Do you have to be LGBT to go to Pride? Some may take the view that the fact this question is still asked means we have a way to go in the US and around the world for total inclusivity and acceptance.
Pride events, while of course a space predominantly for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning, intersex and asexual (LGBTQIA+) community, are open to anyone who considers themselves an ally or is supportive.
Here’s the bottom line in answer to our titular question, can straight people go to Pride?: if you celebrate individuality and freedom to make our own choices and be ourselves, get yourself to Pride and show your support – in all its colorful glory.
If you’re straight and keen to join a local Pride event this month, let us give you a nudge in the right direction with these helpful hints of how to dress for a pride parade, how to behave and what not to do.
Is it OK to wear ‘Pride’ if you’re straight?
Let us break this down simply: what to wear to pride shouldn’t be a worry in the slightest. Anything goes – don’t sweat it! Can a straight person wear a Pride shirt? It’s a resounding yes – the more colorful, the better.
But generally speaking, make a statement, don’t make a statement… Pride is about wearing whatever makes you you and owning it. Do, however, think about the fabric, weight and style of your chosen outfit – depending on the weather, you don’t want to get too hot throughout the event. Choose materials that are lightweight and breathable. Can I wear rainbow if I'm straight? Yes, yes, yes!
Remember the rules
And stick to them, at all times. If you’re heterosexual, a Pride event isn’t your space. While it’s a celebration of diversity, you need to respect this is a safe space for LGBTQIA+ people and keep it that way.
That means no judgement, respecting everyone and using all the appropriate language so you don’t offend anybody. As a straight person, if you’re unsure about anything at all at a Pride event, it’s better to ask than appear ignorant, or worse, offensive.
You should also take care with photos and videos. Not everybody will be happy about featuring on your social media so use your phone wisely. While it’s great to publicize the event and really capture the atmosphere and feeling of a Pride event, don’t be invasive and always respect people’s right to refuse a photograph – you may not know their story and reasons for not wanting to be caught on camera.
Just be yourself
It’s the whole point of Pride. You don’t need to attempt to be something you’re not or act in a certain way to fit in. By the same token, don’t be offended if people assume you’re part of the LGBTQIA+ community – hey, it’s going to happen.
The open mind you’re taking along with you will help here. Laugh it off. Enjoy the attention. Have fun – all in the knowledge that you’re being yourself and living out everything Pride stands for.
Do your research
Brush up on your history – it’s crucial! Turn up to your Pride event confident that you know how Pride came about, the sacrifices that have been made through history so the event can go ahead and just how much further there is to go in protesting for equality around the world. As part of your homework, take a look at our top 10 things not to do while celebrating Pride.
But, importantly, have fun and celebrate everybody’s right to be themselves. Keen to find a Pride event near you? Do it – you won’t be short of options!
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