When Pride is just around the corner, most of us worry about which bars we want to go to, what we should wear, and whether we’ve bought enough body glitter. However, many of us are also starting to worry about our safety at Pride. There are lots of inherent risks, 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
- If it’s at all possible, don’t go to Pride events alone. Go with a friend or in a group. If you’re with a group, designate everyone with a Pride buddy that will act as an accountability partner, to make sure the group stays together and everyone is ok.
- Let someone who won’t be with you what your plans are the day and night. Tell them who you will be with and if your plans change. You can plan in advance how people can contact and support you.
- Charge your phone, and put a charger or portable battery packs in your bag.
- Write down the phone numbers of friends and family on a piece of paper, in case your phone dies. It can be smart to write down other emergency contacts, like your health insurance or a lawyer like Takakjian & Sitkoff, LLP in case you are hurt, taken ill, or taken into custody.
- Stay aware of your surroundings. Know where there are public spaces of 24-hour businesses where you could go if you felt unsafe.
- Trust your instincts. If you feel unsafe, remove yourself from the situation as fast as you can.
- If you face violence or harassment, alert bystanders immediately, and get away if you can. Notify event organizers or nightclub staff to get help.
To Keep Others Safe
- Consider the power and privilege that you might have in a situation, and think about how you can most effectively help someone. In many situations, the best way to intervene doesn’t mean getting physically involved. Just being present can be enough.
- If you see any hate-violence, you can make your presence known by asking questions, and talking to both the victim and the perpetrator. Speak up, loudly. Call out what’s happening. Identifying violence by name can work to deter it.
- Distract an attacker and divert their attention by making a scene. Be noisy to draw the attention of other people nearby.
- Record hate-violence by recording videos on your phone.
- Ask the victim of an attack if they need any support. Provide any support that you can.
- If the perpetrator of a violent 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.