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I'd like to go to Pride, but I'm incredibly nervous

Discussion in 'General Support and Advice' started by lottaotter, May 27, 2022.

  1. lottaotter

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    Recently I have joined an LGBT sports group. It's the first time I've been around other gay people. It's going OK (better than it was at the beginning).

    They've been talking about the upcoming Pride events in summer. IF I get invited I'd like to go (I think) as it's something I've thought about every year for almost 10 years. I even have a few straight friends who've been to Pride but I haven't.

    I've got a lot of worries about it so I'm just going to list them:
    • I'm not a fan of huge crowds or loud places
    • I'm not a big drinker either nowadays. Most of the guys in this group are huge party animals and I'm worried that if I went with them (I'd never go on my own) I would be unpolular if I didn't go along with what the crowd were doing (it won't come as a shock that I'm uneasy around drugs too as I have no experience/intention of trying. No judgement on others though. Same goes for casual sex- it just ain't me, sadly).
    • I don't think I'd fit in or be welcome- I'm not really involved in LGBT stuff much at all, and a lot of it honestly goes over my head. I'm not into politics (I know that's bad/priviledged to say) and I'm defintely not conventionally attractive. I'm also worried (and some of you will think this is ridiculous) that at 28, I'll be too old to go. I also was 'late' coming out (only realised I was gay at 19, and only came out to my parents a year ago- never even kissed a guy till age 25.
    • I actually have no idea what happens at a Pride event! What do you have to do/act like? Sorry if that's a weird way to word the question.
    I would love to be able to say to myself "I've attended Pride!" and I'm also hoping it would make me feel more comfy about my sexuality. I also wondered if I should volunteer- but I don't know if I'm the kind of person they're looking for- I don't know if I'm outgoing enough. I also can't/don't dance or sing, even though I'd love to be able to do both- isn't that a big part of it?

    I was going to end this post with apologising for being so clueless but I am trying to stop apologising for being myself and trying to remember that I am the way I am because of my unique life journey.
     
  2. bsg75apollo

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    I've been to the Pride Parade in Chicago and I was not out at the time. It was a wonderful experience. It was definitely a welcoming crowd. People from all walks of life straight, gay, and in between were there. By the way, I hate crowds too and I was fine.
     
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  3. Galaxy98

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    I'm 23 and only accepted that I'm gay in the last month-ish (though I've questioned for years). I still haven't kissed a girl though, and I don't see the rush to. If I've learned anything from this forum it's that there really isn't an age that is too late for coming out and doing everything.
    I'm not a big party person and get really overwhelmed in crowds. My sister who is straight has gone to pride before several times, but this would be my first pride. I want to go but I don't think I will, I don't have any friends to go with.
    Instead, I'm part of a big LGBTQ+ MeetUp group, they are hosting less formal and smaller pride parties throughout the month that sound fun and I'm definitely going to go to a few. I don't drink or do drugs. The group is doing things like watching a pride movie, going to a bar that has drag and ping pong (but you don't need to drink), or just hanging out at a lounge and chatting, and they seem like a good place to start and a good way to ease myself into pride festivities. Maybe try finding things like that near you. I don't think you need to go to the main parade to participate in pride, and certainly not the stereotypical extrovert activities. From what I know about the pride parade it is so busy that it's incredibly easy to blend into the crowd, and if straight allies are perfectly welcome, then every LGBTQ+ person definitely is.
    You can always go to smaller pride events and go to the parade next year too if you aren't comfortable this year.
     
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  4. lottaotter

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    Thank you, that's encouraging- my city's pride event will definitely not be anywhere near as big as Chicago's, so I should be a able to manage!
     
  5. lottaotter

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    Thank you. First paragraph was especially nice to hear.

    Sounds like you've found a group who are catering to more laid-back activities which sounds great. This is the first and only LGBT group I've ever been a part of, so hopefully there are others out there.
     
  6. zgaynz

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    From photographs I have seen, Pride parades worldwide aren't about age, they're a celebration of sexuality and acceptance no matter which stage of life you're at. I too hope to one day attend one, it's on my bucket list but I have to travel some distance and are not in that stage of my life where I want the world to know yet. I have thought about attending as an ally first just to get a handle on things.
     
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  7. PatrickUK

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    If you are invited, you don't have to commit to making a day of it. You can always make your excuses and leave before it gets into the full party swing with lots of drinking. Many allies who attend Pride don't remain for the day, but go along for a few hours to show friendship and solidarity, so you could leave around the same time as them and maybe decide to make a day of it the following year if it turns out better than you expected. Remember, small steps!

    Some people dress up (or significantly down) for Pride, while others go along in regular clothes, but might wear a rainbow t-shirt or badge, or carry a Pride flag. It's a carnival atmosphere, so you'll get a wide range of approaches to the day and that's what makes it so good. Some of the people will be activists, while others will just be there to enter into the spirit of the occasion. I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see how diverse the LGBTQ community is on the day. It definitely won't be a parade of cute, pretty boys with fit and toned bodies. Wait until the bears and cubs (heavy, stocky, hairy gays) come out! :slight_smile: The age range will be anything from 16 upwards and it's not unusual for retired gay people to come along because they know more than most how much representation matters.

    If you are invited just be honest about what you can and cannot manage. You are far from alone in not liking crowds, so just let the other guys know that you may need to go if/when it becomes too much for you. People do understand and will appreciate your honesty and frankness.
     
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  8. lottaotter

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    Yes, this is true. I suppose I'm just desperate to prove myself to gay

    Some people dress up (or significantly down) for Pride, while others go along in regular clothes, but might wear a rainbow t-shirt or badge, or carry a Pride flag. It's a carnival atmosphere, so you'll get a wide range of approaches to the day and that's what makes it so good. Some of the people will be activists, while others will just be there to enter into the spirit of the occasion. I think you will be pleasantly surprised to see how diverse the LGBTQ community is on the day. It definitely won't be a parade of cute, pretty boys with fit and toned bodies. Wait until the bears and cubs (heavy, stocky, hairy gays) come out! :slight_smile: The age range will be anything from 16 upwards and it's not unusual for retired gay people to come along because they know more than most how much representation matters.

    If you are invited just be honest about what you can and cannot manage. You are far from alone in not liking crowds, so just let the other guys know that you may need to go if/when it becomes too much for you. People do understand and will appreciate your honesty and frankness.[/QUOTE]
     
  9. lottaotter

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    [/QUOTE]

    Sorry- ignore this. If I spend too long typing I get logged out and lose my draft. Not sure how to delete a post so just ignore this for now.
     
  10. lottaotter

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    Yes, that is true. I think I am desperate to prove myself to people, and myself. I know this sounds ridiculous, but at 28 and with my history of late coming out and late realisation of sexuality, I feel I have a lot to make up for, especially as Pride only comes around once a year.

    Unfortunately I don't fit into either of those groups- I'm somewhere in the middle (fit/toned but hairy). Add into the mix that I'm bald and not exactly conventionally good-looking and I'm very nervous about how seeing all these people with the two body types that gay society applauds will make me feel. Sorry to be negative- I know you are only trying to help.

    I have been getting better at making my needs known, which was completely alien to me before, so I really, really hope they do invite me. I want to prove to myself that I can do it. I stuck with going to the LGBT running group and now I lok forward to it all week.

    I am working my way up to looking around a queer book/gift shop. I don't think there's much there for me as it's all political books or romantic fiction, but I want to try.
     
  11. PrettyBoyBlue

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    Not ridiculous at all! I know the feeling. I'm slightly older than you, roughly the same stage of coming out, and it feels like the countdown is on!!! I don't know, I try not to be too serious about it.. although it sucks a little sometimes.
    I wouldn't want to tell you how to think or feel, but you may be overthinking it a little. I feel like Pride is about *NOT* fitting easily into these little boxes that other people make. I have this understanding that Pride is for anyone who wants to claim it. You see so many "average" people, couples, families at Pride. I think it encompasses both aspects: Look at how incredible we are, and also, how normal we are. I think it really shines this wonderful light more generally on exactly what it means to be human!

    So glad to hear things are going well with the running group, I read your other thread recently.

    PS, I think if you click "stay logged in" when you login, it shouldn't time you out. Seemed to do the trick for me. However, I would not do this if you are on a shared device / trying to maintain privacy.

    PS #2, Lots of handsome bald guys my dude, don't ever doubt it!!!!!!!! Best thing I ever read was, "You're just not your own type, but you're someone else's!"
     
  12. lottaotter

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    Yes, this is it exactly! Especially with people coming out (and being accepted) younger and younger nowadays.

    Thank you. I have been looking at the social media accounts of the charity/company (yeah, hooray rainbow capitalism :/ ) who organise and sell tickets for the Pride where I live and it was nice to see that they'd posted pictures of older people, people with children, famlies and people with obvious disabilities. I thought it would be more about young, photogenic gay couples but luckily it wasn't too much of that.

    That seems to work now, thanks.

    Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to get back to it by the way. I suppose I must be someone's type, as I've dated a few guys in the past. I think I am very used to straight people's 'rules' and standards about appearance and attractiveness- being bald, having back hair etc. etc. has never been a problem with other gay men. Isn't it funny how I always feel the need to apologise when I talk about my body on EC? Even though logically, I definitely haven't just overshared, I keep thinking "I hope no one is grossed out". I have been struggling a lot this past week with my appearance. I am getting better at loving my body, which is helped by the fact I do exercise every day and eat a balanced diet, but there is only so much I can change about my face. I know I am going off topic here (and don't feel any pressure to reply) but years ago I was considering plastic surgery on my nose (my nose and the shape of my skull are the two main things wrong with me, but I don't think the can change the shape of my head, sadly). In the end I decided against it, because I didn't want to have a painful operation or recovery, but mostly because I felt angry that *I* should have to pay money to fix my face when it is other people who are so angry/bothered by it.- they should be paying for it. I still don't know if I made the right decision.

    Back onto topic, my [bisexual, female] housemate has said she'd like to go to Pride with me. I have decided not to take part in the actual parade with the sports group (even though some of them very kindly tried to explain to me that it is a very low-key event) but I will go. It is over a weekend, so I am tempted to go on Sunday instead of Saturday as it might be quieter (I can't find a schedule of events anywhere) but I don't want to regret it either.

    I would really like to wear something nice to Pride too, but over the last year when I've been experimenting with wearing more gay/'flamboyant' clothes my friends have always seemed uncomfy and tried to discourage me. I can never tell if it's them being embarassed or if I do really look dreaful.

    Anyway, thank you for your reply. I don't have anyone I can talk to in real life about this kind of stuff (the only gay people I know are very out and proud and have been for ages; I'm not that far along in my journey in comaprison, though I did have a different starting point, to be fair to myself) so I tend to write a lot- I'm sorry! :slight_smile:
     
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  13. lottaotter

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    Update: It doesn't matter anymore anyway- my housemate has said she doesn't want to go because you have to pay, so I have no one to go with anyway now.​