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Smudge Wellness: Wellness Weekly XV - Pride Power with Das

Smudge Wellness: Wellness Weekly XV - Pride Power with Das

Jun 2, 2021

Author: Das Rios

Welcome to Wellness Weekly coming to you every Wednesday.  This will be a weekly series, sort of like a Letter from the Editors that will rotate between Morgan, Lara and Luigi with the occasional guest.  We’ll hold space on the Dirt to check-in on our Sixth Sense: the term we use to refer to our spirit, our intuition, our inner power.  And because while we exist in the world alongside our other Five Senses, we’ll do a check-in of those, too.

This week, as we enter Pride month, I’ve been reminiscing over my fondest Pride memories and what Pride means to me. Let me start with a brief intro of who “me” is. I’m Das, a 38 y.o. gay Afro-Latino that also happens to be a Scorpio! That’s a lot, trust me I know! We can talk about all that another time. 

When I think about Pride what comes to mind is warm weather, good music and most of all community. I’ve been celebrating Pride for quite a long time now, and I have so many great memories. I’ve celebrated Pride with some of my closest friends in different cities like Miami, Atlanta and New York. It’s at these Pride events where I experienced firsts, like riding a motorcycle or my first all-boys trip. There was the time I decided to go to Philly Pride at the last minute. All of my friends had driven up the day prior so I hopped on the bus from DC. Once I got to Philly, a friend picked me up from the bus stop to take me to our other friend’s home. I was so excited when I got there that I didn’t realize my wallet had fallen out of my pocket on the bus. I couldn’t go to any events! Luckily my crew was fine keeping the celebration going at our friend’s home. We partied at his house the entire weekend. Pride for me is full of memories and stories that still make me laugh or bring a smile to my face.

My fondest Pride memory though, is from Pride in DC in 2018. I remember being out at a day party celebrating Capitol Pride with friends and my dad text me the sweetest message. He said: “Your mom and I are going to the Pride parade, you know we are allies. So hit me up if you want to meet at some point for food and libations.” Reading it today still makes me all feel warm and happy. I ended up meeting up with my parents at the parade and we had the best time! It was so cool to be there with them and it’s amazing to have this memory. Sharing that moment with them felt like I was giving them an even deeper glimpse into my life. It’s a forever favorite moment.  

I am so blessed and fortunate that my family has and still does to make it a point to understand and participate in LGBTQ culture (my niece is a Drag Race fan!). While I know that is not everyone’s journey, I hope during Pride people are able to find a sense of family, safety and security. It’s a time where we get to really celebrate the culture and the history, all while making new memories. With that being said, I’ve curated a little playlist for this Pride month. It’s a mix of some new bops and some classics to play as you get ready to link with your friends for Pride festivities!  

Happy Pride!

Inspired By the 5 other Senses: Sight, Sound, Smell, Taste, and Touch

Sight: I’m currently reading Survival of The Thickest by Michelle Buteau. She is a comedian/actress that I fell in love with after seeing her perform stand up at a YouTube event in NYC. My mom actually got me her book for Christmas. It’s a funny collection of personal essays that have had me in tears! I highly recommend it and if you haven't seen her stand up on Netflix, check that out too!


Sound: I am currently listening to my Pride playlist, of course! My favorite song at the moment is Kiss Me More by Doja Cat & SZA. I’m a huge SZA fan so I am all over anything she puts out. This song screams summer and fun to me, so I am here for it!

Smell: I have a Citrus Basil soy candle from a company called Harlem Heirloom. I bought a few candles a couple of months ago and just got around to burning this one. The scent is so refreshing and clean. I am completely obsessed with it!


Taste: This week I got together with some friends and we ordered takeout from one of my favorite places in DC, a Japanese restaurant called Shibuya. The purple sticky yam is a winner!

Touch: Every week I try to practice yoga at least once. It’s such a great way to get in touch with my body and to be with my thoughts. I’ve been a bit more social lately and while it’s been fun, it has also been a bit draining. I find that Yin Yoga helps me recharge my energy especially after an active weekend. 


Looking to amplify your own power of Pride? Das suggests the following:

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