June 21-23, 2019 is Pride Toronto Festival weekend and that means parades, parties and celebrations are planned to take place all across the city.
Whether you’re a veteran Pride goer or a Pride virgin, there are some essential things you need to know before heading out to show your love and support for the LGBTQ community.
Pride Toronto, the not-for-profit organization behind the city’s annual Pride festivities, has put together a survival guide to help ensure you have a safe and happy Pride.
The weather forecast is calling for lots of sunshine and warm temperatures this weekend – sunny and 23 degrees for the big parade on Sunday – so plan on drinking plenty of water and keep an eye out for free water filling stations.
Protection comes in all forms: Don’t leave home without sunscreen, a hat and a condom (pack a few extras just in case you need them). If you want to know your HIV status, you can get tested quickly and confidentially at clinics throughout the city.
Look out for each other
It’s important to be as good to yourself as you are to other people. If you or someone around you is highly intoxicated, let people know how you’re feeling and whether you need help, especially if drugs are involved. And remember: when it comes to sex, anyone who’s considered drunk/high cannot legally provide consent.
Have a designated meeting point
Over a million people come together to celebrate Pride in Toronto. With so many people out and about, it doesn’t take much to get separated from your friends. Pick a designated meeting point – like a tall landmark – that you can all meet at should someone in your group get lost.
Rest & replenish
What’s the key to surviving Pride? Pace yourself. Feeling tired? Sit down and take a break. Can’t remember when you had your last meal? Find a place to grab a bite to eat. When you feel reenergized, you’ll know you’re ready to rejoin the festivities.
Get some sleep
A weekend of non-stop fun in the sun is bound to make anyone feel exhausted. Make sure you’re getting as much sleep as possible – disco naps in between parties and events are your best friend.
Stay charged up
Charge your phone before leaving the house so you can stay in contact with friends and take as many selfies as your heart desires. As the saying goes, if it’s not on IG, it didn’t happen! Be on the lookout for free cellphone charging stations.
In case you can’t make it to the Pride Toronto Festival this weekend, here are some of the other Pride celebrations happening across Canada this summer:
Where: Halifax, Nova Scotia
When: July 18-28, 2019
Where: Montreal, Quebec
When: August 8-20, 2019
Where: Bracebridge, Ontario
When: July 19-28, 2019
Where: Calgary, Alberta
When: August 23-September 2, 2019
Where: Vancouver, British Columbia
When: August 2-5, 2019