Slap on your rainbow crop top, douse yourself in glitter, and shout from the rooftops, cause it’s officially PRIDE WEEK, babes! It’s finally time for a week filled with fabulous parties, queer family dinners, debaucherous day-drinking, and unabashed pride. This is easily the biggest party week of the YEAR, let alone summer. Every night this week boasts a new, impossibly fun party.
In every borough, there are hundreds of hot queers getting together in the name of pride, celebration, and booty shaking. One second you’re taking shots and admiring the hot go-go’s at a Hot Rabbit Party, then the next your dancing the night away and kissing a hot stranger at Siren Girl Pride.
Then you’re topping the night off at some bar just cause they had a rainbow flag outside.
You are having the time of your life…that is, unless you have social anxiety.
While everyone is cheers-ing, you’re staring at your phone to try and quell your anxious demons. While your best friend is Jersey-Turnpiking some hot butch covered in tattoos, you’re in the bathroom stall hyperventilating. While your queer squad is deliberating over which fab party to turn up at next, you’re secretly ordering an Uber.
I get it. I spend half my life panicking, though I do a pretty good job of masking my panic with over-the-top outfits and glasses of Sav Blanc. But the point is, is that I get through it and have fun. Am I anxious for all the Pride parties I have to attend and pass out magazines to smokin’ hot lesbians? UM, YEAH. But I have a game plan.
1. Remember: we’re all here for PRIDE.
It’s easy to have your social anxiety rockin’ and rollin’ when you are in a sea of, what seems like, a bunch of cooler-than-you lesbians, but they’re all here for the same reason you are. If there’s one time of year where everyone puts their differences aside and harmoniously coexists, it’s pride. You are literally all gathered together to celebrate being gay, so there’s no reason to be nervous. You’re on the same page as everyone else there!
2. Someone else definitely thinks you’re cool.
If you’re anxious like ~moi~ then you probably survey the room like this: oh my god, all these girls are SO beautiful. They’re like Instagram models and I’m like the before picture on plastic surgery commercials. Why am I dressed like such a weirdo? All these girls looks so chic. Should I go home and change? My reflection looks so fat. No one here would want to hit on me.
First of all, tell that lil bitch in your head to SHUT UP AND CELEBRATE PRIDE.
Second of all, the same girl that you’re comparing yourself to has probably had those same thoughts of some point, and might even be looking at YOU thinking the same thing. See that? Not only are we united in our Pride, we’re united in our neuroses and insecurity!
3. Drink the pain away.
Me before a drink: I hate parties why am I here I want to leave.
Me after a drink: I am beautiful and unstoppable and I love every single person I’ve ever looked at.
4. But not too much.
Now, I’m certainly not advocating for getting too drunk. That is bad for your health, your soul, and especially, your social anxiety. So do yourself a favor and know your limit, babe. You’ll thank yourself the next morning when you don’t have a soul-crushing hangover, AND you’re able to go to the Pride March fresh-faced and dewy!
5. Have an exit strategy.
If crowds freak you out and send your social anxiety soaring, it’ll make you feel a hell of a lot better knowing you can dip at any time.
6. Strike up a conversation with a stranger.
As the fab Zara Barrie advises, the best way to silence the crazy-anxious voices in your head, is to talk to a stranger! Nothing gets you out of the dumpster fire of thoughts in your head like connecting with a kind fellow reveler. It can even be something as simple as “I love your rainbow platforms! Where did you get them?” and for that moment, you’ll be plugged into humanity instead of your anxiety. And you’ll probably score a discount code for those fab platforms on Dolls Kill if said reveler is kind, which I’m sure they will be. It’s pride. Everyone is nice.
7. Dance it out.
Starting to dance is the tricky part, but once you’re two songs deep, I dare you to try and stop. You can’t because you and a cute gay boy have become best friends and are scream-singing Born This Way together. Keep movin’, girl. Shake out the anxiety.
8. Fake it.
Walk in like you own the place, and boom, you own the place.
9. Dress like a hoe.
Nothing gives me confidence like unapologetically wearing whatever the f*ck I want. Plus, your pasties and fluffy robe and black platforms are totally a conversation starter. That girl in the holographic crop top thinks you’re fly.
10. Take a moment to be grateful.
If your anxiety becomes too much, and none of these cutesy tricks are working, trying plugging into the moment. Center yourself in how truly AMAZING it is that we live in a time and place where there is a CELEBRATION around being queer. In a world with so much hatred and struggle, don’t forget how blessed we are to have Pride. Let the love and gratitude fill your heart, until it spills over and drowns your anxiety. Be proud, bitch! Not only are you SLAYING your social anxiety, you are part of the biggest gay celebration on earth! Happy Pride — I love you fellow anxious babe! <3