“June is busting out all over! All over the meadow and the hill!”
We’ve all seen that Leslie Uggams video in which she tries to sing that song but messes up all the words, right? It keeps getting taken down by YouTube but then put back up again by some gloriously demented cyberqueen. Wait, you haven’t seen it? And who’s Leslie Uggams, you ask?
OK, in all fairness, someone had to teach me who Leslie Uggams is. Someone had to show me that video, and someone had to explain to me that it was from the musical Carousel.
And to me, that’s a huge part of being gay.
Queer sex and genderfuckery and living a Peter Pan drunk ‘n’ druggy life well into our autumn years are all unquestionably fantastic perks. But it’s also on us to educate ourselves and each other — about things that matter.
I’m talking about both Harry Hay and Jackée Harry.
And as our ever-growing LGBTQIA* acronym continues to envelop more and more people, it’s even more on us to learn from each other. I honestly long for the day in which we all call ourselves queer and just fucking take care of each other. And by queer, yes, I certainly mean to include our allies — the straight people who just get it, who love us and support us and oh my god would totally be gay and proud of it, if only it were their thing.
I love the nerdy dudes from my improv team who are obsessed with Willam. I love overhearing a ladies brunch convo dominated by Queer Eye recaps. And I love seeing all you heteros at Pride events. That’s seriously awesome.
But now, a warning.
Here are a few Pride tips to help you navigate our twisty and glittered universe. Good luck, and don’t fuck it up.
1. This might seem obvious, but not all of us have the same taste.
This tip goes for you too, gays! I never watched Sex and the City or listened to Barbra Streisand or laughed at Lucille Ball. But I love Tales of the City, adore Madonna and can easily explain why it should have been called “I Love Vivian Vance.” If you’re confused by the gravity of this debate, maybe it’s best to just stay quiet and let the fagtastic shit hit all 12 fans, honey.
2. Please refrain from screaming things you’ve heard on Drag Race.
Blaring “yassss queen” or “you betta work” or even “Miss Vanjie!” makes you look like your dad exclaiming “cowabunga” at a college graduation party. I mean, if you are totally wrapped up in the throes of Stacey Q, drunk on cherry lemon Bud Light slushie pops, proud of how far you’ve come as a woke-ass breeder and the tiniest little queen inside you needs to shriek “purse first!” — let it out, bitch! Otherwise, don’t force it.
3. Don’t flirt with us unless you mean it.
You can support and love and kiss and buy us drinks and all that great stuff without leading us on. If you wanna fool around, sweet. But don’t tease. You hate it when it happens to you. On the other hand, dude, we also do not need to constantly hear about your girlfriend and how not into homo sex you are. We get it. Let’s just be people.
4. Don’t be scared of us or of yourself in this setting.
This might be the first time you’ve been a minority in a large group, and that can be terrifying. You will probably say the wrong thing, and that’s cool. So will everyone else at the party. We’re all trying to figure this out together. We’re all in this together, and we’re all more alike than we are different.