Pride Parade has become a huge party in most major cities throughout America. Every year thousands of people get together to share their stories and stand in solidarity with marginalized LGBTQ+ people around the world. But didn’t Pride start as a big riot back in the day? How did it evolve into a thrilling free-for-all event full of debauchery? Is it even possible to have a drug-free pride parade?
We think YES. There are several ways you can get your mind off the steady flow of drugs and alcohol at this celebratory rally, and still enjoy the true purpose of Pride.
How to Have Fun at Your Drug-Free Pride Parade:
Be Supportive and Listen
One of the most impactful things you can do as someone who attends Pride this year is to speak up and share your story with the world. Whether you’re part of the LGBT community yourself or simply stand for your loved ones who are, it’s important to remain open to the story. Whether you share with bystanders, in a group, or on a grander platform, the power of a story never goes unnoticed.
If you don’t end up sharing personal stories, you can do your part in listening to someone else’s. Everyone has a story of what brings them to Pride. You might be surprised as to how many you yourself can relate to.
Probably the most fun part about Pride for many people is the act of dressing up and looking amazing! People go all out on this day because it’s a welcoming community where you’re free to show your wildest, prettiest, and most often-silenced colors with the world. Feathers, leggings, wigs, face paint, glitter, platform shoes, and all kinds of fun accessories shower the mobs of people for this one-day event happening all over the country during the month of June.
If you’re going to be avoiding drugs and alcohol at all costs, you might as well make it a fun experience and dress up as you please. Even if you feel uncomfortable without the buzz of alcohol to make your nerves at ease, you can always go in disguise: wear a mask, wig, or whatever your heart desires.
Offer Free Hugs for Drug-Free Pride Parade:
We all know the people who love to go around with T-shirts or signs saying “FREE HUGS”. Why not offer hugs to people so you can share in the love without drugs or alcohol?
If you’re one for addiction awareness, you can make your Free Hugs into an informational or supportive shpeal. Paint statistics about drug abuse in the LGBTQ community. For example, an estimate of 25% of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and non-heterosexual communities experience substance abuse. In comparison, apparently, only 9% of the cisgender community classifies as suffering from addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Go With A Group!
Surrounding yourself with a support group of other sober Pride peeps can be safer, more fun, and empowering. Having a drug-free pride parade doesn’t have to be a dreadful or boring thing. Get your friends and family together who support your sobriety and go together in solidarity. Maybe even make a group theme of costumes, signs, or unique drug and alcohol-free substance!
Remember Why Pride Exists
Get into the real reason why Pride exists. Aside from the corporation-sponsored parade floats, flashy bodies, and overflowing beer pints, the very reason Pride exists is to remember the Stonewall Riots of 1969 in New York. It was an outburst of rebellion in a fight for gay freedom to end discrimination and violent bigotry.
Pride at the core is all about LGBT rights. Human rights. Racial equality. Equality for all. So remember this and do whatever you feel led toward during your time at Pride. It’s not a time for drinking or getting up for everyone. Some people take it seriously and feel truly honored to have the freedom we have now to show our support!
Stand for Friends You’ve Lost to Substance Abuse
If you want to take a more serious approach, go to Pride in memory of any of your LGBTQ+ friends or loved ones who may have died from drug abuse. Take pictures or memorabilia of your loved ones and hold a small ceremony for them. Share the story of who they were, what they’re to be remembered by, and how you wish they could be alive today to share this ever-growing freedom with you.