Pride! The perfect time to get down, celebrate and get a little sunburn, am I right? Whether this is your first Pride in Columbus or you’re a seasoned vet, there’s always something we can learn to make our Pride experience a little better. So we talked to some LGBTQ students at Ohio State about their experiences with Pride to help make sure YOUR time at Pride is as perfect as you are!
1. Pack Responsibly
You have a long day ahead of you, be smart about it.
Pack a bag for the day with rain gear (if needed), snacks, and water. Drink water because it gets hot! Bring money, there are a lot of local vendors at the Pride Festival with cool pride gear and other things up for grabs.Luke Lauterjung
Definitely bring water and snacks, and sunscreen. It is a very hot and long day and you don’t want to pass out or anything.Natalie Garrett
2. Wear Sunscreen.
Please? Don’t let the sun rain on your pride parade.
3. Go to an LGBTQ Bar!
Axis and Union Cafe aren’t known as some of the city’s premier gay bars without reason! We’re talking drag performances, an open environment, and lots of Pride-centric festivities. If you’re hanging with friends (or looking to make some!), you HAVE to stop by Axis and Union Cafe!
4. Feel–and share–The Love!
Pride to me means a family of people who understand me and accept me and celebrate me.Natalie Garrett
Pride means love. As queer people, we have been outcasts in our society for a long time. The good news is that is changing.Luke Lauterjung
5. Experience Everything There Is To Offer…
One approach to Pride is to do EVERYTHING! If you’re a go-getter, a self-starter, and not prone to sweating a bunch, this might be the approach for you. Beyond the parade, there are about a thousand other things to do; whether it’s bar hopping or checking out a drag performance at numerous venues throughout the city, you can keep yourself very busy.
6. …Or Take It Slow And Experience What You Need
There’s no shame in focusing in on a few key events rather than partaking in everything. I mean, let’s be honest: there’s a lot of walking to be done at Pride and walking sucks. So go see Jake Borelli (aka Levi from Grey’s Anatomy) at the Pride Tea Dance on Friday, then go to the parade and see Nina west on Saturday, then just chill and celebrate the Pride of YOU doing exactly what you want to do and nothing more. (See Terry’s answer under the list of “Don’ts”.)
7. Make Columbus Yours
Lots of us grew up in traditionalist towns that weren’t exactly welcoming to members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community, but Columbus’ reputation for having one of the biggest Pride celebrations in the country didn’t happen for no reason. We are here to celebrate the bravery and beauty of everyone, and to make some friends while we’re at it.
8. Stay With A Good Group Of People Who Have Your Back
It’s a day of self-love, you deserve to keep it that way. But how do you find your closest friends at OSU?
Surround yourself in an environment you enjoy and the friends follow secondary, and some of them just happened to be LGBTQ+. Do what you like, queer kids are everywhere.Michael Johnson
9. Carry A Flag, And Grab A Bunch of Wristbands
Whatever flag you choose to fly — be it the Gay Pride flag, or the Bisexual Pride flag, or the Asexual Pride flag, or any other flag — carry that shit proudly! And there will be a LOT of wristbands to be had, so have at ‘em!
I fly the classic gay pride rainbow flag! Colorful, unmistakeable, unapologetic, and proud.Michael Johnson
The flags that I most identify with are the gay flag and the queer flag.Natalie Garrett
10. Figure Out What Pride Is For You
This is even more important if it’s your first Pride. Maybe the festival is a time to flaunt everything you got and join the celebration. Maybe you’d prefer to keep it lowkey and watch from the sidelines. Don’t let the ways that other people celebrate make you feel like your celebration is any less valid!
Don’t Go Alone.
“Always have a wingman. Don’t have any shame, wear whatever you want, wear your gayest most incredible outfit so you can shine!Luke Lauterjung
Keep in mind that just because you see a guy and a girl holding hands at the parade does not mean that they are straight people encroaching on your parade; one or both of them may be queer or genderqueer.Natalie Garrett
Don’t Force Yourself To Go.
I find it extremely overwhelming with the amount of people and the heat is unbearable. The Short North holds community pride that is more low-key, but still a celebration of what it means. But nothing beats recognizing that you don’t an event to celebrate pride!Terry Wheeler