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The First-Timer's Guide To The NYC Pride Parade

Be prepared for a gay old time.

1. Let's begin with the obvious: Don't skimp on the sunscreen.

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While there's bound to be a hefty amount of shade any place brimming with half-naked gay men, that doesn't mean you should opt out of protecting your skin from UV rays.

2. Hydrate before, during, and after. With water.

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Tea is just fine too.

3. Just, like, monitor your drinking in general.

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Some tips on hangover prevention here.

4. Bring a reusable bag with you (tote, fanny, another eco-friendly cutie, etc.) to collect freebies tossed from floats throughout the parade.

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If brands are going to commodify the celebration of our queerness, we might as well benefit from it!!!

5. Be prepared for all kinds of weather.

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Winter, summer, spring, or can get nasty in NYC. Doesn't mean you can't still look cute! Be sure to keep tabs on the forecast before throwing on your crop top and hopping on the F train.

6. Memorize the parade route beforehand.

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The parade route and its pedestrian walkways can border on labyrinthian. Doing a little research on which roads are closed and which streets you can cross to meet your friends will certainly prove clutch. Find a map of this year's route here.

7. Bring snacks!

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If you're committing to the parade, you'll be on your feet for several hours. Don't forget to pack some snacks!

8. Keep cool.

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Misting bottles, handheld fans, etc. can help you look hot without actually, like, sweating profusely.

9. Know thy public bathrooms.

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NYC businesses are keenly aware of Pride, and sometimes they'll specifically denote on their storefronts whether or not they're open to parade-goers using their facilities. Sometimes simply asking politely can go a long way.

10. Show some respect!

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Pride is inherently fun and celebratory, but it also commemorates pivotal LGBTQ+ icons and moments in queer history, ones steeped in hefty emotional value. Know the facts and remember that Pride is an important, emotional experience for many.

11. Aaaaand don't forget to stretch before you death drop!

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But you knew that already.