Embracing Diversity: Hosting a Meaningful Pride Event

Jun 6, 2024 10:00 AM ET
Pride Flag shown from above at a parade.

Originally published on GoDaddy Resource Library

By Art Martori

A sudden influx of rainbows, marches, and makeup can only mean one thing: it’s almost Pride, baby! While you may already have some Pride events in your calendar, you might be thinking that this is the year you host your own event.

We love this for you. While the cocktails, mocktails, and flags are always welcome, Pride is a time to mark solidarity, visibility, and affirmation for LGBTQIA+ communities worldwide — and it’s just as important today as it was when the first Pride was held back in 1970.

While big marches and events often take center stage, hosting your own Pride event is a powerful way to honor the struggles and triumphs of the LGBTQIA+ community while fostering inclusion and diversity.

Whether among friends and allies, in the workplace, or in your wider community, we think Pride events remain crucial. Here’s why, along with our must-have considerations for planning and hosting.

Why Pride events still matter

Pride events serve as a beacon of hope and empowerment, commemorating the Stonewall Riots of 1969 and the ongoing fight for LGBTQIA+ rights.

And while today we live in an increasingly accepting society, challenges persist, both here in the U.S. and globally, including discrimination, violence, and legislative threats.

Pride offers a platform for individuals to express their authentic selves proudly, despite societal pressures and discrimination. Read: they’re a place to let loose and have fun!

But they’re also vital for continued advocacy for equality, celebrating diversity, and providing a safe space for LGBTQIA+ individuals to meet and thrive.

Depending on where you’re thinking of hosting a Pride event, they can also be a really powerful way to educate allies and provide meaningful connections.

Planning your Pride event

Thoughtful planning is key to creating a memorable and impactful Pride event, wherever you decide to have one. A few things to consider include:

What’s your goal?

Determine the purpose of your event. Is it to raise awareness and funds, foster community among individuals, or celebrate achievements? Clarifying your objectives will guide your planning process, so it’s best to get clear on this early.

Choose an inclusive venue

If there isn’t already a pre-determined location, like your workplace, select a location that is accessible to all attendees, including those with disabilities. You’ll want to consider the venue's reputation for inclusivity and its commitment to providing a safe space for LGBTQIA+ individuals. A good spot for selfies doesn’t hurt, either.

Keep it diverse

We come in all flavors — so ensure that your event reflects the diversity of the LGBTQIA+ community. Include representation from different identities, including people of color, transgender individuals, and those with disabilities. You might even consider partnering with LGBTQIA+ organizations to broaden your event’s reach and perspective.

Provide learning opportunities

Incorporating workshops, panels, or discussions on LGBTQIA+ history, current issues, and allyship can deepen participants' understanding and foster a more inclusive environment. This is just as important for young queer people as it is for people who aren’t part of the LGBTQIA+ community. We have a rich, storied history that’s worth talking and learning about.

Prioritize safety and inclusivity

Implement policies and procedures to ensure the safety and comfort of all attendees. This may include providing gender-neutral restrooms, establishing a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or rude comments, and offering support resources for individuals in need.

Hosting Pride in different settings

If you want to host your own Pride event, you’ve got options. You can make these events as big or small as you’d like and as serious or playful as you feel is appropriate.

In the workplace

Organizing a Pride event in the workplace demonstrates a commitment to diversity and inclusion. Consider hosting a lunchtime panel discussion on LGBTQIA+ experiences in the workplace, organizing a company-wide diversity training, or hosting sessions on how to be a supportive colleague. Of course, don’t skip out on decorating communal areas with Pride-themed decorations!

Community Pride event

This is an opportunity to bring together your neighbors and celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture. Collaborate with local queer organizations, businesses, and artists to host performances, art exhibits, and community forums. Parade marches, picnics, and film screenings are also popular options for community Pride celebrations. These take a bit more work, but the payoff can be huge.

Intimate gathering among friends

Hosting a small Pride gathering among friends can be just as meaningful. Create a welcoming atmosphere with Pride-themed decorations, music, and refreshments. Because this is a smaller event, you may want to play closer attention to the guest list to make it more likely that your attendees will mesh well together and hopefully even learn from one another. Encourage attendees to share their stories, experiences, and aspirations for the LGBTQIA+ community.

Closing thoughts

Hosting a Pride event is a powerful way to celebrate LGBTQIA+ identity, promote inclusivity, and advocate for equality. No matter where you hold your event, you’re helping to create an impactful experience and fostering a culture of love—and that’s what it’s all about. Happy Pride!