Regardless of your sexuality, the Pride parade is a time to toast to being you. A colorful celebration decorated with personality, passion, and countless booty-short-wearing twerkers, Halsted Street truly comes alive with the community's support and their shirtless men!
As a native of Chicago, I've been going to the Pride [arade for several years now. I must say that each and every year, I've had over-the-top fun and positive experiences. I attribute all of this to the company I keep during Pride. And over the years, I've encountered many different types of company, most of whom are vivacious and keep the party going. But there are some unavoidables who could potentially have you in a few altered states at a crazed sex party with an impending police raid, though I realize for some the first part sounds like just another weekend.
So this Pride, break open the champagne, because regardless of what has happened, it is still a celebration for at least our future successes and tenacity as a community, and above all, have a happy, fun Pride.
The Proud Mother
I absolutely love these moms! They're here, they're proud, and they're probably marching with their hot sons and daughters. Think of the proud mom as that nurturing chaperone who attended your childhood field trip. She's full of smiles, comes with a purse full of treats, and takes you under her motherly wing. During Pride this year, be sure to make friends with these proud mommas, as they'll more than likely introduce you to their hot, single son or daughter. Even better, proud mothers usually have higher credit card limits and cash to burn, and they'll be happy to let you in on that bar tab. Thanks, Mom!
Now, I've never been one to judge anyone's lifestyle choices, nor have I been one to advocate drug use, but damn. The Druggie takes drug use to a whole new level that would even have Charlie Sheen saying, "Slow the hell down." Well out of their experimental phase, the Druggies are arguably verging on addiction, with Pride merely being just another rave. No need to buy these people rounds of drinks, since they a slightly different, non-liquid cocktail that includes uppers and downers. They can be super-fun to dance with on the dance floor, since they are high-energy for terribly obvious reasons and only require water to live sometimes. By no means and under no circumstances are you to go to any parties they suggest or invite you to; shit gets real and weird after dark with these folks. But if you're feeling adventurous this Pride year and do decide to attend a party with the Druggie, be sure your hoe kit includes water bottles, baby wipes, and bail money, just in case.
Adorned in booty shorts, flip-flops, and tank tops two sizes too small, Twerkers have the agile ability to drink water, hold conversations, hell, even pay their tab, all while upside down, seeing that their usual mode of stance is pussy popping on a headstand. Twerkers can be very fun during Pride. Take one for a dance or spin if you're feeling festive! However, don't be alarmed or get mad when he starts pussy popping on a headstand on your proud mother, your man, or the nearest vertical surface in your viewing range. You've been warned. Getting mad or calling out a Twerker for pussy popping is like calling out the Druggie for popping some Molly. You gotta let some stuff slide, my friend. This Pride, slip that anxious little pussy popper a dollar, snap a picture for funny memories, and keep it moving.
The Concierge, also known as your local Pride party host with the most, is my personal favorite. For them, Pride isn't just another celebration; it's an annual holiday. It's a lifestyle. It's the rainbow climax of what they've been working towards all year. Think of them as the straight brother-in-laws of the Super Bowl, but only it's Pride, and they smell better and have friends who make quesh. If you're lucky enough to score an invite to one of their parties or, let's face it, stumble into one of their backyards during Pride, expect nothing less than the five-star, luxe treatment. And I'm not talking your everyday burgers and hotdogs, which of course they have -- duh! If you want a veggie sub with light mayo, pesto and romaine lettuce, not iceberg lettuce (there's a difference), they have it! If you prefer ice shavings to cubed ice in your cocktail, there's an ice sculpture of Brent Corrigan ready for the shaving (no pun intended). If you want to hear your one favorite song by Aubrey O'Day, one of Pride's headlining music artists, she's probably coming over to perform it live, seeing that she's yacht club friends with the party's host. I'm sure you get the point by now. If you're not direct friends with the Concierge, it always looks good to bring something. I suggest champagne, since it is a celebration. Don't you dare think about bringing Svedka; your invite for next year's Pride party will mysteriously get lost in the mail. For an added bonus, it doesn't hurt to help clean up a bit and keep things tidy. I mean, Market Days is just around the corner!
Ah, the Historians, the keepers of knowledge, the human time capsules of our community, the narrators of our past, the people who won't shut the hell up about Stonewall when the DJ is blasting my song! Yes, I know you probably marched in the first Pride parade ever. Yes, I realize you probably stitched the first-ever rainbow flag and even picked out the colors, but Pride Fest, the parade, or the club are not times to dole out history lessons. Put these yawn fests in a classroom or a lecture hall; hell, even make them a part of the Pride Fest, with their own booth that I can avoid. Just be sure to stay an arm's length away from them on the dance floor or when cocktails and fun are involved. If you find yourself cornered into a conversation with the Historian, thank them for their early involvement in the LGBT movement, praise Harvey Milk, and send them on their way to the Gerber Hart Library in Edgewater, where their historical rants are more welcomed -- yawn.
The Suspiciously Straight Guy
I use the term "Suspiciously Straight Guy" not because he supports and loves his gay friends and attends the Pride parade (I mean, who wouldn't?), but because after several beers and "you're my bros" later, his girlfriend is sitting in the corner with a boo-boo face as his hands get lower and lower below your waist. He likes to describe himself as liberal, open, and adventurous -- yeah, I'm sure. Rather, he's in the closet or experimenting, and you don't want to get caught in a love triangle during Pride. Now is not the time to try out your Straight Bus fantasies. Depending on the girlfriend or in some sad cases the wife, you might get snatched or cut. Merely enjoy the rounds of drinks he puts on his tab, talk up some of your favorite Wrigleyville bars (ew), and leave before he shows you how adventurous he can be with your package.
The Fun Straight Girl
Fun Straight Girls are to the Pride parade what Lollapalooza is to hipsters. You simply can't have one without the other. Just like the Proud Mother, these girls also come with their hot gay counterparts. They will literally dance to every single song the DJ plays as if it was their first time hearing it and will gladly put on a show just for you and her boys. They're fun, full of life, and can make the perfect wing man.
The 'You're Going to Hell'
We've all had unfortunate run-ins with these religious fanatics. You swear these idiots -- armed with a Bible, holy water, and a rosary -- were extras in the next teen vampire flick. I'm all for free speech, but the "You're Going to Hell" spits venom and hate. Oh, you mad, gurl? Don't try to debate or even engage with these backwards bozos. Every reply will be "you're going to Hell." I'm gay and in love, though. "You're going to Hell." I'm born gay and had no decision in the matter. "You're still going to Hell." I'm not even gay or a part of the parade or Pride Fest; I'm just passing through to go to Whole Foods. "Yup, you're still going to Hell!" Don't get mad; get even. That booty-short-wearing Twerker you saw dancing on a light pole earlier? Well, now would be a good time to enlist his talents. Put a $20 in his jock strap and have him pussy pop on that little fundamentalist. Make it rain on both of them for added embarrassment. Don't feel bad. They'll both be in line for Steamworks by the end of the night.