Pride is the time to scream “YES!” at the top of our lungs. It’s a time to explore safely, make new friends, and have new adventures, all the while celebrating who we are in a public setting.
Pride can be a joyous, validating, and uplifting experience, but in order for us all to have fun, there are some things you should steer clear from doing. Not to be a Debbie Downer, but Pride can’t just be a free for all. Here are 6 bigs no-no’s for when you're celebrating at Pride.
1. DON'T touch without asking/consent
There are going to hundreds of half-naked (or maybe even completely naked men) romping around at Pride. Their abs and arms will be exposed, and their ass cheeks will be hanging out. They are there to look at, and you can look at them as much as you so chose, but just because someone's butt if fully-exposed doesn’t give you an automatic right to grab it. Just because his arms are the size of footballs, doesn’t mean you can squeeze them without asking. Finally, yes, I know, his abs are like a washboard, but that still doesn't give you the right to lick it without speaking to him first. Odds are, he’ll be happy to let you touch, but you need to get consent before doing anything remotely physical.
2. DON'T pressure someone to drink
Even though you’re drinking, it doesn't mean everyone else has to. Pride doesn't mean we regress to high school juniors. Peer pressure wasn’t cool then, and it’s even less cool now. He/she/they are adults, and can make decisions for themselves.
3. DON'T judge people
Gay men (I’m generalizing, obviously this isn’t all of us) love judging others, reading others to filth, and throwing shade all over the place. Reading is a staple in queer culture, but for one day, can we please close the library!? Can we take the day off from being judgmental? Can we let the beefy steroid hunks walk around naked without calling them attention whores? Can we not slut-shame the cruiser looking for a little action? Can we just enjoy and celebrate how far LGBTQ+ rights have come in the past 50 years, and the fact that we’re allowed to marry whomever we choose? Let's face it — being shady all the time is exhausting. So let's take a day off from it.
4. DON'T assume someone's gender
There will, undoubtedly, be a lot of genderqueer individuals at Pride. This is f*cking fabulous. Pride is a space for all members of the LGBTQ+ community. If you ever have any doubt about someone’s gender, just ask which pronouns they prefer. Or, if you don’t know, you can always play it safe by using “they.”
5. DON'T glitter bomb strangers
Glitter is great. Glitter is gay. I only fart glitter (as I'm sure is the same for you.) But for the love of god, don’t glitter bomb me without asking. I hate having glitter all over me. It gets in my mouth, caught in my chest hair. Please, just ask.
6. DON'T forget that other genders and sexualities exist
Pride is not an exclusive space for white, cis, gay men. It’s an inclusive space for all races, genders, and sexualities. This means that there will be different-gender relationships. You may see a man kissing a woman in a street, but that doesn’t mean they’re straight. They could be bisexual and queer as f*ck. You may also see some more elaborate kinks/fetishes. It’s also their time to be out and proud about who and what they like. Just remember, Pride is a safe space for everyone.
If you do remember these things, we’re all guaranteed to have an awesome #PrideMonth!