June is Pride Month! We plan on celebrating, supporting, and learning. We have attended the Pride Parade for many years, and we’re excited to participate again after the pandemic. This year, my daughter will be 5, and I’m excited to have her attend. But we’ve put a lot of thought into attending and ensuring that we’re doing it respectfully. Pride is a big deal for the community and not one to take lightly or use simply as a costume party. Here is a guide to some things to consider about attending Pride; why I bring my kid and you should too!
Firstly, it’s important to understand why you’re going. So many people have fought for the right to be at the Pride Parade. It’s not just a day for glitter and rainbows. So make sure that your reason for taking your child is genuine and not to play dress-up. Make sure your kids understand why the Parade takes place. For example, if you’re not familiar with the history, make sure you read this if you’re Canadian. And if you’ve been living under a rock, please make yourself aware of the Stonewall Riots in New York. The birthplace of Gay Pride and why so many people have more opportunities to celebrate freely today.
Here is why we love attending Pride. and think it’s important for kids. Pride; why I bring my kid and you should too!
1) She is being raised in a heterosexual family:
Two straight parents are raising her, and although we have gay friends, they’re all single so she doesn’t have a lot of exposure to different families. So she must learn that not all families look like ours, but they’re just as special and loving.
2) She will see public displays of affection.
My daughter doesn’t see gay couples expressing affection daily (and we even have gay friends), but they rarely show affection in public. The Pride Parade is a chance for her to see loving couples holding hands, kissing, and showing love and affection. I want her to see this; what better way of learning that love is love than seeing people passionately loving one another.
3) She’ll see nudity
Will there be nudity? Yep, probably. My 5-year-old is A-Okay with nudity (what young kid isn’t??) or “nakies,” as we call it. She will have an opportunity to see bodies of all shapes, sizes, and colors. Dancing, jiggling, and being proud. What better place to teach her body positivity than a group of happy people dancing in their beautiful skin.
4) It’s a Celebration AND a time to recognize
It’s a time to celebrate and support those great strides and many sacrifices that have taken place in the LGBTQ+ community. Having said this, I make sure that my daughter understands that this is a celebration, that the gay community is dressing up and celebrating a movement. The LGBTQ+ community doesn’t always wander around daily wearing feather boas; they’re executives, doctors, teachers, parents, and respected members of our community who celebrate and have fun today.
Things to consider about whether it’s right for you:
1) You feel uncomfortable
There is one thing to be said about getting out of your comfort zone. However, if you feel really uncomfortable, it’s not right to bring your child. If your un-comfort means you’re going to gawk, stare and be utterly shocked, please don’t go. It’s better for your child and the LGBTQ+ community not to have that negativity. It’s a place to show support and respect, all while having fun and if you can’t do that, then don’t attend. Stay home this time, educate yourself, and hopefully, you can come and support with open eyes and an open mind next year.
2) Respect Boundaries
Like the straight community, sex is only one part of daily life. It doesn’t define the community. For example, at the Pride Parade, it’s not uncommon to see various kinks and sexually explicit outfits. If you have a child who is new to the community or just discovering or questioning, be mindful of their comfort level. Like those in the straight community, there are varying comfort levels with sex.
If your child is at the beginning of their journey, it’s a lot to be confronted with sex far beyond their comfort level. Especially as their place in the LGBTQ+ community may have nothing to do with sex. The Parade is a lot, and you don’t want to intimidate young people from opening up; we need young people to feel the community is approachable. It may be best to avoid the Parade and instead join some of the other fun, supportive events happening all month long. There are plenty of pride events that require less sexual exuberance and could be a great fit.
3) Read the Room
The Parade is an open event, inclusive and welcoming for many people to attend. But keep in mind that many of the other events during the month are more for underrepresented communities. By attending some smaller events and assuming that the inclusiveness means you’re welcome, you may not be. Your inclusion may lead to someone else now feeling excluded from an event meant for them. Check your privilege before attending.
We wish everyone a Happy Pride Month! We hope you have a fun, informative and loving month!
For more posts about Families attending Pride, check this one out!