Your Guide to Pride

June is here, and that means so is Pride! Pride month is full of events such as parades, drag performances, trivia nights, and music. Whether you’re an ally or a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community, everyone is welcome! If you do go to a pride event, make sure to go with an open mind! You may learn some new things about different identities, and experiences. Whether you’re thinking about going to Thunder Bay Pride EventsOrillia Pride Events, or other Pride events, here are some tips to make sure you are safe and have fun!

Pride Preparation

Pack Light but Right 

You won’t want to carry around a large bag, so try to use a small bag that you can easily access. Some key things to pack:

  • Your ID

  • A water bottle and snacks! It’s important to stay hydrated, and fueled with nutrients during the busy day!

  • Sunscreen, a hat, and some sunglasses can help protect you from the sun. Even if it's not a bright sunny day, check the UV index, and protect yourself accordingly.

  • Rain Ponchos are great because they are easier to fit in a bag and use in crowds.

  • Make sure to have your phone with you which can help you get the social media of new friends, take photos, and call people if you get lost or need help. Consider bringing a portable phone charger in case your phone battery gets low. It may also be a good idea to make your background on your phone a message of who to call if it gets lost.

Plan Your Day

The day of a pride event can be really busy, so it’s best to have a plan before you go! Here are some things to think about before going:

  • Know how you’re getting to and from the pride events so that you can be prepared. If you’re taking the bus make sure you have your bus pass or bus fare, and what bus you’ll have to take. If you’re driving, figure out where you can park and if you need to pay.

  • Bring some friends if you can, it makes the day a lot more fun, and then you won’t be alone! If you do go with friends, designate a meeting spot just in case you get separated. Make sure to also share your plan with someone else!

  • If you’re going to a parade or march, scope out the route before going to the event. See the best places to be along the route, and what stores and amenities might be close by for snacks and bathroom breaks. Also, take note of where emergency services, safety zones, and exits are. 

Ready or Not, Pride, Here I come! 

Pride is a great time to bring out your fashion! This is a great time to express yourself however you want. You get to choose how visible you want to be as part of the event, so you get to choose how comfortable you are being seen as part of Pride, and potentially being posted online. 

  • Fit Check: Whether you channel your inner Trixie Mattel with all-out glam, or keep it subtle is all up to you! 

  • Match with friends: Coordinated outfits make photos super cute, and can make it easier to find each other in a crowd. 

  • Hype up: Get excited for the pride events by getting together with your pride events pals! You can get ready together while jamming out to your fave 2SLGBTQIA+ anthems. 

During the Pride events 

Stay Aware

Safety comes first! If something feels off, trust your instincts and leave the area. If you are concerned, or witness something unusual, or a hate crime, event staff and security are there to help. 

  • If it is an emergency where there is an immediate danger or threat to someone’s safety, call 911, or find the event security. 

  • If there is no immediate threat to safety you can make a report through the non-emergency line at your local police department, or you can notify event staff.

  • Write down everything that happened in detail, so you have it in case you need it later. 

  • Being a victim or a witness to a hate crime can be distressing, so reach out for support, at the end of this post are some resources you can contact.

  • It is okay not to intervene if you don’t feel safe doing so personally, but find someone responsible for event safety and let them know what’s going on. 

Drugs and Alcohol Safety

At Pride events, there may be alcohol, remember to pace yourself, keep an eye on your drink, and take drinks only from people you trust. The same safety tip for cannabis— only accept it from people you know and trust, and know your limits. If you plan on using recreational drugs, do so safely and carry a naloxone kit, which you can get from some pharmacies and organizations. Ensure you have a safe way home, plan a designated driver, use public transportation, or arrange a ride-sharing service. Seek help if you’re feeling unwell, many pride events have medical tents or first-aid stations. 


Pride events can be long, and overstimulating, so it’s important to check in with yourself during and after the pride events. You can go to pride events for as long as you’d like, take breaks anytime, and support and cool off in the A/C of local businesses. If the crowds are overwhelming, try to stay on the sides, or take breaks away from the crowd. 

  • Mindfulness techniques can be helpful if you notice yourself getting anxious or overwhelmed. Here are some examples:

  • Check-in with yourself. Pride month can bring up a lot of emotions, so make sure to check in with yourself after pride events. You can ask yourself questions like ‘Did you learn anything new about the community? About yourself?’, ‘How did the experience make you feel?’, ‘How are you feeling? Do you need any support?’

Other Guides


–Aaliyah Stewart, SHW Summer Research Assistant

Two individuals wearing a Progress Pride flag draped over their shoulders, stand facing each other at a Pride Parade.