If you are a opposite-gender lover you may not know this is Gay Pride Weekend in New York. You should come join the party! But first, here are a few things you need to know before joining the fun.

If Halloween is Gay Christmas and the Oscars is the Gay Super Bowl, then Pride is Gay Fourth of July. There are picnics and fireworks and lots of drinking and it's all about freedom! Pride isn't really one single occurrence. Much like Mardi Gras in New Orleans, it is a collection of parades, rallies, parties, private events, functions, fundraisers, and bead throwing. So, one doesn't so much "go to Pride" as one "does Pride." Every gay observes it differently, but it really is the one time of the year when all the leather daddies, bull dykes, twinks, alternaqueers, trannies, drag queens, femmes, circuit boys, bois (who are actually girls), and all the other wonderful gay archetypes rub elbows in a giant celebration of living somewhere over the rainbow.

While the day is all about being gayer than Liza Minnelli singing "Single Ladies" in a Sex and the City movie, we love it when our straight allies come out and lend their support. If you want to join in, here are some handy tips to keep in mind.

  • The first Gay Pride parade was really a march through the streets of New York to protest the unfair treatment of gay men by police at the Stonewall Inn in 1969. We now mark the infamous Stonewall Riots every June with a parade through town. It is no longer very political. It's mostly about corporations telling us that they're "down with the gays" and an excuse for gay people party. Don't judge us.
  • In New York, the major event is the Gay Pride March, which goes down Fifth Avenue in Midtown before snaking through Greenwich village before stopping at Christopher Street, where the Stonewall Riots took place. The people who go to the parade are out-of-towners, the very young, the very old, every lesbian who lives in the suburbs, and straight people. Please go, you'll fit right in.
  • OK, the real main event for the boys is the Dance on the Pier, a giant outdoors dance party on the Hudson River. There's usually a surprise performer who comes out and does a number at the end of the party. If you want to send any gay into a tizzy between now and Sunday, tell them you heard Lady Gaga is going to be at the Pier Dance.
  • Seriously, every gay bar is going to be packed all weekend, so if you want a festive good time, just go to your neighborhood homo watering hole. Just watch out though, because you may walk yourself square into a theme party and not have anything to wear!
  • While watching the parade, every float will basically be either a gay group (charitable, social, activist, religious, or otherwise) or a a bunch of men wearing little clothing and lots of body glitter. No matter which of the two these are, they will be dancing to one of the same three dance remixes—probably Gaga. Once you've heard "Bad Romance" for the fiftieth time, feel free to take revenge by using the little "Gaga at the Pier Dance" trick we just taught you.
  • If you're going to come to an event, even the parade, you need to work a look. Straight girls, you better not leave the house looking all half-assed, because there will be a ton of semi-drunk professional stylists walking around and they will want to read you (and if you don't know what reading is, please Netflix Paris Is Burning before going to Pride). Do your makeup, shave your legs, paint your toes, and then dress! But not too much, you don't need anyone thinking you're a drag queen. Boys, you'll be fine, as long as you're hot. And if you are, you should take your shirt off. If being an objectified piece of beef is the one thing you do for your gay neighbors all year, that is enough. And if you really want to drive them wild, wear a harness.
  • And that goes in reverse. Never, ever, ever, ever tell a drag queen that you can do hair and makeup better than she can, even if she is wearing a ratty wig and some globby pancake makeup over two days of beard. You probably have better makeup skills, but they are way more vicious, and they will make you cry. Even at Pride.
  • Yes, we know all the lesbians look like Justin Bieber. Stop telling us.
  • The first places where gay people could freely congregate were bars and still, to this day, most Pride celebrations are bar centric. Just because we want to hang out at a place that is overly decorated with rainbow banners and has hot shirtless straight boys slinging drinks doesn't mean that we're a bunch of drunks. Don't judge us.
  • Girls, we love having you in gay bars, even when it is super crowded and we're trying to get laid. Just one rule. No shrieking! This is Gay Pride, not a bachelorette party. And nothing makes a gay's testicles retract back into their body like drunk girls screaming.
  • Also, ladies, don't show your support by making out with another straight girl. This isn't a frat party. However, if a dyke on a bike calls you her bitch and tries to jam her tongue down your throat, you'd better let her.
  • Straight guys, if you want to make out with another dude, especially for the first time, this is completely acceptable—especially if you're hot.
  • Oh, guys. If you see anyone that you want to remotely have sex with, it's either a fag hag or a drag queen. They will both flirt back with you, just make sure you know which is which, because one has a "surprise."
  • For the last time, they are not "assless chaps." All chaps are inherently assless, so saying "assless chaps" is as redundant as saying "fingerless mittens." If you see some guy with a pasty, hairy, tush waddling around in a pair, just say "Ew!" and point. That's what the gays do.
  • Lots of lesbians have children, whether from adoption, sperm donors, or previous relationships. Do not mess with the lesbians' children. If you think regular Park Slope mothers are vicious when it comes to their kids, you don't even want to find out what happens when you get between a lesbian and her cubs. Also, gay men treat their little dogs like children, so be careful of them too. Yes, it's stupid, but it's our only choice. Don't judge us.
  • If you go to any sort of Gay Pride dance party and someone puts a bottle under your nose, do not inhale. These are poppers and they are a secret gay elixir. We don't want straight people knowing how good they are, so please don't try them. The last thing we need is a shortage of Rush thanks to you guys!
  • We know you want to show your support, but no rainbows. Not on hats, pins, necklaces, leis, or boas. They're good enough for flags and decorations, but actually adorning one's body with a rainbow is just tacky. Trust us.
  • The soundtrack for the day is stereotypical gay jams: Madonna, Indigo Girls, house anthems, Melissa Etheridge, Katy Perry, Beyoncé. Steel yourself.
  • Remember, this day is all about the gays. It's like you're a Red Sox fan at Yankee Stadium. You need to just go along with what's happening. Even if you don't like it or get uncomfortable, take a deep breath and try to fit in. Every other day of the year is Straight Pride Day, and today, you play by our rules.
  • Feel free to stare. That's what Pride is all about. And if we were ashamed, we wouldn't be out in public like this in the first place!

[Image via Getty]