–SLH Guest Editor
Gearing up for Pride? Regardless of what city, you’re in for an incredible time. Community pride, amazing performances and the overall sense of being free to be you – there are so many reasons to go! But the secret to any great party is planning, so let’s run through the check list to make sure you’ve got what you need for the best Pride ever:
- Grab Your Pals
This is a party right? So share it with your besties! There are so many amazing activities going on, you’re sure to enjoy it better with the people you enjoy spending time around. A day spent with friends is always a day well spent, so gather your peeps and get ready to leave a little sparkle wherever you go.
- Dress for Success
Planning what to wear to Pride can be stressful. Your options are as unlimited as you are which can sometimes cause a little brain freeze.
Of course the parades are about establishing a sense of community, and celebrating hard won victories, but most of all, it’s about freedom. So don’t hold back! This is the time to embrace everything that makes you – YOU.
Not sure where to start? Check out LGBT Shirts (http://www.glbtshirts.com) for starting point inspiration. You’re sure to find something you like including shirts, hoodies, hats, posters…even pet outfits (why let the 2-legged folks have all the fun?). Looking for more brand focused? Urban Outfitters, Target, Nordstrom, Macys, Hollister and even Walmart have dedicated shopping just for Pride. Want to shop and give back? Levi’s collection includes several items with 100% proceeds going back to LGBTQ communities, and Urban Outfitters’ UO Community Cares collection is donating 100% profits to GLSEN.
Shop This Look : Old Glory LGBT Pride Adult Tank top $17, Adult Short Sleeve French Terry Cropped Sweatshirt $18, LL Pride Flag All-Over-Print Tank Top $39, UO Community Cares + GLSEN Pride Heart Tee $28, Levi’s® “I Am Proud” Pride Collection Graphic Tee $35
Once you’ve got your basics, kick it up a few (thousand) notches. Paint rainbows on your sneakers, show off that rainbow eyeshadow look you’ve been spending months perfecting, dye your hair with as many bright colors as you can get your hands on. Pile on your best rainbow jewelry and wear it all at once! And make sure you take plenty of proud snaps with your peeps.
- Don’t forget H2O
Hot weather, dancing, costumes & cocktails – when does it go wrong? When we see “that” person. The one barely on their feet, or worse, passed out completely somewhere. Do Not Be That Person. Sure there will be plenty of places around selling bottled water and maybe one or two stops giving it out for free. But why waste valuable celebration time standing in line for something you can bring yourself? It’s important to keep yourself hydrated. Make sure you’ve got a good base going by drinking plenty of water an hour before you leave. That should give your body enough time to soak up what it needs and also gives you enough time to lose what you don’t need before you head to the event. Clear water just not your thing? Stock up on a bottle or 3 of Project Juice (http://www.projectjuice.com ). Their cold-pressed, locally sourced, certified organic juices are deliciously nutrient dense and the company actively supports the LGBTQ community.
Once you’re at the parade, try and keep to the one to one rule – between every cocktail (or beer or glass of wine) drink water in between. The more you take in, the less likely you will be to dehydrate while you’re at the event and hopefully stave off becoming a sad, headachey pile of humanity the next day. Also, go easy on the shots – the point of Pride is to celebrate, not stagger.
If you or one of your friends begins feeling dizzy, drowsy or feels the beginnings of a headache, those are signs your body needs water immediately. Listen to your body and respect when it’s giving you clues.
- Rainbow, not Red
Just like hydration, this one is an “ounce of prevention” rule. No doubt if the weather is truly hot there will be cooling stations and certainly shade will be had but do yourself a favor and slather up at least 15 minutes before you head out. Or better yet, have your friends or significant other help you out. Just be sure to return the favor for them! Heavy lotion and costume + makeup don’t mix for you? Consumer Reports rated these 5 as top performing sprays:
Shop This Look : Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Body Mist Sunscreen, SPF 100+ 5 oz (Pack of 2) $27, Banana Boat SunComfort Continuous Spray SPF 50+ $11, Caribbean Breeze-SPF 70 Continuous Tropical Mist Super SunScreen $17, Equate Ultra Protection Sunscreen Continuous Spray Broad Spectrum 30 SPF $5, Trader Joe’s Nourish Spray Sunscreen SPF 50 $14
Remember even the best SPF only lasts for so long, so don’t forget to bring your sunscreen along for the ride and re-apply often.
Supporting cast to your sunscreen – a stylish hat and some cool shades will complete the look and keep you rainbow, not red.
- Dancing Queen
Of course you want to be fabulous from head to toe. And maybe those platform chunky block heel Thigh-highs are amazeballs. But consider this – you’re going to be on your feet, and when you’re not dancing up a storm to amazing music you’re on the move keeping up with the good time. Comfort is queen here, my dear, but it certainly doesn’t have to mean wall flower. Foot comfort is very 2018 with choices ranging from Skechers to Nike to Dr Martens to Keen. Slip into something colorful and comfortable and you’ll be kicking for hours to come.
- Put your money where your mouth is
All this walking, dancing and everything in between is going to work up your appetite. The ideal solution is to support the local businesses at the parade and chow down on some fantastic grub. So don’t forget the wallet. And just in case, take along some cash so you avoid that double digit line at the ATMs. Even with most food vendors taking plastic these days, you’ll still want to have a few dollars handy for tips and smaller priced items.
- The S Word
That would be ‘Shopping’. Sure there will be a ton of free stuff, but there will also be opportunities to purchase items as well. Today is a great day to help support those businesses that support the cause. So go and get your shop on, and feel good about doing it.
- Bag it!
So you’ve got your water, sunscreen, wallet, maybe some snacks and possibly a few other dozen free swag items you’ve picked up along the way. Come prepared to have a place to put all this loveliness. Our advice? Skip the massive on-the-shoulder tote and go hands free with a party appropriate backpack.
Rather forgo the free stuff and just stick to carrying the basics? Make your pack part of your costume
Whatever your decision, don’t overlook your bag as another way to keep things fun.
- I saw the sign
Ready to unfurl your Lesbianas flag? Now is the time. Or maybe you’re looking to rock your pink, purple & blue? Do it! Today is the day to show your personal pride and show your love. It’s also a time to stand up and be strong. So bring your statement sign and let others know you will not be silent.
- Please don’t stop the music…
Start your party off on the right note and keep it going all day long with some great tunes. Get things pumping on the way to the show with your favorite tunes. Or if you’ve planned to head in together with your friends, get a group playlist going with everyone choosing at least one of their fav tunes.
Once you’re at the event there will be plenty of music to keep you going, but why not add a little fun and bring your own personal soundtrack right along with you? Target’s Rainbow stereo fanny pack is the perfect accessory that connects to your device and lasts for hours.
Shop This Look : Vivitar® Jam Bag Wireless Speaker Fanny Pack $30
So those are just our list for top 10, but the most important thing you should bring to is your Pride. Pride in yourself and your community, your supporting friends and the victories of the past year.
It’s your time, party it up!