For many Queer people, Pride is the highlight of the year and sometimes we tend to go a bit overboard. But hey, it’s our day to be whoever we want to be, protest or celebrate or both. So whether you want to liberate your inner drag, release the bear, unfetter your Sapphic yearnings, break down the closet doors, be Out and Proud, Queer and Here, here’s how to do it safely while still having loads of fun. Let nobody rain on your Parade.
- Try to get enough sleep the night before. You know it’s going to be a long day
- If you are going to march in the Parade, wear comfortable shoes. It’s 3km from de Waterkant to Reddam Field. Even Lola Fine wears flats on the Parade.
- Wear a hat, unless you have on a magnificent headdress, which will probably do the trick too. It’s always very hot, and as the saying goes, only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun, unless you’re a queen at the Gay Parade. A parasol can also work.
- Sunscreen is a must on the Parade and at the Mardi Gras, especially if you’re gonna show off what your Mama gave you. You don’t want to display a farmer’s tan later at the club.
- Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate! And no, tequila is not the answer. Bring water if you are marching. Remember to chuck your empty bottle in a bin. No alcohol is permitted on the Parade. You can drink as much Jagermeister as you like later at the Mardi Gras.
- Be nice to any homophobes carrying placards en route. They hate it. Better still, take a selfie with them. They get apoplectic! Don’t get into an argument; they win if you do and it will spoil your day
- Pay attention to the Parade Marshalls and stay within the confines of the Parade. They are there for your safety
- Look out for your phone and wallet. It can be hard when you are wearing nothing more than a G-string. But for the less flamboyant, wear something with zips or button-up pockets.
- Don’t check your Grindr every three minutes when there are thousands of hot and available men all around you. Go and talk to him. It’s Pride, everyone’s a little more approachable than usual.
- Be nice. Leave your Fashion Photo RuView comments at home. It’s our day for self-expression however we chose to do so, so nobody needs judgement. We get enough of that on a daily basis.
- Don’t feel up a drag queen’s tits. It’s just rude.
- Pick up some free condoms and lube, or find out about PrEP, or even get a free HIV test at one of the public health tents that will be at the Mardi Gras.
- If you are going to take recreational drugs, it’s usually a bad idea to mix with alcohol. Be with friends you trust and if you feel unwell, there is a first aid unit at the Mardi Gras. Take care; you don’t want to end the day in cells or in casualty.
- Get an Uber home or jump on a bus. The MyCiti Service in Green Point runs till late.
Above all, have a wonderful day! Happy Pride!
The Cape Town Pride Parade departs outside Prestwich Primary School in de Waterkant at 12 noon on Saturday 2nd March, 2019, and ends at Reddam Field at the Green Point Urban Park (Virgin Active entrance). Admission to the Pride Mardi Gras is R50.00.