While I know Pride Season has already technically begun, I usually don’t think it starts until DC Black Pride Weekend. Granted I might have a bias for the weekend because I’m all too familiar with the area and typical events. But, this particular pride occasion also coincides with usually warm weather and Memorial Day Weekend, so it brings all sorts of people from the LGBT spectrum out. If you’ve never been, allow me to tell you that the few days can be quite eventful.
However, the weekend can be the wrong kind of eventful under the wrong circumstances. As with all things, this particular weekend has its share of horror stories. You can probably find past participants that will claim to have been in a fight, hooked up with the wrong guy, got too drunk, lost a wallet, lost a man, and as well as been a part of a plethora of other issues.
And having myself fallen into one of the above categories, I’ve decided to give some words of advice to encourage any of you attending DC Black Pride (and really any pride this summer) to be better. Keep reading as I go over five tips to help you save money, time, and aggravation as you go out and celebrate you for being you.
5. Actually Try to Get to the Club Sooner Rather than Later
As much of a faux pas as it is to get to the club or day party early, you’ll want to forget about being fashionably late to pride events; especially, if it’s a party that everyone knows will be the go-to function. Not only will you save yourself $20-$40 of additional charges from getting to a party later, but you’ll also avoid the risk of not getting into the venue. With DC Black Pride especially, several events typically fill up to capacity fast, and you’d hate to spend your weekend looking from the outside into a spot that’s clearly the place to be.
4. Pregame Responsibly as an Adult (21+)
The keyword here is responsibly. I’ll preface this point by saying I’m not condoning drinking and driving. So if you don’t have a designated driver in your group of friends, or no one has Uber or Lyft cued up, then you’ll want to skip this tip.
But for those with a safe driving plan, make sure you pregame. You can save yourself quite a bit of money. Let me paint a picture.
A 750ml bottle of Cîroc Peach Vodka costs roughly $34.00. From that one bottle, you can make several drinks (a little more of course if you aren’t drinking straight but mixing with a chaser). However, if you go to day parties and/or clubs, you’ll probably spend $10-$12 per drink, and that’s a generous estimate. And if you’re one of those individuals that keeps spending on drinks the more the liquor hits you, you’ll spend quite a bit. So you don’t want your “lituation” beginning at the venue.
Now while there are benefits of pregaming, allow me to again issue a warning about drinking and driving. DON’T DO IT. Also, don’t get so drunk that you find yourself drunk in public, intoxicated beyond function, or a danger to yourself or others. That would be a recipe for an embarrassing and possibly and legally compromising weekend.
3. Always Be Prepared for the “Next Event”
Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate a bag in the car if going out and there is a designated driver. Sometimes things come up during Pride Weekend that call for an outfit change or freshening up. For example, if you’re at a day party in white and someone spills a drink on you, it would be nice to have something to change into so you don’t spend your time miserable in stained clothing.
Or, you may want a change of clothes and some items to freshen up with if you find yourself in a club ready to go home with someone. Most people want to present their best in those circumstances, and not be a sweaty mess.
2. Remember the Friends You’re Hanging Out With
If you’re planning on celebrating pride with friends, it’s important you know your friends. And what I mean here, is if you know one of your friends typically is ready to fight if he drinks brown liquor, make sure he doesn’t have any. If you have one friend who always drinks too much and runs off, do your best to prevent him from doing that without you having to play babysitter all night. If you have a friend that likes drunk texting the wrong people and gets emotional from the recipients’ responses, take his phone for the night.
The point is, you want to take some precautions to limit any trouble your friends could get into that would ruin your night.
1. Practice Safe Sex
If you don’t take to heart anything else on this list, take this point to heart. BE SAFE. Whether it’s PrEP, condoms, or both, take the necessary safety precautions to protect your health. You’re worth it.
And if you plan on engaging in certain “activities”, make sure you have the right tools and equipment to properly clean yourself. You don’t want to be in a situation where “artistic” things can happen. (By the way, tops should freshen up too.)