Homos may only make up 10% of the population, but they’re the 10% who knows how to party. There are really few celebrations quite as fantastical. Get excited and embrace your personal opportunity to let loose, be proud, and unabashedly go crazy. Here are a few tips for making the most out of your 2011 Pride experience.
1. THE Gay Pride march
The gays take this parade very seriously. Once upon a time, I was nearly trampled by a mob of drag queens all dressed like Cher as they pushed through the crowd to the edge of Fifth Avenue.
A 1960s Cher quickly apologized, “Oh honey—I’m sorry. You know we just want to see those dykes on bikes up close!” I ended up smiling and nodding in return. If I’ve learned one thing in my short gay life it’s this: never argue with a drag queen.
The 2011 NYC Pride March will kick-off Sunday, June 26th at 12 Noon at 36th Street and Fifth Avenue, ending in the West Village. It originally began in 1970 as an annual civil rights demonstration (following the Stonewall Riots) and it has since grown into a universal (drunken) celebration of our lives and community.
Interested in marching? Contact a local chapter of your preferred organization, like Human Rights Campaign (HRC) or Marriage Equality USA, and get to volunteering!
2. Dress to impress
When celebrating the GLBT community, there’s no room for convention. During Pride, the only thing that needs to stay in the closet is your pair of Sperry Top-Siders or that gingham dress you bought at J. Crew last Easter.
Rule #1: LOOK GOOD.
Whether or not you’re on the prowl for a new ladylove, the possibility of running into someone you know (think two exes ago) is astronomically high. Whatever you adorn your body with, make sure you feel comfortable and look self-assured.
Rule #2: LESS IS MORE.
Gay Pride is a great opportunity to wear next to nothing in public. Whether it’s a pair of your grandma’s hot pants form the ‘70s or a strapless romper from Urban Outfitters, anything’s fair game (and you will fit in). When trying to decide how to dress, just think clothes that prevent tan lines.
Rule #3: ACCESSORIZE WITH GLITTER.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to make our bodies shimmer! I suggest stopping by the nearest Sephora and purchasing Tarina Tarantino’s Sparklicity Shimmer Dust ($39). This magic potion will gently sprinkle glitter over your hair and body until you closely resemble a Disney princess. Allergic to glitter? I suggest doubling up on the rainbow accoutrements.
3. Meeting fellow homos
Connecting with the opposite sex isn’t much different than connecting with members of the same. Everyone has their own special way of approaching someone they find eye-catching and homos are no different. First things first, it’s nice to have a signature.
Maybe you always carry a lighter around even though you don’t smoke, so that you’re ready to assist someone cute who’s fumbling with a light. Maybe you wear really cool hats. It sounds silly, but you have no idea how many lesbians I’ve seen pick up ladies just because they’re wearing a fedora or some sort of headpiece girls couldn’t keep their hands off. Either way, a signature is nothing if poorly executed. There’s no place for timidity at gay pride. Be confident!
When in doubt, offer someone a drink or bite to eat. A few years ago at a pride party on the Lower East Side (Mason Dixon, now unfortunately closed), I met someone because she offered me her French fries. We hit it off and shortly after, she agreed to hold my purse while I participated in the mechanical bull riding contest. Unfortunately, I fell off the bull after ten seconds, but we’ve been friends ever since.
4. Create an itinerary
Here are some NYC events that rate at the top of my list:
NYC Pride & Rafferty/ Mazure Events are pleased to bring you the official VIP Rooftop Party, renowned DJ’s Dan De Leon and Tracy Young will be spinning all day at the amazing Hudson Terrace, and don’t worry about rain! The roof has a retractable glass ceiling in case of inclement weather.
Tickets are $40 in advance, $50 at the door
Saturday, June 25th from 2:00-8:00 PM
Obviously you’re going to check out PrideFest. It’s the annual LGBT street fair on Hudson Street. There will be community leaders, local vendors, and rainbows galore! Bring your friends or bring your mom—this is the perfect daytime event for most everyone. Sarah Palin supporters not welcome.
Sunday, June 26th, 11-7PM
5. Pride does not come but once a year
Maybe you’re already there, or maybe you want to keep the party going. Here are a few of this biggest Pride celebrations in the world:
Pride London has come a long way since March 2004, now attracting over one million people in a celebration of diversity and spirit.
The festival lasts June 24th through July 3rd. Catch the parade forming up in Portland Place July 2nd and follow it all the way to Trafalgar Square for a main stage concert including DJs, dance acts, comedy, and music. After the parade, make friends and hang in Soho for the biggest street party to hit the UK all year.
Gay Pride Amsterdam is globally renowned. While it’s only a weekend celebration—August 5-7—the city really comes alive with round-the-clock street parties, concerts, and sports tournaments.
Have you ever seen a parade float that actually floated? On water? On August 6th, the Canal Pride Parade will famously feature up to 100 spectacularly decorated barges all floating downstream through the city’s canals.
Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro Brazil Gay Pride Parade (after New Year’s and Carnival) is the most important event on the city’s calendar. October is the month of LGBT pride, and as it turns out, Brazilians really know how to honor their homos.
The march will be held October 9 along Copacabana Beach, and even though it doesn’t start until 1:00 PM, the streets warm-up hours before with DJs and drag queens traipsing about in Carnival-like costumes.
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