The Ultimate Guide to the Equality March for Unity and Pride | #EqualityMarch2017
The Equality March for Unity and Pride (#EqualityMarch2017), will take place in Washington on June 11th, combined with Capital Pride (#CapitalPride). This collaborative event is expected to draw over 300,000 marchers.
The Equality March will be a bittersweet gathering as it will mark the first anniversary of the Orlando Massacre and the passing of Gilbert Baker, the creator of the Gay Pride Rainbow Flag who passed away on March 31st.
The March in Washington has generated Pride Marches around the world. If you plan on attending any one of them, you may need to bring some additional items to make your event more comfortable. We thought we would share some tips to help you prepare to get the most out of the March and Festival in Washington!
WHAT TO WEAR
Gay Pride T-Shirts are a must for this occasion and will be in abundance! Everyone will be wearing the rainbow pride colors, so let your pride shine! It will be a fun and exhilarating day and with so many people, it may be difficult to have access to things you will need immediately.
But here are other considerations:
Dress for the Weather: According to the Farmer's Almanac, Sunday, June 11th calls for a 70% chance of rain. Even if the weather changes as we get closer, assume it’s going to rain.
Comfortable Shoes: The most important thing is something comfortable that you can walk in for hours. For most of us, that will be sneakers or sandals. Be sure that they are your most comfortable and not shoes you just purchased. Wear good socks and bring an extra pair just in case.
Waterproof Your Shoes, if necessary: If you choose to wear sneakers and there is a good chance it will rain, you may want to buy waterproofing.
WHAT TYPE OF BAG
A Fanny Pack or Small Purse: Not the most flattering but a small fanny pack should be enough to hold your wallet, identification, money, and your cell phone.
A Tote Bag: For this occasion, an open bag might work best to put your stuff in. Your gay pride tote can easily open and be searched for security reasons.
WHAT TO BRING
Snacks: You may be needing an energy boost, so be sure to bring a couple of granola or protein bars.
Water: It’s really important to stay hydrated. You definitely want to have water available to you at all times.
A Plastic Poncho (leave umbrella home): If it rains, a good poncho is a must at these events. We recommend a poncho because many people are going to have signs, and umbrellas are difficult to manage in large crowds.
Money: Bring extra money for food and gay pride merchandise when you head over to the Capital Pride Festival vendor area. Some vendors only handle cash and won't accept credit cards.
A portable phone charger: One of the best things to carry is actually a portable charger that doesn’t need to be plugged in, so that you can recharge your phone on the go.
A Ziploc Bag: A gallon-sized Ziploc bag is a must-have for storing trash or to provide extra protection for special items if it does rain.
Small First-Aid Kit: A first-aid kit is a good idea. Those Band-Aids will come in handy if you get blisters on your feet from walking all day. Also bring over-the-counter pain relievers for headaches and sore muscles that will keep you going.
Prescription Medication (if you need it during the day): If you need to take prescription medication, you might want to bring it in a clear plastic baggie for the checkpoints.
An index card with important numbers and addresses: Bring an index card with the phone numbers of the people you came with and the address of the place where you are staying. You may not be able to rely on your cellphone if your battery runs out.
A Bandana (more on this later …) In the outside chance that tear gas is used, a bandana is useful to hold over your mouth to help filter out things.
DON’T GO ALONE! (think buddy system): If you can, don’t go by yourself. Make plans to go with friends or find a group that’s marching and sign up with them. This way there will be other people looking out for you just as you’re doing for them.
Make A Safety Plan: Make plans in advance to meet up in case you are separated from your friends. Know where and when you’re going to meet your friends and the group you came with if everyone's cellphone dies.
Don’t Engage Any Counter-Protesters (if there are any): If someone starts yelling at you just because of your sign or the fact that you’re marching, do not be engaged by them. Walk away and make sure you’re with a group of people who are walking with you and keeping each other safe.
Since this is a peaceful march, there likely won’t be mace or tear gas. But just in case: Keep a bottle of water on you so you can moisten your bandana to hold over your nose and mouth to help protect your breathing.
If you wear contact lenses, the irritant can actually get between your lens and your eyes and it can be really difficult. You might consider not wearing them to the march. It is best to be prepared, though it is not expected. Don’t rinse out your eyes with water. Seek medical assistance.
For Trans Marchers: If you have identification that matches your gender identity, it would be good to have it on you or definitely enact the buddy system and make sure you have friends and family that are connected to you.
For any medical concerns: Medical personnel will be on site to assist you and will be scattered throughout the march.