By JESSICA BRADFORD, Glenn Communication Director
Attending a Pride event can be a happy, positive experience in your life, but there are some things you should know before you attend. Below is a list of ‘Do’s and Don’ts’ everyone should be aware of before walking in the Atlanta Pride Parade on Sunday, October 13th.
DO: Meet New People
“Pride events draw in a rich and diverse crowd.” While at Pride, step out of your comfort zone and engage with people who may not look like you, sound like you, or dress like you. This is a perfect way to show that we Love God and Love Neighbor.
DON’T: Forget the Reason for Pride Season
“Pride Month commemorates the Stonewall riots of 1969, which is largely credited as the catalyst of the modern-day LGBTQ rights movement. The very first Pride parade took place in New York City in 1970.” Marches took place on the last Sunday in June but have spread out across the months as traditions formed over the years. Pride is about celebrating diversity, fighting for equality and being proud of who you are. We must not forget that while LGBTQ rights have come a long way, we still have a fight before us.
DO: Take Photos
While attending Pride, it’s important to share your experience and memories with the world and show your Pride for those that cannot attend. If you decide to take photos, make sure to tag Atlanta Pride, Glenn Memorial UMC, and/or Reconciling Ministries. If you’re tagging Glenn in your posts use the hashtag #GlennChurch or #LovingGodLovingNeighbor. Even if you don’t plan on sharing photos on social media, photos are still a great way to capture memories you can revisit for years to come.
DON’T: Gawk at What You See
“Chances are you will see a lot of things at Pride that you are not regularly exposed to. Members of the leather community, drag queens, people in very little clothing, and a lot of public displays of affection by queer couples.” The LGBTQ+ community tends to go all-out during Pride, both because it’s a rare place where it’s safe to do so and as a general act of rebelliousness against heteronormative society. It’s important to respect those that feel free to be their true, authentic selves.
DO: Stay Hydrated
The Atlanta Pride Parade line-up begins a few hours before the parade begins. You will be outside for a long time that day, so it is important that you hydrate and stay hydrated. In addition, the parade route is 2 miles long and will take about 3 hours to complete. Know your limits and plan ahead to ensure that you make it through the end of the parade.
DON’T: Forget to Wear Sunscreen
Along the lines of stay hydrated, please do not forget to wear sunscreen. As mentioned above, we will be outside for many hours and walking in streets with little to no shade. Please wear sunscreen and bring some to re-apply or to share with our neighbors.
DO: Go in Judgment Free
Also see ‘Don’t Gawk at What You See’.
No matter what you see, keep your opinions to yourself. You’re going to see people who are angry; you’re going to see people who have opinions different than you. But, at Pride, let queer people express themselves as they want. This is their event to be free and authentic; respect that.
DON’T: Engage with Protesters
As mentioned above, you are going to see people at the parade who are angry. There are bound to be several protesters present, IGNORE THEM. Act as if they do not even exist. We are there to show that we have a LOVING God. Pride has no room for hate. Stay positive, loving, accepting – and don’t feed the haters.
DO: Decenter Yourself and Check Your Privilege
This may be hard to read, but if you are a cisgender, straight person, Pride isn’t about you. You can be named ally of the year, but if you do not identify as a member of the LGBTQ+ community you are still entering Pride with a lot of privilege. Use that privilege thoughtfully – especially at a time when the threats of homophobia and transphobia are so apparent. It is important for us to be present as allies but remember the privileges you have that others do not.
DON’T: Assume other People’s Identities
You will see people presenting themselves at Pride in various way, it’s important to remember not to make any assumptions. In addition, there’s no better place than Pride to start asking for pronouns of the people you meet or to go neutral with the pronouns of people you don’t know.
DO: Donate to Organizations that Host or Sponsor the Event
There are so many organizations that are supporting the Atlanta Pride Parade. Even if you cannot attend, you can still show your support for our LGBTQ+ neighbors by donating to the following groups:
If you or someone you know is interested in walking with Glenn Memorial in the parade, go to www.glennumc.org/rainbow-advocacy to learn about our work for full inclusion, to sign-up to walk and/or to order our Pride T-shirt (all proceeds go to benefit Lost-N-Found Youth).
Brighe, Mari. “10 Rules For Cis Straight People At Pride.” Bustle, 22 June 2016, www.bustle.com/articles/168075-10-rules-cisgender-straight-people-attending-pride-should-follow.
Diehl, Dustin. “12 Pride Do's and Don'ts.” PRIDE, 14 June 2017, www.pride.com/pride/2017/6/14/12-pride-dos-and-donts#media-gallery-media-10.
Dupere, Katie. “6 Ways to Be a Better Straight Ally at Pride Events.” Mashable, 28 June 2019, mashable.com/article/lgbtq-pride-straight-allies/.
Hale, James L. “9 Things All Allies At Pride Need To Know.” Bustle, 12 June 2018, www.bustle.com/p/lgbtq-allies-at-pride-need-to-know-these-9-things-before-they-go-9376627.
Them. “Everything You Need to Know Before Your First Time at LGBTQ+ Pride.” Them., Them., 6 June 2018, www.them.us/story/first-timers-guide-to-pride.