This week begins the Pride celebration in Houston. Plenty of events will be held all over the city and here are some tips to make the most of Pride 2016, or at least not make the same mistakes from last year. 

DO Go outside your comfort zone 
Close that Grindr app and introduce yourself to strangers in person. Sure, you may get shot down but with how much going down goes down at Pride, a cutie is probably just around the corner.

DON’T Forget to protect yourself
If you do go home with someone (good for you!) don’t forget to be safe. Free condoms line the street of Pride so no excuses!

DO Hydrate
It seems simple enough but this is Houston in June after all.  We are all for people having a few drinks and celebrating but please do so responsibly. 

DON’T Do a glitter beard
To my fellow bearded men, I say no. Sure an Instagram pic of you with six of your friends sporting glitter rainbow in your beards would be cute but think of the Houston sun and facial sweat. That glitter will undoubtedly run down your face and into your drink. In fact, no body glitter at all. If I have to wash glitter out of another shirt because a dancing queen didn’t understand personal space, I am going to scream. 

DO Come out and celebrate 
Given recent events, we understand some people’s hesitation to coming out to large groups and events. However, during times like these, it’s important to come together as a community to support, celebrate and stand united. 

DO Come early
If you want a spot to actually view the parade you will need to get out early to claim your territory. The parade starts at 9 p.m. but for a good spot, you would need to be there at about 6 p.m. Just bring a cooler, food and friends; the time will fly by. 

DON’T Talk politics when drunk
Current events and topics are important issues, just not after two or three shots of Fireball.  Speaking on “the isshoes that affect ooour commmunitity todayz” will just turn you into “The Girl You Wished You Hadn’t Started A Conversation With At A Party.”

DO Dress up and queen out
Pride is just like Halloween – you can wear whatever you want and not be judged. Go over the top, even if you hope to be under one by the end of the night. 

DON'T Start any drama
This is a Pride event, not your audition for The Real Housewives of Houston

DO Bring hand sanitizer and sunscreen
Your body will thank you later when you avoided looking like Donatella Versace or when exiting a Porta Potty.

DON’T Go home with the gogo dancer in gold lame spandex shorts 
Like a gay rite of passage, this something we all learn. So take it from someone in his early-late-mid 20s, it is not as glamorous as one would think. 

But most importantly, have fun, be safe and be proud of who you are. Happy Pride!