by Que Areste, N.D. -
Special to the SGN
It's our time, and we're gonna celebrate! You can celebrate your pride, show your true self to the world, and not need to stay in bed the next week to recover. You want to remember the good times you had this week, not sunburn, sore feet, and exhaustion from overdoing it yet again.
It takes a little planning, but you want your Pride week to be fun, so do plan. There will be parties galore for men, women, youth, and everybody. There are events happening all week and you want to do them all, but that's probably impossible. Choose what you really want to do, and chat about the rest. You and your friends can have lots of great stories to share.
Check out the SGN Pride Events Calendar or go online (www.sgn.org) and find out what is happening and where it's being held. Decide which events you want to include in your Pride week. Dress appropriately for the occasion and the weather. It is Seattle, so bring an umbrella or raingear if the event is outside. If the event includes walking or dancing, wear comfortable shoes. If you are going to wear high heels, put gel pads in them to cushion your feet - in fact, gel pads are a good idea no matter what kind of shoes you plan on wearing.
If you are going to the parade, bring some kind of pack or carrying bag for water, sunscreen, munchies, and maybe a blanket. Leave room for your jacket in case it gets warm. Come early and bring a lawn chair if you plan to watch the parade. Remember this mantra: hydrate, hydrate, and hydrate! Bring a water bottle or two.
Use sunscreen! This year has been so gray that we aren't used to being out in the sun yet, so our skin is more likely to burn - I call it the Seattle mayonnaise look. If you burn easily, use your sunscreen even if the weather is cloudy (those UV rays come through clouds). If you want to, wait for 15 minutes if you're fair skinned, 20-30 minutes if you tan easily, and an hour if you have dark skin before you put the sunscreen on so you can make a little of that natural Vitamin D. It's OK to soak up a little sun, but after that, put on the sunscreen.
This is a hard one, but a little moderation goes a long way. You're gonna party, but you can have a great time and not drink the bar dry. Pride week only comes once a year, and this is it. Have a great time and have a safe time. Viruses don't take Pride week off, and neither should you. Use protection every time you have sex and you will be able to enjoy Pride week for years to come.
Dance more than you drink, but take breaks, too. Go talk to that cutie, as this is a great time to meet new friendly people. We have a ready-made conversation topic - all those great Pride events - so you don't even have to wonder what you'll talk about! Eat food before you drink alcohol. You'll have a better chance of being able to get up and go to the parade and festival if you do.
Above all, enjoy our celebration, our Seattle Pride!
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