Photo Credit: Rajesh Jantilal/AFP/Getty Images
The time for Pride season has come once again. Even with more people getting the COVID vaccine everyday, and restrictions being lifted across the nation, it’s good to look at ways to keep yourself safe during Pride when going out to celebrate at events in-person. We all know that we should keep a level of awareness when being openly queer, but especially important during Pride, no matter how accepting the world has become.
First and foremost: get vaccinated if you aren’t! No amount of celebrating comes before protecting yourself and others against COVID, especially when it’s free and offered to everyone over 15.
While this year’s pride events will be kept at a much smaller scale than previously, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a good time. Here are some ways to keep yourself safe this Pride season.
Check for virtual events – While we’re all tired of being indoors, it still is a good idea to opt for virtual events. A lot of major cities are having a collection of virtual events this year, allowing for you to participate in events that you might not normally be able to while keeping yourself safe.
Don’t go alone – While we can’t always help it, going to events with someone is better than going alone. Safety in numbers is always the way to go!
Share your location – If you do choose to travel alone to pride events, make sure to inform someone close to you where you’ll be going and set up check in times.
Check times and locations for all events – Knowing the start and end times of events, as well as, the lay of the area that you are going to be at is important. That way you don’t have to worry about being lost or being too early and waiting on your own.
Be aware of your surroundings – Even in your own city, never let your guard down. Don’t walk late at night to your car or to your train by yourself, and don’t engage in conversations with people you do not know.
Carry protection with you – While violence is never the answer, it is important to be prepared. A self-defense keychain is a great way to do that.
Trust your instincts – If something doesn’t feel right, or if you feel uncomfortable at an event or in a crowd, remove yourself from it.
Always dress or carry something in anticipation for bad weather – Even during the summer, rain can happen. Always have an extra jacket or sweater in your car.
Carry a portable charger with you if possible – You don’t want to be caught out late at these events with a dead phone. Try to be a portable charger to ensure that you and your friends get home safely.
Keep water/meds with you if possible – Pride events are usually super long, and super hot (when outside). Try to bring a refillable water bottle with you, and any necessary meds you might need.
Here are a few black owned self-defense item shops
Protected Pretty https://www.instagram.com/shopprotectedpretty
Beyond Defense https://beyonddefense.net/
Pride is about not only celebrating yourself and who you are/love, but it's also about coming together as a community and celebrating how far we’ve come over the last 50 years in terms of queerness and identity. Always remember that you are enough, no matter how you choose to celebrate and embrace your queerness, no one can take it away from you.
Written by Samantha Benjamin-Nolan