Saturday, July 2 will see London rainbow-coloured once more as it hosts Pride London (we call it that as London Pride is a drink!). Some of you may not realise this but it takes over 600 people to make this event happen every year, most of them volunteers. So this year before you gather with the thousands of party people in Soho to drink and dance the night away, g3 magazine’s Jen Kilchenmann highlights why volunteering for the Pride London Parade should be your pre-show entertainment.
Top 10 reasons for volunteering at Pride London
1. It’s Fun!
If for no other reason, sign up and volunteer because it’s fun. It will warm your heart to realise how many gay people actually exist!
2. Make Friends
If you’re one of those people who hates going to bars to meet people, this is your perfect opportunity to grow your Facebook friendships.
3. Use a Megaphone
Come back as a Senior Steward and you’ll get a megaphone. My only advice: a megaphone carries your voice, thus there’s no need to shout! You’d think it was obvious. My lack of voice after the parade last year would say otherwise.
4. Get Your Friends to Volunteer
Worried about doing it alone, bring your friends. The people running the show will do their very best to keep you all together.
5. Best Seat in the House for the Parade
Instead of being crushed against a barrier amongst smelly armpits, bring your camera and capture the day from your post along the parade route.
6. Make Women Proud
Lesbians and women in general have been very slack when it comes to volunteering for this event. Show some Sapphic love this year and come party with the rest of us.
7. Flirt Unabashedly
The parade is an amazing place to try out your flirting techniques. I’d recommend you keep it to longing gazes as the parade is not static and you’re unlikely to see this person again.
8. Help Your Community
If you’ve had an easy coming out experience come and support those who haven’t, make them proud and show them we’re all equal. Volunteers from around the globe have done so in the past.
9. Arrive Early, Finish Early
The earliest you make it to sign in, the further along the parade you will land, and thus the earliest you will finish. Plus you’ll get to see the entire parade that way too.
10. Forgot to Sign Up but Want to Join In?
No problem. It is best to sign up early, organisers like to know how many volunteers will be available. But if you wake up on July2 and are desperate for some fun, head on down.
Jen’s Top Tips for a Memorable Pride Parade:
— Have a massive breakfast. Your job may not be too demanding, but it’s amazing how hungry you get when food isn’t available.
— Stay hydrated. Shouting makes you thirsty.
— Follow Baz Luhrmann’s advice and wear sunscreen.
— Wear comfy shoes. Flip flops may look cool, but after a few hours on your feet, then an evening of drinking and dancing … if you get lucky, your feet won’t let you take it any further!
— Bring a backpack with a change of tops. While wearing a Steward, or Senior Steward t-shirt on the parade may have filled you with a sense of hot authority, trust me a new top is recommended. Your bag will be taken care of during the parade.
— Bring tissues – it can be an emotional day for some. Plus, a beautiful woman may need to wipe her nose (better to offer a tissue than a sleeve … more classy!).
— Make sure you involve the crowd in your area. It’s a party! Remind onlookers of this. Look down your street and keep your crowd posted on the hotness ahead. Half-clad or uniformed men and women generally does the trick.
Sign up today, we promise you’ll have an amazing time. Get the latest update from our Facebook page. If you can’t make it this year, be sure to add Pride London to your calendars for July 7, 2012 as we host World Pride just before the London 2012 Olympics. For all updates on World Pride, follow us on Facebook. Follow Jen on Twitter @film_gem_digger.