Parades and LGBT pride are pretty awesome on their own. Put them together, and you might just have the time of your life. But don’t just take our word for it. If you happen to be near a pride parade, go for a visit! And hey, if you’re going to either the New York City or San Diego Pride parade, you’ll have a chance to see us there!
Whether you’ve done the parade circuit so many times you recognize all the dance troupes, or this is your first ever gay pride parade, there’s a lot to get out of the event — so live it up! Need more convincing? These are our 10 favorite aspects of attending (or sponsoring!) a gay pride parade:
Nothing is quite as magical as that feeling of relief and support when you’ve finally “found your tribe.” Some of us might experience that feeling somewhat frequently, like if you have a weekly LGBT book club you meet with, or if you volunteer with a local queer rights group. But if you’re more of an introvert, or if you don’t have a ton of time or opportunities for meetups, a gay pride parade is the perfect place to be among cool, supportive folks who know what you’re going through.
Let’s face it — you may love your coworkers or your straight friends, but sometimes you can feel left out of the conversation, or want to complain about something they won’t relate to. It just feels good to be surrounded by LGBT folk, straight allies and other people who care about the same issues you do. And at a gay pride parade, you get that in spades.
Whether you're out and proud or still exploring your identity, a gay pride parade gives you the perfect opportunity to cast off any expectations and just be yourself. Seriously, let your id flow freely! You can be as loud and proud or as quiet as you like. That dress or those leggings in your closet you’ve been staring at for months, wishing you had somewhere to wear them out? Put them on! Usually sheepish about PDA with your partner? This is the last place you have to worry about judgmental stares. You do you, boo.
The ability to let loose and be yourself is one of Astroglide’s favorite aspects of gay pride parades, which is why this season’s float theme is “Get Freaky.” Being yourself, being sex positive and exploring your fantasies are beautiful things, and nothing to be ashamed about. Whether you’re LGBT and vanilla as can be or straight with a twist and a love of whips, life is too short not to live out your dreams — so vive la différence!
Expressing your LGBT pride is easy when there’s so much to be proud of, and it’s all on display at a gay pride parade. From colorfully designed floats to stunning dance troupes to meticulously designed costumes, pride parades showcase the artistic prowess of the LGBT community. You’ll hear bands and choral groups whose sweet sounds will give you the shivers. You’ll see choreography that challenges your ideas of what the human body is capable of. You’ll see art that absolutely dazzles the eyes.
And yeah, while it’s not all rainbows and glitter, there will be plenty of color and sparkle to go around, and that’s always a beautiful thing.
Have you ever felt like you want to do more to support LGBT causes? Volunteering at a gay pride parade is a great way to enjoy the festivities while giving back to the community. Tables need to be broken down and set up, parade participants need to be checked in and directed to their locations, donations need to be collected — in all, there are plenty of ways to get involved with your favorite gay pride parade.
Plus, there will be plenty of local groups participating in the volunteer effort, so if you want more opportunities to help out in your area, a gay pride parade is a fantastic networking event! Remember, LGBT pride is a wonderful thing, but lending your hand to the cause is even better.
If you want to show your LGBT pride with your wallet, it helps to support queer-friendly businesses. Look at a sponsor list for your favorite gay pride event to see which local establishments are turning out and showing their support! You might be surprised at how many organizations truly care — and not just businesses, but also local schools, places of worship, professional organizations and volunteer groups.
Looking for new people to hang out with? Whether you’re marching, volunteering or just spectating, a gay pride parade is your new matchmaker. You might make a new BFF, find a new group to play board games with on Fridays, or maybe (just maybe!) even find a special someone. Plus, you might run into a few heroes, from celebrities to inspiring activists.
There’s nothing like the excitement of live music. Gay pride parades are hotspots for incredible performances by celebrities showing their LGBT pride or allyship. Who can forget Lady Gaga’s moving rendition of the national anthem at NYC Pride in 2013? DC Pride 2015 was no different, featuring performances by Carly Rae Jepsen, Wilson Phillips, En Vogue and more. Hearing your favorite stars belt it out while supporting LGBT pride — what could be better?
The world just seems to light up a little during a gay pride parade. The same streets you might walk down every day to get to work or your favorite coffee shop are now bursting with pride, colorful and celebratory. Locals you may have never met, along with businesses you never knew were passionate about the cause, are all turning out in support of LGBT pride and equality. Ribbons are streaming, confetti is flung and like we mentioned earlier, there’s glitter and glitz aplenty. Why can’t it be like this all year long?
Be honest: what was your favorite part about parades as a kid? If it wasn’t diving into the street to pick up free candy, we just can’t relate.
Well, now that you’re a grown-up at a gay pride parade, the free swag just gets even better. Businesses, volunteer groups and other marchers will be handing out all sorts of free goodies for you to take home and remember your day by. Oh, and if you’re interested in free lube, look for Astroglide at the DC, NYC and San Diego gay pride parades, because we’ll be handing out buckets of the stuff! Can’t make it out? You can still score your free sample (and a coupon for $1.00 off of a full-size bottle of Astroglide) from home -- it’s like a parade in your living room!
Depending on the event, the fun might last for one day, or all week long. Regardless, going to a gay pride parade can help keep your spirits up to fight the good fight all year long. If you’re ever feeling down, just remember the amazing sense of community and LGBT pride you felt at the parade. Better yet, check out gay pride events in multiple cities throughout the year like NYC Pride Week from June 23 – 28!
Are you going to any gay pride parades this year? What’s your favorite thing about attending? Is there anything you think we left out from this list? Let us know by tweeting us @Astroglide!
Are you going to DC, NYC or San Diego Pride? Look for Astroglide there, and don’t forget to Get Freaky!
Images are for illustrative purposes only.