June is LGBT Pride Month which means the start of thousands of gay pride parades globally. If you’ve never marched in a Pride Parade before, it can be exciting and a little overwhelming. To help get you excited to march in a Parade with your (awesome) company, I’ve compiled a list of what you can expect marching in your first Pride parade.
1. To be Taken Care Of
The fact that your company is marching in a pride parade means there has been a huge consorted effort by a group of people who are organized and care about you. This means there is a very high probability they will have a plan to make for fun and stress-free experience. Typically hosted by a combination of pride employee resource groups, CSR and HR you have a team a people on hand to answer and question you may have beforehand and be there to support during the parade. These people are your golden ticket to have an awesome experience at Pride!
2. Rainbow Swag for Days
Rainbows are THE symbol for LGBT Pride and will be over anything and everything. There is a high probability you will receive a shirt, flag, beads and additional swag with rainbows EVERYWHERE.
3. A Big Celebration of Diversity & Inclusion
The Pride Parade is all about celebrating the strides we’ve made in LGBT rights and for organization, companies and individuals to come out and say LGBT equality and inclusion is important. Like any parade, you’ll see floats, balloons, dancers, bands, singer, politics, celebrities, etc. and all of them will be there to support and celebrate LGBT Pride.
4. Networking & New Work Friends
It’s so easy to get into a routine at work and become super siloed. Participating in Pride parades will give you a great opportunity to meet new colleagues and friends from all over your company. Pride is celebrated by all teams across all levels so you could meet interns all the way up to executives in a fun and casual environment.
5. Waiting & Walking
Pride Parades (like any parade) are a long line of contingencies. Because of this there will inevitably be some waiting in line. Luckily you’ll be there with friends and colleagues (and new friends you’re bound to make). Once the parade kicks off you’ll be walking the entire parade route so make sure to wear comfy shoes.
Once you start walking in the parade you will definitely start to feel the overwhelming sense of PRIDE! You’ll be proud that your company is taking a stand for LGBT rights, proud of all the other amazing companies and organization that are there doing the same thing, and person pride for being there and being a part of it!
7. To be Inspired
With that pride comes inspiration. Although we’ve come a long way since the Stonewall riots, there is still a great deal of work to do.
8. Great Food, Booze, Music & Fun
Once you get to the end of the parade route there will most likely be a huge celebration including great food, (overpriced but delicious) drinks, music and fun. Make sure to have meeting points just in case you get slit up from your group and enjoy!
Find a Pride Parade Near You
You can find a list of LGBT Pride parades and events near you here.