The San Francisco Pride Parade is an exciting, deeply significant event that is quickly approaching. As it approaches, it’s important to remember that it’s an event designed for LGBTQ+-identifying people, by LGBTQ+-identifying people. It’s an event heavy with the history of the Pride movement, specifically commemorating the Stonewall riots that took place in Manhattan at the end of June 1969. Pride is a celebration in support of all people of every color and of every sexuality and identity; it’s persistently and pervasively inclusive. So if you’re choosing to attend Pride as a cisgender, straight individual in support of all the parade stands for and in full knowledge of and respect for its history and the people it supports, then we at the Clog wish more power to you. But there are also some things to consider if you’re planning on attending. Here are four inadequate reasons to go to Pride, because Pride is not just a party — it has a purpose.
- If you want to be a social media ally.
If you’re a cisgender, straight person, being an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and its members is welcomed in honest and active pursuit. But if you’re most excited about the pictures you’ll take — eager to post them on Instagram, Facebook and the likes — then we urge you to examine the integrity of your motives. Pride is not simply a photo-op but a place for celebration.
- If you want to be drunk all day.
There will likely be a lot of opportunities for you to drink if you attend Pride, but the event doesn’t excuse the sole desire to drink all day. Drinking is a part of Pride for those of age, but it shouldn’t be the only reason you go. If you’d like to celebrate Pride Month at a queer-supporting bar, consider visiting a gay bar, such as Brewcade, The Mix, or The Stud — all of which are located in San Francisco.
- If you want to dress up in bright, rainbow colors for fun.
Dressing up in bright colors is an iconic aspect of Pride, and you should take no shame in participating! But be wary of the commercialization of rainbow-colored products in light of Pride Month. A way to support the LGBTQ+ community while still decking yourself out in all the colors of the rainbow is to wear clothing and makeup from brands that support LGBTQ+ rights. We hope you wear the colors of the gay flag proudly, with respect for what it stands for.
- If you’re a straight person looking for a straight hookup.
One would think this one speaks for itself. Don’t show up to Pride hoping to locate another straight “ally” for the sake of the sexual encounter. This reason is a sweeping miss of what Pride is for and an unsupportive reason for attending. And moreover, if you know you’re straight but are going to Pride in search of an “experimental” hookup, doing so is insensitive and often hurtful to people who are not straight.
Pride is meant to be a safe place for members of the LGBTQ+ community and its allies to celebrate and support the lives and rights of all sexualities and identities. It’s an echoing bellow of voices in support of gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, resounding only in love. So we ask all to consider these reasons before attending, and we urge you to prevent any one of them from being one of yours.