4 min

The ethical partier

The ins & outs of acceptable Pride behaviour

Credit: Mia Hansen

– a hurricane of pleasure, a typhoon of decisions, an earthquake of moral
dilemmas. How to manage it all? Here’s advice from the only kind of expert who
can pin the problems down – a jaded one.


Question: Every year my best friend’s Pride outfit gets more and more out of
control. He spends months putting it together and he always thinks it makes him
look wild and sexy. Perhaps if he was 15 years younger and 30 pounds lighter he
could pull it off, but he’s not and the results are just scary. I can’t bear to
spend another Pride Day watching him frighten all the children and straight
people. How can I avoid this embarrassment?

Answer: If it makes you feel any better, know that on Pride Day there will be
many other people who will also be feeling embarrassed for you.

When it comes to Pride outfits, the line between being outrageously wild and
freakishly disturbing is a thin one indeed. Every year countless people cross
it and sadly most are unaware that it even exists. Having said this, however, I
must also point out that I’ve always considered frightening straight people and
their offspring well in keeping with the spirit of Pride. Your friend’s fashion
transgressions may therefore be excused on the grounds that they forward the
cause. If you don’t have the stomach for this type of exhibitionistic activism,
I suggest you select a discreet moment to lose yourself in the khaki-clad
masses where you will no doubt feel more at home.


Question: My boyfriend and I have an “agreement” that on Pride Day, and only on
Pride Day, we’re free to have sex with other guys. The rest of the year we are
completely monogamous. Last year when he suggested that we try this I was a bit
hesitant, but I ended up having the best Pride ever. When he found out exactly
how many guys I did, he swore that he would top me this year. Now I’m feeling a
bit jealous and insecure of what he may get up to. How should I deal with this?

Answer: In this situation, the only way to overcome jealousy and insecurity is
to make certain you have sex with more hot guys than your partner. This means
getting an early start to the day and skipping both brunch and the parade if

Some people may consider this type of rivalry unhealthy, perhaps indicating
that you’re not ready to be non-monotonous… oops, I mean non-monogamous.
Nonsense. Competition with your partner is one of the best ways to keep things
lively. Besides, most people in long-term relationships are more than ready to
be non-monogamous; it’s just that there are very few who are actually any good
at it. If you feel this is the problem – that you need more practice but at a
slower pace – then maybe you and your partner should pick a different day on
which to experiment with an open relationship, one when there aren’t thousands
of available men littering the street. Earth Day, perhaps?


Question: I really want to march with the nudists in this year’s Pride Parade
but the problem is that when I’m soft my penis looks really small and I’m kind
of shy about it. I don’t mind going naked on the beach or at private
gatherings, but the thought of doing it in front of thousands of people is a
bit intimidating. Is there some way I can get over this?

Answer: My first instinct is to tell you to forget about the naked people and
find yourself a nice group of masochists to tag along with, but on second
thought that may not be necessary.

I’ll let you in on something I’ve observed that may be of encouragement: The
nudist contingent in the Pride Parade possesses the uncanny ability to make
those groups marching in front and behind them appear infinitely more exciting
than they actually are. Year after year as these dozen or so naked men scoot
past spectators with every last bit of themselves flopping about, necks
magically crane to the left or crane to the right, but rarely if ever do they
remain looking forward. It’s as if their bare-assed joie de vivre makes those
around them shine that much brighter, inspiring the crowd to visually cling to
the group that has gone before or to seek out the one that follows. It truly is
a gift.

Why does this happen? Who can say? Except of course, those unfortunate
onlookers with slow reflexes. Frankly, if Pride Toronto were on the ball they
would exploit their strategic potential, perhaps sandwiching them between a
couple of church groups.

In any case, I told you all that to tell you this: Don’t worry about exposing
your wee weenie. Nobody will be looking anyway.


Question: I’ve been asked to be a dancer on a Pride float and I’m really
excited because it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do. The only problem
is that it’s a corporate float and I’ve always been against people using Pride
Day as a marketing opportunity. Is there any way I can do it and still keep my

Answer: If you believe the hype, the gay and lesbian community is right up
there with prepubescent girls as far as attractive target markets go. But while
we both may share an unnerving fascination with Mary-Kate and Ashley Olson, we
are on the whole far more wary of being treated like an open clutch purse.

Our degree of apprehension, however, usually depends on the quality of booty
being used to make the sales pitch. After all, sex not only sells, but it’s
also effective at buying complacency. This is why on Pride Day a flatbed full
of buffed bods out to pour vodka down your throat elicits less indignation than
a convertible packed with frumpy real estate agents looking to close a deal.

As to what is most comfortable for you, I really can’t say. But as far as what
others may think, you have nothing to worry about. Come Pride Day you can mount
that float with your integrity intact. Just be sure to cover it with a skimpy
G-string and shake it in the face of everyone you pass.