Pride Etiquette for Allies

Written on 06/15/2021
Jayme Tucker

Pride for many cities approaches, and while this year some celebrations are slated to be virtual, there will be a time again where we can gather and celebrate in person. Rainbows, drag shows, marches, and parade floats will abound, and it’s never a bad time for some etiquette reminders.

When attending a pride celebration or shows as an ally, here’s a few things to keep in mind:

Come with an open mind to support your queer friends and loved ones! Attending a pride celebration is a great way to stand in solidarity with the LGBTQIA2S+ folks in your life. Teen Vogue suggests reaching out to your queer friends to accompany them.

Teen Vogue also brings up another good point: Don’t touch anyone without asking! Keep your hands to yourself when it comes to drag performers, dancers, marchers in the parade, and people dressed up on the street. Pride is not an exhibit or a zoo, so be respectful. Asking someone earnestly about their hair, makeup, flag, or the parade is acceptable and encouraged.

If you really like a performance, tip! Costumes and makeup are expensive (especially for drag so don’t be afraid to support a performer directly by handing them a tip. It is recommended that you do not hold the tip in your mouth, especially with COVID-19 still out and about.

Keep in mind that this space is not for you. Kelowna local Andrew H. asks that allies “not assume that this space is for you to own or take over. Your support as an ally is appreciated and loved, but this (Pride) is not about you.”

Remember why Pride exists. “Don’t be complacent or rainbow-wash queer history. Many battles have been won, but it was through hard work, and there’s a long way to go still,” says Andrew H. Remember that Pride started as a riot against criminalized queerness, as covered a few weeks ago

Andrew has one final tip for Pride newcomers: “Don’t expect that glitter to be gone after a single shower! You will be finding it for the next couple of weeks.”

Lastly, don’t forget that Pride month may just be 30 days, but you can support your queer loved ones all year, every year.

Next week we’re going to go over what rainbow capitalism is, major brands that are donating to official queer charities,  and how you can ensure that you’re supporting the LGBTQIA2S+ community during Pride and all year round.

Jayme D. Tucker is a journalist, writer, and performer settled on unceded Syilx territory. They're queer, tall, and tired of answering all the same token questions when they come out; So they're answering those questions and more for thehub.LGBT Kelowna. They've written for Daily Hive Calgary, won a scholarship for fiction writing with Eat North, and is the founder of The Queer Agenda, a non-profit social group focused on sober friendly, all-ages networking for LGBTQ2IA+ individuals (currently on COVID hiatus).

(Image Credit: The Globe and Mail)