Attending an LGBT Pride festival typically means very different things to different people. For some, it will be their opportunity to support a family member or loved one. For others, perhaps it is their frst time publically exclaiming their gayness to the world. For many; however, attending Pride is another chance to break free from the judgment and “closets” that hold so many captive and keep them fearful of truly expressing who they are or wish to be. Interestingly enough, that oftentimes equates to a serious amount of partying, fun, and sex! I have been to several Pride festivals around the globe. Sao Paulo, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Mexico City, Mexico; Amsterdam, Netherlands and several
other cities in the United States. The one common theme that binds all of them together, aside from the supportive gay atmosphere, is an underlying culture of sex, and drugs, in many cases. Depending on your knowledge of gay culture and assimilation into said culture, one can easily look past the Pride ﬂoats, beautiful dancing bodies and sponsors that support the effort, and the community at large, to see the abundance of partying and sex that is available. In most cases, Pride festivals last for a full week with the main events occurring Friday to Sunday. There are usually events hosted during the week but often are events within the community and not attended by the masses. Most people will attend the Pride Parade during the weekend and the festival if there is one. The festival will typically offer various events, venues for live concerts, demos, beer gardens, etc. However, for many Pride goers the main focus is the parties that are hosted by the community organizers or private citizens.
Oftentimes there are many large-scale parties that occur during the Pride weekend. Of course, not all of the parties will have this theme but a large portion of them will. Many pride parties are known for having back rooms and secret invitation only areas where patrons escape from the general public to seek respite in the hidden party within the party. These are the areas where alcohol, drugs, and sex have been known to run rampant. Many people are inclined to join these parties just for the opportunity to watch those that actually participate in the various activities that occur behind closed doors. Pride weekends are a lot of fun and provide the opportunity for self-expression, introspection and freedom. In short, like most things in life, Pride weekends are what you make of it. Some just enjoy the large gathering of LGBT individuals while others smile at the chance to break free from their lives and live a little!
Khalif Hayes, also known as Mr. Carryon, is working to reach 100 countries.
To that end, he has become skilled at
traveling as light as possible; refusing
to ever check a bag.