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Pride Is In Full Swing – Here’s Our Guide To Going All Out

Hot paddling pools, questionable drinks and bountiful beige picnics – is there anything better than British summertime? The sun is finally shining so let’s make this a season to remember. Together with PayPal we’ve put together The Go All Out Guide: a one-stop shop for everything you could ever need to plan for the perfect summer day. So kick back on that lilo, take a sip of your…whatever that is...and take notes.
This year marks the monumental 50th anniversary of Pride in the UK, plus it’s the first time that we’ve been able to celebrate in person since the pandemic so what better time to get out there and be proud? 
Pride in London 2022 might have been and gone but there’s still a lot more in the Pride calendar. Read on to discover our tips…

Why Pride Still Matters 

Before you step out to celebrate, clue yourself up on the true meaning of Pride and its history. It's so much more than a party. It all started on 28th June 1969, when the LGBTQIA+ community of New York's Greenwich Village stood up against the police as they tried to raid the Stonewall Inn. This uprising sparked a series of protests that lasted into July and ignited a movement that quickly reached the UK. Our own chapter of the Gay Liberation Front formed the following year and on 1st July 1972 over 2,000 people joined them to march through central London to Hyde Park to demand the freedom to live without persecution. Since then, Pride has grown exponentially, with many reclaiming the word 'queer', which was previously used to insult LGBTQIA+ people, to empower themselves. This has led to the event becoming more inclusive, more popular and an even bigger occasion – but its core message has remained the same. Pride is about standing up for LGBTQIA+ rights, our expression and our freedom, showing unity and celebrating our progress.

Going All Out At A Mega Pride

If you’re into the giant Mardi Gras style of the mega Pride festivals, then head to the coast for Brighton Pride (5th to 7th August) – which is also celebrating its 50th birthday – or up north for the youngest of the big Pride festivals, Manchester Pride (26th to 27th August). Remember though: you do have to book tickets for these and there is a fee to enter the main festival, camp out and attend other events as part of the occasion. A percentage of the proceeds from some events is donated to LGBTQIA+ charities but check the relevant websites for further details.
If you want to join the party but you’re not the camping type, book a hotel! We all know that the party doesn’t stop when the sun goes down but it’s important to get some rest before the next celebration and you can use the room as somewhere to get ready. Splitting the cost of the room with friends is quick and easy with the PayPal app – all you need is their mobile number or email address and you can pay them back in seconds. No awkwardness, no coins and no stress! Remember, a PayPal account is required to send or receive money so make sure you’re signed up.

Discover Something Different At An Alt Or Local Pride

If the huge Pride festivals aren’t really your thing, there are local Prides happening throughout the UK, which all have a unique and less hectic atmosphere than the big names. Whether you’re in Tunbridge Wells, Wakefield, Reading or even Herne Bay, there’s a festival going on near you so check to see whether your town has anything happening.
There are lots of benefits to attending local Prides. You get to contribute to the local economy as local food vendors, independent businesses and smaller charities often have stalls at a town’s Pride event. They also tend to be more child/family-friendly. My favourite thing about local Prides is that they tend to have more varied entertainment, from fun fairs to stage performances, kids' zones and lots of rainbow-clad pets. If you don’t want to be wandering around a big city, dealing with crowds or booking into expensive hotels, you’ll love local Prides. You can sit on the grass, eat some food and just vibe.
There are also Pride festivals geared towards certain communities. Keep an eye out for Trans Pride events, like the one happening in Belfast on 20th August. There’s also UK Black Pride, Europe’s biggest celebration of LGBTQIA+ people of colour, which is going to be bigger than ever this year at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on 14th August. I can say from my own experience that the vibe (and the multicultural food stalls) is unmatched. 
If you prefer something much more intimate and quiet, then look out for venues hosting their own daytime event. If you’re in London, places like Glass House in Shoreditch provide a calming space or you could head over to the accessible LGBTQ+ Community Centre on Hopton Street for a cup of tea, some creative stalls and even yoga sessions. Do some searches in your area to see if there are any queer-friendly cafes or LGBTQ+ quiz nights taking place nearby.

Express Yourself (But Don’t Be Afraid To Err On The Side Of Comfort)

When it comes to what to wear, dress for both fun and comfort. Pride usually involves a lot of walking and you want something you can move in and rest in so it’s best not to wear high heels (unless you really are a pro) and a little rucksack or bum bag is key. There's nothing more annoying than having to carry a bunch of stuff so find something cute and coordinated for your essentials. But practicality doesn’t mean holding back on the outfit – Pride looks can be as outrageous and colourful as you want. Get your glitter, your face stickers, sweat-proof makeup and rainbow accessories, and go crazy because Pride is the one place where no one will judge you and you’re free to express who you are. Plan your outfit ahead of time and get in a virtual pre-Pride shopping session using PayPal at checkout. It’s available at a variety of retailers so you don’t need to spend time constantly retyping your payment details.

How To Be An Ally 

You don’t have to be queer to go to Pride events but it’s essential that we all remember our Pride etiquette to keep the space safe: 
– It’s okay to be curious but don’t ask invasive questions – you may want to know about other people’s identities or experiences but not everyone wants to share intimate details with strangers. Ask yourself, do you really need to know everything?

– Respect people’s space as much as possible. It might be a party but grabbing, kissing or touching people without their consent is unacceptable.

– Check people’s pronouns – no one wants to be misgendered when they’re trying to celebrate who they are. Ask for pronouns like you’d ask for a name.

– Be inclusive – not just of the L and the G but of the BTQIA+ and the different races, religions, nationalities and genders we have. We all have a place in Pride!

– Donate to some charities that are fighting for LGBTQIA+ rights. Just make sure they’re a registered charity first.
Everyone can be supportive of Pride so there’s something out there for everyone! You’ve just got to know where to find it.

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