There’s no better feeling than going out somewhere and knowing you’ll be accepted with open arms. My first pride was in 2017, and the week leading up to it I was a nervous wreck. All sorts of questions went through my head. Would I be accepted? Is it all going to go according to plan?
The answer to both those questions is yes. I hadn’t been out for long, but I wanted to throw myself into the deep end and attend Norwich pride. The whole car journey and brief bus journey was spent bouncing my knees up and down. But when I got there and wrapped myself in my flag (only bought 2 weeks before) I was ready. I grabbed my best friend’s arm, and off we went. I spent the whole day in awe of how happy everyone was, and I finally felt like I could be myself. Being out was worth it if it meant I could join in the party every year.
I spent the whole day there, with my best friend and I circling the whole park, making sure we didn’t miss anything. I spoke to nearly everyone I met, let a girl paint rainbows onto my face and hoping the glitter didn’t fall off.
I absolutely would recommend going to a pride event. The mix of excitement and nerves creates the sort of rush that can’t be explained in any other way. Everyone is ready to pass a sticker, lend a helping hand, and even give you a hug if you need it. Pride events have now become a staple of my summer holidays, and I know that every year I’ll be welcomed back with smiles and cheers. I have now been out for nearly 3 years, and I still get nervous telling people, but I know I can always wait for summer, where an army of rainbow flags and stickers and drag queens are ready to tell everyone that they are loved.