Bi Essentials for Your First Pride Parade


Get out your rainbow suspenders and feather boas, IT IS PRIDE, B’s! Whether you’re marching, frolicking, floating, trolleying, or cheering from the sidelines, annual Pride parades allow queer folks to be O-U-T. I’ve attended as both a participant and a spectator, so gather ‘round because I’m going to let you know about a few essentials you’ll want on hand.

Let’s get the basics out of the way, shall we?


First of all, you need to plan your OUTFIT.
Bring as much blue, pink, and purple as you can. There’s a bunch of links for bi gear in my Ways To Be Visible For Bi Visibility Day (September 23 mark your calendars!) but with our bi pride flag colors of purple, blue, and pink, you just might have what you need already in your closet. It’s usually pretty warm but you could still go with blue jeans, drape yourself in a purple scarf, put on a pink bow tie. If you’re wondering about suspenders, the answer is ALWAYS YES. Wrap up in a bi and/or trans pride flag, paint your face in happy rainbows, wear your purple shoes. WHICH REMINDS ME…


I mean take this, or leave it, but me personally, I’m going to find rainbow sneaks that I will not regret three hours in, and leave the high heels to the experts. NATURAL SEGUE TO…


Pride Rainbow Inspired 2017 – Alva Velasco
Bisexual Pride Makeup for PRIDE Month! – Dustin Hunter
Bi Pride Eyeshadow Tutorial – Beautybot

Of course, there’s no dress code. It’s ok to show up exactly as you are right now. I mean that’s part of the whole point of this, right? Probably cover up your bits, but you don’t need to hunt down rainbow wings with a nine foot span to get in the door. Especially if you want to take the train, wings that size could get caught on boarding and you know those conductors don’t mess around. PS: Fanny packs are back, so take advantage.


Bring your shade, honey. Apply that zinc oxide. Put it in your fanny pack so you can reapply it later. Put on some sunglasses; I know you have a cute pair. Maybe an umbrella would look good with that outfit, I don’t know, just consider it. And I’m not trying to mother you but I’d love it if you wore a hat with a brim.


And by that I mean water / sports drink / something with electrolytes. Lots of people get lots of wasted on Pride. Stay hydrated! You never know where you’ll get stuck in a crowd along the way. Bring some water. Remember to drink it. I’m serious, put an hourly reminder in your phone right now: “SB hopes you’re having fun and also DRINK YOUR WATER.”


Pride can be a good time to connect. Make room in that fanny pack for your contraception of choice. Also, sometimes the parade barriers make it hard to find your friends. Get a plan together for where you’re meeting, when, the best route to get there, and what you’ll do if you’re separated. Keep in mind that sometimes cell lines can get overwhelmed. If you bring a hat with a brim you can wave it above the crowd like a fashionable smoke signal, I’m just saying…


Biphobia is bullshit and part and parcel with a lot of LGBT events. It doesn’t happen every time, but I’ve heard (and experienced) it enough to have a little bit of my heart braced for it. Not even big name bi’s are exempt. Here’s R.J. Aguiar of The Not Adam talking about an experience with biphobia at LA Pride. So remember this: YOU ARE QUEER ENOUGH. You don’t have to defend your right to be a part of the community bi folks helped built. You belong.


Some bi folks prefer to celebrate pride in other ways. (If that’s you, stick around, I’m crafting a special essentials list for celebrating pride from home.) But especially since it’s your first pride, or first pride in a while, try to plan to meet up with some bi folks you already know. Or have your best ally on hand, your SBFF (straight best friend forever), your sweethearts, someone you trust. But if all your bi friends means you, and all your friends of bi’s means you, then rock the hell out of pride for all of us.


So here’s the thing. Being bi is fucking beautiful. And so are you. Have fun at pride you gorgeous B. You deserve to be celebrated, exactly as you are.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with Pride for future pieces here at bidotorg. Feel free to reach out @sbswrites on twitter or [email protected].

SB Swartz
S.B. Swartz is an author covering inclusive wellness, queer family, and entertainment. As a contributing writer for, S.B. created the Step Bi Step series for bi parents and originated the This Bi Life series showcasing bi community stories. S.B. has had interviews and essays published at Shondaland, The Establishment, Bust, Ravishly, and more.

Find S.B. Swartz @sbswrites on Twitter, @sbs_writes on Instagram, and read more of her latest at