Help! I’m a Pride Virgin!!!

I’ve had a very sheltered life; I was 9 before I even heard the word “gay” mentioned I the playground and the infamous Section 28 legislation meant that schools weren’t allowed to discuss homosexuality in a positive light whatsoever, and when it was abolished just before I went to high school, teachers weren’t really sure how to address the topic so I only remember it being mentioned 3 times in the space of 6 years. Throw into a fairly conservative Christian upbringing (for the relatively liberal UK), and I more or less had no concept of what gay world was, let alone that there is this thing called Pride. Even after stumbling out of the closet, I’ve never actually been to a Pride event (with the exception of lasting 30 seconds at a gritty industrial town in northern England’s first ever Pride and gay day at a German beer fest) so I have no idea what to expect…

#PowerBottom

#PowerBottom

And now I find myself back in Toronto, poised for a baptism of fire: I’m here for World Pride. Yes, World Pride. I’ll be honest, my last time here was pretty gay, but I have a feeling this will be a whole new level of fabulous. I’ve not really got a concrete, written plan, other than some events I definitely want to go to (unlike my partner-in-crime, Calan from Discovering Your Truth). I know I’ll be going to see Carly Rae Jepsen, Tegen and Sara, and my fair share of drag queens for sure, plus take myself along to some other parties, the parades and so on, but even with plenty of time to plan and read up on stuff, I’m really overwhelmed.

I think that’s how anyone going to their first Pride probably must feel – you don’t know where to go or what to do or how to act. There’s the apprehension of all those mouth-watering muscle queens on Grindr, and the horrible temptation to start mercilessly comparing yourself if you’ve allowed yourself to eat carbs for the last few weeks. And then there’s the challenge of being in an unfamiliar city or country for people like me, or people from less cosmopolitan environments – there must be some people going to have some intense culture shock this weekend.

I had a great time last time  I was in Toronto

I had a great time last time I was in Toronto

Despite that I think I’m going to have a really good time this week. I’m looking forward to seeing some old friends as well as undoubtedly making some new ones. I’m also looking forward to catching up on the things I’ve missed out on – both on my previous visit to Toronto and as a result of working my ass off for the last year or so. As far as any insecurities go, I think it’s going to be a case of being confident of who I am, knowing who my friends are and showing the world my smile. The bottom line: enjoy the experience.

Those are my thoughts and feelings of my imminent Pride experience. Do you have any thoughts or pearls of wisdom you can share? I think a boy like me is going to need a whole necklace…

One response to “Help! I’m a Pride Virgin!!!

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