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HER’s Guide to a Safe Pride 2023

Robyn Exton

May 23, 2023

HER’s Guide to a Safe Pride 2023

Pride month is rapidly approaching, and the time has come for us to celebrate our truest selves, defend love, and fiercely advocate for our FLINTA community. In light of recent acts of violence and the distressing legislation targeting queer individuals, it’s crucial that we take a bold stand for our safety at public events. The first Pride was a riot, so it’s best to stay ready.

Confronting Gun Violence and Ensuring Public Safety in America

As we assemble to celebrate our identities, we must acknowledge the harsh reality of gun violence that plagues our nation. Public gatherings, including pride events, have become potential targets for individuals seeking to spread fear and hatred. The prevalence of firearms in America demands our vigilant attention to safeguard ourselves and our loved ones.

Mutual Aid: Our Power to Protect Each Other

In a society that often fails to prioritize our safety, it is imperative that we take matters into our own hands and foster a culture of mutual aid. Together, we possess the strength to create an environment where everyone feels secure, valued, and protected. Let us embrace the spirit of unity and stand as guardians for one another during pride events.

Familiarize Yourself with Local Laws and Regulations

In the face of recent setbacks to LGBTQIA rights, it is essential that we are well-versed in the laws and regulations governing the areas where we celebrate pride. Many red states have shamelessly stripped away our rights and imposed oppressive legislation. Don’t be caught off guard—educate yourself about the legal landscape and be prepared to assert your rights.

Unapologetically Nourish and Hydrate

Dehydration and exhaustion can hinder our ability to fully revel in the joyous atmosphere of Pride. It’s crucial to prioritize self-care and ensure our bodies receive the sustenance they need to thrive throughout the event. While vendors will likely provide refreshments, be self-sufficient by carrying your own water and snacks to keep your energy high.

Embrace the Power of Numbers

There is strength in unity, and safety follows suit. When attending Pride, make it a point to never venture alone. Create a support system with trusted friends, employing a buddy system to keep each other safe. By remaining vigilant and reporting any potential issues, we can serve as a formidable shield against threats to our well-being.

Comply with Community Rules for a Safer Experience

While rebellious spirits may tempt us to challenge authority, it is crucial to recognize that community organizers put rules in place for a reason. Our collective safety depends on everyone adhering to the safety guidelines. Remember, seemingly arbitrary rules were born out of necessity, often in response to unfortunate incidents. Let’s stand as responsible participants and protectors of our community.

Safeguarding Against Drug-Related Risks

Recreational drug usage is prevalent during pride events, and while we acknowledge personal autonomy, it’s vital to prioritize drug safety measures. Whether you choose to partake or not, equip yourself and your companions with knowledge to mitigate risks. Take measures such as having emergency contacts readily available and ensuring someone trustworthy is designated to watch over each other’s well-being. Pride probably isn’t the best place to trip on something new for the first time. Do your homework and be prepared to take care of your body.

Exercise Caution When Interacting with Law Enforcement

As Pride events attract both celebration and protest, it’s essential to approach law enforcement with caution. Unfortunately, recent history has exposed the biased practices of certain police forces, leaving marginalized communities vulnerable. Understand the local police’s relationship with the LGBTQ+ community and follow the lead of local organizers. Consider relying on dedicated Pride event staff for assistance to ensure the safety of all participants.

Many queer events this year are more of a protest than a party, so brush up on protest protocol and know your rights.

Prepare for Worst Case Scenarios

Though it pains us to contemplate worst-case scenarios, acknowledging potential risks is crucial for our collective safety. In the face of potential dangers like involuntary drug consumption or violent intrud

ers, we must plan ahead. Engage in open conversations with friends and family to establish contingency plans. Determine emergency contacts, secure safe meeting spots, strategize hiding places, and discuss self-defense measures. Empower yourselves with the tools needed to protect and preserve life should the unthinkable occur.

We stand resilient, united, and unyielding in our pursuit of safety and liberation. Let us navigate the vibrant landscape of Pride events with boldness, holding each other close, and ensuring that our celebration is a testament to our strength and resilience. Together, we will conquer adversity and forge a future where safety and acceptance are our birthrights.

More tips to keep you safe at Pride

Here are essential tips to fortify your security during pride events.

Embrace Visibility and Self-Expression

Pride events are a time to celebrate who we are authentically. Embrace the opportunity to express yourself boldly and unapologetically. Wear your vibrant outfits, wave your flags high, and let your true colors shine. By being visible, we create a supportive atmosphere that fosters inclusivity and acceptance.

Plan Your Transportation and Parking Ahead

Navigating crowded areas can be overwhelming during Pride events. Plan your transportation in advance, considering options such as public transit, carpooling, or ride-sharing services. If you choose to drive, research parking options and reserve a spot if available. By taking care of transportation logistics, you can minimize stress and ensure a smoother experience.

Stay Aware of Your Surroundings

Amidst the excitement and jubilation of Pride, it’s essential to remain aware of your surroundings. Keep an eye on your personal belongings, be cautious in large crowds, and trust your instincts if something feels off. By staying vigilant, you can proactively address any potential safety risks.

Utilize Designated Meeting Points

Pride events can get crowded, making it easy to lose track of your friends or loved ones. Designate specific meeting points throughout the venue to regroup in case of separation. Familiarize yourself with key landmarks or stages that can serve as convenient rendezvous spots. By having predetermined meeting points, you can quickly reconnect and maintain a sense of togetherness.

Create a Communication Plan

In the bustling environment of Pride events, communication is vital. Establish a communication plan with your group, ensuring everyone has each other’s contact information. Consider using messaging apps or group chats to facilitate real-time updates and location sharing. By staying connected, you can respond promptly to changing circumstances and support each other’s safety.

Respect Personal Boundaries and Consent

Pride events celebrate our diverse community, and it’s crucial to respect personal boundaries and obtain consent in all interactions. Ask before taking someone’s photo, engaging in physical contact, or initiating conversations. By promoting a culture of consent, we create a safe and respectful environment for all attendees.

Stay Hydrated and Take Breaks

Pride events can be physically demanding, with long durations and energetic atmospheres. Remember to stay hydrated by carrying a water bottle and taking regular breaks to rest and recharge. Listen to your body’s signals and prioritize self-care to ensure your well-being throughout the event.

Stay Informed About First Aid and Emergency Services

Familiarize yourself with the location of first aid stations and emergency services at the Pride event. Take note of their contact information or the nearest medical facility. Being aware of these resources ensures prompt access to assistance if needed.

Look Out for Each Other

Pride is a time to celebrate unity and support within our community. Look out for fellow attendees who may need assistance or show signs of distress. By extending a helping hand, we create a network of care and solidarity, reinforcing the sense of community that defines Pride.

Celebrate Responsibly

While enjoying the festivities, remember to celebrate responsibly. Pace yourself with substance consumption, if applicable, and be mindful of your limits. If you or someone you know needs assistance, don’t hesitate to seek help from event staff or designated volunteers. By prioritizing responsible celebration, we ensure the well-being and safety of ourselves

Robyn Exton

Robyn is the CEO & Founder of HER. Find her on Twitter.

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