Why Every Parent Should Bring Their Children to Pride Parades

Pride events are still perceived by many as being an adult affair. But what about younger members of the community?

Life + Leisure Parenting Brian Webb

This article was published on May 28th, 2022

Pride month is here, and you know what that means — rainbow flags, glitter, and fun! Pride marches are a long-standing tradition, dating back to the 1970s and the Stonewall Riots in New York City.

These events were initially intended as political protests against anti-LGBTQ+ discrimination. As the modern gay rights movement ramped up and equal rights became enshrined in law, there was an effort to expand pride from a protest into a celebration.

Today, Pride is an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people and allies to come together to celebrate successes, raise awareness, protest injustices, and to recognize that more work needs to be done to secure equal rights for all. There’s no doubt that Pride events are colorful, celebratory, and fun. However, there’s also another side of Pride that’s often overlooked: it has a history of struggle and perseverance.

It can be easy to forget about this part of Pride when we’re all having fun at the parade or barbeque or concert. However, for some LGBTQ+ people and their families, Pride is also an opportunity for them to recognize the hardships they have endured as part of their journey towards equality.

Pride celebrations are typically attended by adults. It is wonderful how far we’ve come. There are Pride festivals all around the world where people are free to express themselves and enjoy the festivities of the LGBTQ+ community.

But what about younger members of the community? Are they allowed to join in on the fun? Or is this an event reserved for adults only? 

“Distracting”

It’s true that some Pride events specifically ban children from attending. There have been cases where parents were told that their children would not be allowed to attend because they were “distracting” or if a child was disruptive to others or involve serving of alcohol. Some events can get rather rowdy with crowds. But for most Pride events, kids are welcome.

The LGBTQ+ community has become more aware of how important it is to include young members of their community in these celebrations. They want to ensure that these children grow up feeling included, loved, and welcomed by their peers.

To this end, Pride events now often feature spaces for kids to play and color or just relax. Some even include a small stage where drag queens or other performers put on shows for children.

In addition to these designated kid-friendly spaces at Pride events, many cities have started hosting family Pride parades — filled not only with rainbow flags and glitter but with kids of all ages cheering on floats filled with their favorite drag queens, LGBTQ+ performers, and community members. 

These events are very popular among families who want to show their support for the LGBTQ+ community while having a fun day out with the kids. This way, everyone can enjoy the festivities without being afraid of being around someone who might not be accepting of them. It’s also a great way for children to learn about different cultures and lifestyles without having to be exposed to anything uncomfortable or offensive at such a young age (and it’s never too early).

Diverse society

Children are naturally curious about the world around them and when they grow up with LGBTQ+ parents or other relatives who are open about their identities and experiences, they tend to be more accepting of people who are different from themselves. 

The same goes for attending a Pride celebration. When you allow your child(ren) to attend a Pride celebration,they will get a chance to see how diverse our society really is. They’ll see that there’s nothing wrong with being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or any other sexual orientation/gender identity/expression. They’ll also see how much fun it is to be yourself and celebrate others who are like you.

That said, here are some tips on how to introduce your children to Pride celebrations:

  1. Start with the basics. If your child is old enough, you can explain that there are people who love each other in different ways and that sometimes, those people have a hard time because some people don’t understand them.
  2. Talk about how important it is to accept everyone for who they are, no matter what differences you might see between yourself and someone else.
  3. Let them know that each person is different, and everyone has their own story, so it’s important not to make assumptions about someone just because they look or act a certain way. The same goes for gender identity — it’s not up to us to say whether someone is male or female or any other label we might want for them in our heads; it’s up to each person themselves.
  4. Introduce them to some LGBTQ+ characters from books or TV shows they already enjoy (like Ruby and Sapphire from Steven Universe or Korra from The Legend of Korra). Showing them these characters will help them understand that LGBTQ+ people exist everywhere — even if they don’t see many of them in their daily lives.
Denver PrideFest 2018: A gay ol’ time in the mile-high city

It’s OK to Say Gay

Pride is a celebration of family, community and acceptance. If your kids are the right age, bring them along. Not only will they be able to learn about the world around them, but you’ll be teaching them some great life lessons about love, kindness, and tolerance as well.

Las Vegas Pride 2018 was everything and more! Don’t miss this extraordinary rainbow weekend in Sin City!

Kids deserve to see that there’s nothing to fear, and you’ll be giving them the chance to make all your celebrations more colorful and vibrant. After all, isn’t that what life is all about?

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