How To Stay Safe At Pride
When Pride is coming up, we’re usually just thinking about which bars we want to go to, and what we should wear. However, a lot of Pride attendees are beginning to have concerns about safety at Pride. There are lots of potential risks from attending a party of this scale, from becoming dehydrated after drinking too much while out in the sun, to violence from anti-LGBTQIA+ groups. Here’s how to stay safe at Pride.
To Keep Yourself Safe
- Don’t go to Pride alone. If you can, always go with a friend or in a group. If you’re with a group, match everyone up with a Pride buddy to make sure the group stays together and everyone is where they should be and safe. Note what everyone is wearing or carrying, like a pansexual flag, so you can spot each other in the crowd.
- Let someone who won’t be with you what your plans are. Tell a roommate, friend, parent, or partner who you will be with and update them if your plans change. Someone should know where you are at all times.
- Charge your phone before you head out, and put a charger or portable battery packs in your bag so you can stay in touch if you get separated.
- Write down the phone numbers of friends and family on a piece of paper, in case your phone dies, is lost, or gets stolen.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Know where there are public spaces that will be crowded or 24-hour businesses where you could go inside if someone makes you feel unsafe.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, leave the situation as fast as you can.
- If someone becomes aggressive or violent, alert bystanders immediately, and get away if you are able to do so. Notify event organizers or nightclub staff to get help.
To Keep Others Safe
- If you see someone being hassled, think about how you can help with putting yourself in danger too. In many situations, the best way to intervene just means letting them know you’re there, not getting physically involved.
- If you see anyone being targeted, you can make your presence known by asking questions, and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator. Speak loudly to draw attention. Identifying violence by name can help to deter the perpetrator.
- Distract an attacker and divert their attention by making a scene. Be as noisy as you can to draw a crowd.
- Record any incidents by recording videos on your phone.
- Ask the victim of an attack if they need any help. Provide any help that you are able to, such as waiting with them until emergency services arrive, or helping to find their friends.
- If the perpetrator of an attack is a police offer, remember that you can legally record, observe, and intervene verbally. It is illegal for you to physically intervene. Take the names, badge numbers, and car numbers of any officers involved in the incident.
Nobody wants to think about when Pride goes wrong, but by being smart, prepared, and realistic about the risks, we can keep ourselves and each other safe at Pride events.