Pride: A Celebration of Love and Perseverance

"I hate the word homophobia. It's not a phobia. You're not scared. You're an asshole."--Morgan Freeman

A Guide for your first time at Pride:

In support of a few amazing souls, I am lucky enough to call family and friends.

“When all Americans are treated as equal, no matter who they are or whom they love, we are all more free.”–Barack Obama

What do the initials LGBTQ stand for?

Lesbian A woman whose primary sexual and affectionate orientation is toward people of the same gender.

Gay A sexual and affectionate orientation toward people of the same gender; can be used as an umbrella term for men and women.

Bisexual A person whose primary sexual and affectionate orientation is toward people of the same and other genders, or towards people regardless of their gender.

Transgender It describes a wide range of identities and experiences of people whose gender identity and/or expression differs from conventional expectations based on their assigned sex at birth. Not all trans people undergo medical transition (surgery or hormones). 

Questioning The process of exploring one’s own gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation. Some folks may also use this term to name their identity within the LGBTQIA community.

Allyship: The action of working to end oppression through support of, and as an advocate with and for, a group other than one’s own.

Non-binary: A gender identity and experience that embraces a full universe of expressions and ways of being that resonate for an individual. (a more recent term)

Why do I celebrate at Pride?

Frankly, I have much to learn and my mind is yearning to be opened. I grew up in the conservative Southeast USA. While my Southern roots instilled the importance of home, family, kindness, simplicity, and honesty; it did little to prepare me for those who are completely opposite of me. Racism and homophobia still run deep in the South. I’m here to be a voice against it.

I was raised to respect everyone regardless of their differences to me. That has led me to meet and befriend exceptional people! So, why do I want to attend Pride? I want to celebrate with those who have struggled for acceptance. I accept you! I will never pretend to understand, firsthand, the struggle of gaining the rights to marry or the shaming that is felt for expressing PDA with your loved one. However, I have fought for you to have the same rights as me, a heterosexual, white, married woman. Everyone should be able to peel off the labels and be their own person.

Tips for your first time at Pride:

  1. Don’t judge. This is a day for love and celebrations. If you feel you will be hateful or close-minded, don’t come.
  2. Don’t stare. If someone looks different than you, and there will be people who do, it’s okay. Our differences are a reason to celebrate too. No one is like you or can BE you! Isn’t it great that no one is exactly the same?!
  3. To my fellow straight friends, this celebration was not created for us. Don’t get offended by that statement! You may feel left out, out of place, or isolated, don’t! Let’s be allies instead of sulking. Remember, the LGBTQ community have been neglected, secluded, isolated, and hated for decades. They deserve to have a celebration in honor of their love and triumph through these struggles.
  4. If you happen to find yourself in a gay bar, remember, you are a guest here. These bars were not created as a girl’s night out haven, away from drunken, handsy, straight men. They were created as a safe place to hang and show PDA among partners and people of like-minded respects without the condemnation of a close-minded society.
  5. Keep an open mind and take a curious attitude.
  6. Stay hydrated and wear sunscreen if you are celebrating outdoors!
  7. Have fun! Today is a day for celebrating! The LGBTQ’s rights have come so far but the fight is not over. Make friends with someone new today and later, be an ally of support for them.
At the Pride Celebration


The first Pride parade took place in 1970. June is officially Pride month and my two spaniels and I joined in at the Pensacola Pride event in Seville Square. My first time at pride was a blast! I was so overwhelmed by the amount of love and support here! This is a safe space to shine and let love win.

Even though I am straight myself, I never once was booted out of a conversation nor felt like an impostor for being there. The music and food were top notch. There were jewelry vendors selling extraordinary creations. The space was very dog friendly, too! The energy and vibes surrounding Pride are incredible and I had a smile on my face the entire day. I was surrounded by kindred spirits today and look forward to what the future holds for the LGBTQ community!

“I hate the word homophobia. It’s not a phobia. You’re not scared. You’re an asshole.”–Morgan Freeman

I highly recommend you join the local Pride group for your area. June is for fun but the months following are where real change happens! Stay connected for outreach and advocacy events!

Be Well and Travel Often!


first time a pride


  1. Definitions of LGBTQ:

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About Author

Maegan and Michael are Adventurous Southerners who share their world journey and approach to living the travel lifestyle. You can expect humor and lighthearted banter blended with REAL travel stories and tips. Maegan is a registered dietitian, while Michael has an excerise science background, but both are outdoor lovers, and revel in the beauty of cultures unlike their own. Now, Maegan and Michael are working towards expat life through remote work. Join the adventure. Do you love to travel? Does your full time job or career prevent you from living the life you dream of? This is the duo to follow. Feel free to contact us if you have questions.


  1. Cynthia says:

    As your gay auntie, I am very proud of you for your courage to follow your own path. Your journalism is a wonderful read, open , non-judgemental and carefree! You did good by us and yourself!! Love you tons!!!


    1. Maegan says:

      I love you Aunt Sissy!! Thank you for reading and always supporting my blogging adventures! XOXO

  2. Jennifer says:

    We just had a Pride festival in my city last weekend and it was so much fun! Thanks for all the helpful info!

    1. Maegan says:

      I really enjoyed myself and seeing everyone happy and carefree!

  3. I have yet to go to pride, mostly because crowds make me a little anxious. But I love living vicariously through your post. Very beautiful and heart-felt.

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you so much!

  4. Maggie says:

    When I lived in San Diego, I was a block away from where the Pride parade started. It was so much fun to go every year! Definitely one of the best annual events. Glad to hear you enjoyed it as well!
    Maggie recently posted…Las Vegas-Travel With KidsMy Profile

  5. I didn’t realise June was Pride Month (I’m not from the US), nor that the first parade was back in 1970. Glad it’s come such a long way since then. It’s lovely to see your passion for this through the words in your article. Pride looks like a wonderful day, thanks for sharing and raising awareness!

    1. Maegan says:

      Aww, thank you so much! I will always fight for equals rights to everyone! Glad I can teach you something. 🙂

  6. Alexis says:

    My family is from the midwest, so I get that there are a lot of people who do not support this. Thank you for being a supporter!
    Alexis recently posted…My Favorite Things : Budget Outdoor GearMy Profile

  7. Alyssa J says:

    This is great!! I’ve yet to be on a pride, but I do believe that all love deserves a chance. In my place however it’s still pretty much hush-hush (I came from a predominantly Muslim country, but I am a Christian myself).

    1. Maegan says:

      Living in the south, it’s very unaccepted here too. I believe that love wins!

  8. Eve Kay says:

    Great piece! I really do believe that love does not have to be defined by gender. I grew up partly in Asia and partly in the Mid-west so I definitely understand the stigma associated with it. But it’s time for progression!

  9. This is such a great post, thank you for writing it! I still haven’t been able to make it to my local Pride event but I’m hoping to get there this year!
    Find Your World Girl recently posted…How to Safari in Yala National Park on a BudgetMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you so much!

  10. Megan says:

    I absolutely love this! I love how you gave thorough explanations for those who aren’t as familiar with the terminology. So important! Thank you so much for sharing.
    Megan recently posted…Stripes & EspressoMy Profile

  11. Punita says:

    I learnt some new terms and definitions today in your post. Had no idea that there was something like Allyship and Non-binary. You’re right…keeping an open mind is so important.

    1. Maegan says:

      I’m so glad! Thank you for reading!

  12. Jean says:

    Love this post! It’s so important to just let others be and enjoy each others company. No matter where you find yourself on the gender scale who cares? You do you!

  13. Dawn says:

    Great read! I never know how welcome straight people are at Pride, so have never gone, but I would like to, to support every one.
    Dawn recently posted…14 Incredible Destinations for Families in CanadaMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      I was curious, too. I felt more welcomed at Pride than I do at my neighborhood bar.

  14. I absolutely love this! What an awesome way to show support and love. Love your tips too. These are such great reminders for everyone, not just on parade days. 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you so much!

  15. Christie says:

    This is great! I’ve never been to a Pride celebtration or festival but think it would be so good to experience. I’ve always been very open-minded and definitely think that everyone should be completely equal no matter their sexual orientation or gender identity. Great post 🙂
    Christie recently posted…My Top 10 Places in the World (So Far!)My Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      This was my first year! I’ll def go to more!

  16. Charmaine says:

    Love the tips for the first timers! It’s really important to be open-minded and to accept other people even if they are different!
    Charmaine recently posted…Three Mistakes I Made Living AbroadMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Absolutely! Thanks for reading!

  17. So lovely. I love going to gay bars, despite being straight, because they play such fun music! Keep spreading the love 🙂
    Eliza Smith recently posted…Hawaii on a Budget: Guide to Camping on Kauai and the Big IslandMy Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Me too! Better music and drinks lol

  18. Thanks for those tips, there are very useful! 🙂

    1. Maegan says:

      thanks for reading!

  19. Miranda says:

    This was interesting! I’ve never been to pride fest, and I’m never sure what to expect because what I’ve seen on TV is sooo much different than what I hear from those in the community and allies alike.

    1. Maegan says:

      Glad you read my post! It was a fun day for sure!

  20. Love this post and the audience you’re speaking to! Pride is a BIG DEAL here in Boston and we recently had our parade a couple weeks ago! Living most of my life in a very “blue” state I haven’t encountered many who are homophobic. That being said, I personally haven’t been to a pride parade! So this is actually quite helpful and it’s good to know that everyone is so welcoming no matter if we’re not actually gay.


    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you for reading!

  21. Cherene says:

    I love that you posted this. As a straight person who is an ally and has been to many gay and pride type events, I agree we need to remember what it’s about. I love the quotes you added here!

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you so much! I’ll always stand for equal rights 🙂

  22. Dave says:

    The Pride parade looks awesome and the video conveys a lot of the energy that takes place at Pride events. I agree about how it really is an open and accepting experience even if you are heteronormative. I’ve been lucky to be around 3 separate cities’ parades and it’s always been a great experience. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Maegan says:

      Thank you for reading and your kind remarks! It was a fun day indeed!

  23. Laia says:

    I can see in the video the good energy and vibe of the event. I also believe in tolerance and equality of rights, though I never thought about joining Pride (not sure in Spain is that big, but it does exist). Very interesting post, thanks for sharing!
    Laia recently posted…Bali: my most challenging month of solo travel (and lessons learnt)My Profile

    1. Maegan says:

      Thanks and I’m glad you enjoyed the energy of my snippet video!

  24. Valerie says:

    Thank you for being a straight ally! Love and acceptance really is what our community needs. Thank you for explaining the “LGBTQ” and also giving suggestions on how to be a great ally!

    1. Maegan says:

      Absolutely and thank you for your kind words!

  25. Baia says:

    This is very informative piece!

  26. This is a thoughtful and important post. I like that you pointed out you’re from the south. I often say some of the biggest feminists are men and I think that can be true for all the fights. Southerns can be some of the biggest proponents of rights and so on.

    1. Maegan says:

      Yes, it’s a challenge in the south, to open people’s minds but I won’t stop fighting! Thanks for reading!

  27. […] every weekend there is a parade in NYC.  You may be familiar with some of the big ones like the Gay Pride Parade or the Puerto Rican Day Parade.  It really is like the Seinfeld episode.  And there are many […]

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