DEAR LADY A: So I had a great time at Pride this year. A really great time. Maybe too great. It was three days of debauchery. Basically I acted like I’m single, the only problem is I’m not. So here’s my question, isn’t Pride like gay Christmas? I meant aren’t we supposed to take these three days to act nuts before we return to our humdrum lives. Basically, do I have to tell my boyfriend? I didn’t have sex, but I also wasn’t innocent.
– Don’t Rain On My Parade!
DEAR DON’T: Firstly, everyone knows that “Gay Christmas” is on Halloween, not Pride. Secondly, what the hell kind of carousing, orgiastic, drunken Christmases do you celebrate? And can I come this year? Thirdly, what does “acted like I’m single” actually mean? If it was something underprotected, like fellatio without a condom or something equally risky, you need to alert your man to the truth of what you’ve done so you can both get tested. But, if you got some digits and inebriated kisses, or maybe a meaningless handjob from a stranger you’ll never see again, you probably shouldn’t tell your boyfriend. You’ve written to me, so that’s your confession. As for your penance, I want you to erase any ill-gotten numbers from your phone; learn to appreciate your boyfriend and never refer to your everyday life with him as “humdrum” again; and finally, stop using LGBTQ revelry (especially Pride) as just an excuse to get slutty with strangers.
Don’t get me wrong. Getting slutty with strangers (with the proper protection, of course) can be all kinds of fun. Especially during Pride weekend, when people seem particularly care free and open-minded to the vast number of perversions under the rainbow. But unless you’re single or have an agreement with your partner, it’s just not an option. So, just don’t, Don’t.
DEAR LADY A: I decided to go alone to Pride this past Sunday with no intention of meeting someone, but I ended up hanging with this great girl. We met on the train on the way down there. We laughed and talked and seemed to have a really great connection. In fact, we spent the whole day together. After the parade we hit some of the post-pride events. We held hands and kissed twice and didn’t end up saying goodbye until we were back on that train and she got off at her stop. She had plenty of times, occasions and outs to ditch me but she never did. I gave her my number and my Facebook but I haven’t heard from her since. Did I do something wrong? After spending over 12 hours together it’s kind of silly to post on Missed Connections but I feel kind of desperate. Is this just how Pride works, just a burst of fun and romance that ends in nothing, just meaningless? This isn’t what I expected.
DEAR RAINBOW: Oh, kitten. It may not have been what you expected, but it is absolutely one of the more common Pride stories. Of course, it’s possible that she simply lost your info on the way home. I don’t see any reason not to post on Missed Connections, but don’t count on anything coming of it, love. Because, although you spent 12 hours together, you don’t really know this girl. Who’s to say she’s ready to be in a relationship, or that she’s not dating someone else (see Mr. Don’t above), or that she’s even out of the closet?
There were 850,000 people at Chicago Pride Parade this year. You can get lost in that many people. Especially if you’re looking to be lost. So if your Pride crush wanted to be out and gay (or single, or commitment-friendly, or a hundred other things she’d normally only fantasize about) for just one day, Pride would have been the time and the place to do it with the smallest chance of negative repercussions. In other words, she might have wanted nothing from you but a little hand holding, two kisses and a burst of fun and romance for the afternoon. That reality may feel cruel so soon after the experience, but eventually I hope her company — the connection you had, the feel of her hand holding yours, and the way it felt to be kissed on a day you thought you’d spend alone — will become a lovely memory for you. Thus rendering your Pride experience anything but meaningless, my dear Rainbow.