First of all, what is Pride?
Pride is a weeklong event in many metropolitan cities across the globe, (yes global!), that celebrates the diverse community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. It’s a celebration of how unique the people are that make up the community as well as bringing awareness to social, political, and health related issues that still affect the LGBT. This weekend is a moment in time where you are allowed to have fun, meet different walks of life, but most importantly cultivate a society of love and fulfill the highest expression of yourself as a human being.
What is your fondest memory of Pride?
Every Pride always ends with a memory, or flashback that you relive in your head and cannot help but laugh at. My fondest would have to be my first pride, because it the first time where I surrounded myself with other people in the community. I realized at that Pride that this was where people are able to express themselves freely, discuss topics that you could relate to, all with a sense of inclusiveness. Mind you I was 17 when I went to my first Pride, I had to sneak in (sorry mom!), but as I reflect back on it, going to that first Pride was liberating because I was able to see so many gay people who were confident with who they were and the pride that emanated from them was something that I will forever respect. Beyond the appreciation and respect, I remember dancing the entire day away with my friend Danika to good ol’ 90’s jams from: TLC, Destiny Child, Xscape, Janet, and Aaliyah. You would think after that we were skilled choreographers ready to go on a world tour, mind you everyone at Pride is ready to give a show though so we we’re not that special!
What are your plans for this year’s Pride?
Believe it or not this year will only be my 4th pride, but I will be attending and going out to West Hollywood to watch the Parade and then afterwards load up on some carbs at Ysabel’s in West Hollywood (if you are ever here in Los Angeles, you need to come here!), and then go back into the madness and watch some of the performers that are headlining this year! I’m looking forward to Chromeo, Brandy, Young M.A, and of course our favorite housewife Erika Jayne!
What will you be wearing?
The outfits that some of the people come up with really take some time and talent to concoct, I unfortunately am not that creative or even that bold enough to wear some of those! I’m more of a man with simple style, I was always taught that less is more and that timeless pieces are always in season. I will more than likely either wear light washed distressed denim or white frayed chinos with a cut out shirt (the cut out is of course easier to maneuver in for those moves on the dance floor), and add some embellishments like rings, a bandana, and staple sunglasses that match about anything and everything. Of course you may need an outfit change for the evening, so at some point I will swap into a printed short sleeve button up and with a few buttons undone and call it a day!
What’s your advice for someone going to Pride for the first time?
Hydrate! Honestly, after the amount of walking, dancing, and consumption of other ‘sugar’ filled beverages; you need to remind yourself to finish a bottle of water every so often. Beyond that, have fun! Go in with open eyes and an open heart. Approach people who you may never have never approached, make new lifelong friends, you may meet a partner who you could fall irrevocably in love with, and nourish every moment that you spend there.
What does Pride mean to you?
Well if I look at the definition of Pride, to have Pride means to be especially proud of a particular quality, skill set, or satisfaction derived from one’s own achievements. In the little time that I have been acquainted with Pride that’s exactly what it means to me. Pride is a global event that proudly celebrates the LGBT community and provides a safe haven for everyone, not just the LGBT community but also everyone who derives from a different background. I believe everyone who was born into this world has the right to be him or herself. I was raised not to see color, sexual preference, or religious views, but to see someone for their character and base anything on whether or not that person is a good or bad human being. Being born and raised in LA has its advantages and disadvantages, one of them being that we are so progressive and we make the assumption that everyone is like us in this state. We forget to open our eyes and realize that there is still a lot of hate left in the world and we need to empower anybody who resides in those communities and remind them that they are unique and right in their own way. I have pride in myself as a human being in this world, and you should as well!