride is about celebrating everyone. Queer people, trans people, people of color, disabled people, seniors, children, immigrants, Americans, all body types, people of all religious or cultural backgrounds... the list could go on forever. It's truly a day where you can be surrounded not only be likeminded people, but by people from every walk of life from whom can you can learn or with whom you can simply be friends.

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