Getting Ready for Pride – Your Complete Guide For A Great Experience And Look

Last Updated 01.06.2022
8 min read

After two years of hiatus from in-person Pride celebrations, 2022 promises to be a blowout all over the world.

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    If you are enthusiastic about finally getting back, you are probably ready to do lots of planning - everything from which events to attend to all about your dress and accessories. You want this to be your best Pride experience ever, and here’s your guide to do just that.

    “Getting There” Plans

    Where Will You Go?

    This is obviously the first decision to make. Chances are, you will want to hang in a larger metro area if you are looking for a big celebration. And if you don’t already live in one or you do but want to experience Pride in another place, make your travel plans now.

    Choosing Events

    In major cities, Pride goes on all month. And you probably don’t plan an entire month’s stay. Here is where your research is really important. Pride organizations in these cities have websites (for example, San Francisco), and you will find a complete listing of all events and dates. Some are free, some are ticketed. For ticketed events, buy early.

    Going Solo, With Your Partner, or With Friend(s)?

    There’s something to be said about going to Pride all by yourself. You will definitely have more freedom to roam, to connect with others, and even to hook up, if only for that short time. Think about what your goals are before you make this decision. If you are pretty independent and self-confident go for a solo trip. If you are less so, then take your partner or at least one other friend. The goal is for you to feel comfortable so you can have the time of your life.


    In 1969, 500,000 young people attended Woodstock. There was almost no police presence, and there was no crime. How does that happen? It happens because this large festival community was all of one mind – music, peace, and relaxation.

    The same goes for Pride. This is a community of LGBTQ+ people who also have a single purpose – to celebrate their sexual identities with all others in their larger community. These celebrations are more raucous than Woodstock, but the joy and the comradery are the same.

    You should know this:

    • Crime is rare – events organizers are all over the place, and the LGBTQ+ community is generally a safe one

    • Most clashes that occur are between police and attendees. For this reason, Pride organizers in some places have requested that police presence be totally banned.

    Still, you do want to keep your valuables safe – your ID, your bank card, and your cash. All of these things will fit in a fanny pack, in boots, in your clothing, or in long socks, if those are a part of your costuming. 

    If you are at all nervous about attending solo, then of course go with at least one other person.

    What to Pack

    There are two categories as you think about what you will pack to take with you – the essentials and the “nice to have.” Let’s break this down.

    The Essentials

    These may differ, but, in general, there are common items that should be included:

    • At least one small Pride flag – gender specific if you choose

    • Umbrella or raincoat – weather is unpredictable – get on in Pride colors

    • Sunscreen and Sunglasses – bring them with you – they will be far pricier if you buy there

    • Refillable Water Bottle – don’t rely on plastic bottles there – lots of events will not allow plastics

    • Portable Charger – an absolute MUST

    • Condoms, lube, toys – you can purchase them there but they will be expensive

    Nice To Have

    • Other Pride Accessories – lanyards, suspenders, pin badges, etc.

    • Whistle – it’s time to make some noise!

    • Pride underwear 

    • Earrings – put some Pride glitz on, or just get simpler ones in Pride colors

    The Costume

    So, what are your plans for your time there? Everyone has their own ideas for what they plan to do and wear during Pride.

    If you are the casual type who just wants to wear Pride accessories with your shorts, T-shirts, and tennis shoes, you’ll have lots of company. But if you are one who wants to wear your gender identity proudly with costumes, there are plenty of things to think about:

    How Much Luggage Do You Have Room For?

    If you are planning on taking a few costumes with all of their accessories, you won’t be packing light, in a lot of instances. Have a look at what we are talking about. In other cases, your outfits may be minimal and easily taken in a duffel.


    You’re ready to put on your glitz with one or more fabulous outfits. If you have some that you have worn before, to clubs, to contests, etc., then you are set. Pick your favorites and pack them on up. 

    If you don’t have a great outfit, or you want a new one, then you have a lot to think about. 

    • Get online and survey some of the “winning” outfits out there. See how you can copy those with clothing at reasonable prices. 

    • Shoes/Boots: These should be coordinated with your outfit you’re going to be a sexy cheerleader, for example, white tassel boots are in order. If you are a trans male who will be a pirate, then your boots will be totally different. If you are going for a glitzy look, then spike heels and fishnet stockings will do well.

    • Wigs. With luck, you already have some. If not, check out the discount wig stores (online, if the time for shipment), and get some inexpensive synthetic ones -You’ll be surprised how good they really look, if you don’t already know.

    • Makeup: Who would leave home without it? Pack all your best to give you just the look you want.

    • Body Paint: If you are artistic, you will have great fun bringing your paint. If not, bring it anyway. You may find new friends who are and can decorate you!

    • Fingernails: You may arrive with an amazing set of nails. But you know how things go. Bring an extra set or two.

    • Jewelry: You can’t forget your jewelry – the wilder and more ostentatious the better! 


    You’re in luck. The standard Pride wear will be bikinis. Be prepared with the wildest ones you can find. Sometimes, there are even bikini contests where you can strut your stuff. You will be packing light. And body paint may add to your look too.


    So, here’s a gender identity that has so many options, depending on the specifics of the “role” you play. Some solo lesbians will dress as either the “male” or “female” versions of their identity. Outfits can be simple, formal, or even unisex. If you go as a couple, check out some of the outfits on the link above.

    Lesbians can also go in casual wear that is not gender-specific. Feel free to be who you are without the need to be in a role at Pride. If you want to hook up, you’ll easily find other lesbians.


    You guys probably already have all of the gear you will need to bring to Pride – your leather, your chains, and your BDSM toys. Sort out those that are your favorites, pack them up, and don them as you find your gender float. Hop on or just walk along beside it. You’ll have no lack of hook-up partners if that’s what you’re after.

    And the Last Required “Dress” For Everyone

    If you’ve been to Pride in the past, you know that it is a celebration with few “rules.” And the key word here is celebration. Everyone who attends has the freedom to be who they are, dress as they wish, connect with whomever they want, and still experience nothing but tolerance and acceptance. The one thing everyone must “wear” is a great attitude – enthusiasm, readiness to make some noise, and a goal to spread love and joy.

    It's Time…

    It’s time for the LGBTQ+ community to come together again and have huge pride celebrations. You will want everything to be just right, whether this is your first experience or you are a seasoned veteran. With the right planning, the right gear, and a joyful attitude, you’ll have a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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