rainbow, not painbows

The 10 Absolute DOs and DONTs of the 2010 Pride Season

Pride is back!!!11!@$**()!!!!!, bitches. And while everyone should enjoy celebrating queerness with our LGBT BFFs, some us inadvertently act like ain’t-got-no-sense bitches. Remember, a bunch of courageous transsexuals died for our right to dance drunkenly in angel wings and rainbow-colored Speedos. So by all means, rock out with your cock out (or jam out with your clam out), but while you’re at it here’s 10 helpful suggestions so you can take pride in your pride without pissing on someone else’s parade.

DON’T attack protesters or cops

We understand how much you hate the Fred Phelps clan—we do too. But even if you find someone like J.J. Richardson screaming about how you’re gonna go to hell for raping kids and what not, don’t hit ’em. It’ll only put you in legal trouble and help substantiate those oft-repeated claims of homosexual intimidation. If you want to waste your time, argue with them or surround them with large men and woman to see how well they work an audience.

And that goes double for harassing cops. Yeah, some bad apples may entrap gay men, call us faggots, raid our favorite bars, but as long as the officers at your local Pride function are helping out, pick that fight by filing a report any other day.

DO queen out or wear something slutty

Pride is like gay Halloween (well, not counting the actual Halloween), so be bold by letting your freak flag fly loud and proud.

Maybe you don’t feel comfortable wearing your paisley tights, mesh top, platform space boots, or latex hot pants on casual Fridays, but there’s no sense on hiding how you feel on the inside on the one day where you’re encouraged to show it on the outside.

Who knows? You could end up starting a fashion trend—assless rainbow fishnet chaps could be the new black.

DON’T shit or screw in public

Some of you may disagree with this one (especially since both acts fly in the face of the white, capitalist heteronormative, patriarchal paradigm blah freakin’ blah), but really… don’t.

For one, public defecation and sex are both very against the law—yes, even on holidays. For two, they’re exactly the sorts of behaviors that scandalized bigots like to cite when demonizing our celebrations.

And lastly, if you simply must have blowjob or scat play at once, do it in a gay bar restroom where at least the patrons MIGHT mind less. Don’t do it in front of the middle-school children at the parade; some of those young souls still like iCarly and dinosaurs.

DO spontaneously join the parade!

While you shouldn’t get run over by a go-go float or accidentally knock over anyone on stilts, go ahead and join the march if the spirit takes you, especially if folks are throwing out prizes or a float of fine motherfuckers passes by.

Some paraders will certainly appreciate your enthusiasm; but choose your moment wisely. The Leather Dykes of Eternal Pain may not take kindly should your twink ass decide to interrupt their march. The Universal Unitarian Queers on the other hand will probably just say “God bless you,” even if you’re wasted with your wiener hanging out.

DON’T deliver a drunken diatribe on LGBT rights

Yeah, we get it. Pride commemorates the Stonewall riots and reminds us that we still have a long way to go towards full equality. But unless it comes up in conversation or someone expresses interest, please keep the long-winded self-righteous LGBT rights diatribe to yourself, especially if you’ve been drinking.

Drunks seem to love explaining complex emotional and social issues while completely smashed. But Pride is a day of celebration (not consternation) and we’re all members of the choir, Mary.

If you’ve had more than two vodka Red Bulls definitely stay away from any press cameras looking to capture thoughts of the LGBT community. In fact, stay away from your friend’s Flip cam, too. YouTube is the devil.

Your inane drivel about “teh chillenges phazing our connumity today” could help set the gay rights movement back 50 years. Or at least five minutes.

DO hit on someone cute (but watch your wallet)

Do you see a cute guy or gal standing on the other side of the street or bar? Awesome! Go introduce yourself, compliment them, and strike up a conversation. If you’re feeling lucky, maybe angle for their phone number or a kiss. Yes, you… do it.

Lots of fine LGBTs go out on Pride hoping to meet someone cool for a quick snog or relationship. Pride is all about being yourself, so if you’re confident (rather than needy), step up and give it your best. You may get shot down, but it’s just a party and there’s bound to be another cutie just around the bend.

A warning though: A few friends have had their wallets lifted by Grabby Gretchins on the dancefloor, so watch the hands or keep the cash tucked away in your crotch—it can only help your chances.

DON’T text endlessly at the bar

You are surrounded by real people, God dammit. So unless you’re trying to meet a friend, unplug from The Matrix and put the cell phone away, gurl. Your Grindr hook ups will still be hooking tomorrow and your analog pals will appreciate your offline company. Even if you find yourself alone, don’t hide in the corner, lit only by your BlackBerry screen. Engage a stranger.

DO invite your family

Pride parades have been called “the queer equivalent of Mardi Gras” and as such they’re not always the best places to form a first impression about LGBT people.

But if your family already knows about you, a Pride parade can be a glorious introduction to our diverse queer family and a great way to foster familial support. Not only will it stimulate conversation but it will also give them a quick introduction to many different types and issues within our community.

After all, trying to explain an HIV-positive leatherdom musclebear is nowhere near as effective as actually seeing one.

DON’T take drinks from random people

You might be flattered that the gentleman in the harness at the end of the bar bought you a Zombie, but he may be trying to turn you into one by slipping you a roofie.

It’s better to buy your own, to keep a close watch on yours, and to only accept a drink if you see a bartender pour it fresh. It’s also good to stay sober enough to get home on your own. If possible, bring a friend and leave with them. Or if you decide to hook up, give someone reliable contact info for your trick.

We’re pretty sure Jeffrey Dahmer attended Pride. Just sayin’.

DO try something that doesn’t involve booze or the parade

The Pride parade and bar specials are usually just the iceberg tip of the month-long celebration. Grab your local LGBT rag and scope out what other community events await.

You could end up discovering a Jell-o wrestling party, a reading from an excellent LGBT author, a panel on queer media, or a backyard barbecue in some neighborhood you’ve never visited.

Better yet, a lot of these events might be free and a much better way to meet people rather than screaming over the Lady Gaga rainbow remix during a 2-for-1 drink rush.

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