Pride survival guide

by Patty Templeton

Tyler Frakes is a marvelously funny, multi-talented, glitter-bearded, gorgeous man most often seen MC-ing for Imaginario Circus. He kindly took the time to talk to DGO about how to survive Pride if you’re new to the festival scene.

Party jams! What do you listen to while you’re getting ready for Pride? Right now, I’ve been blasting the new Katy Perry. I’m obsessed. And, this is so stereotypical, but I do a lot RuPaul. Because it’s all so positive and you can’t listen to a RuPaul album and be upset. My jam is the RuPaul “Red Hot” album.

If it’s someone’s first Pride, what tips can you give them?Everybody needs a fresh haircut. You gotta have your edges together.

Bring a reusable bottle of water; you gotta stay hydrated. Don’t miss out on the festivities because of the heat.

Buy all the glitter, you will need it.

Rainbow anything and everything is acceptable.

Bring beads. This weekend, they’re practically just as good as money.

Also, two words – Selfie. Stick.

And, extra cab money is essential!

When people are planning out their weekend, what contingency plan should they for sure make? Make sure you have a what-if-I-bump-into-my-ex plan.

What does your what-if-I-bump-into-my-ex-plan include? Mine – I don’t quite know yet. It probably includes vomiting and running away or vomiting while running away.

And, having a designated wing-man and a don’t-let-me-hook-up-with-my-ex friend.

What about fashion tips? Everyone needs a great pair of sunglasses. For sun protection, yes, but more for undercover scoping.

Have two outfits, one for day and one for night, is a must.

And, is your Pride outfit equipped with large enough pockets or do you have a killer fanny-pack to hold all the free condoms you’ll be receiving?

What about songs people can absolutely expect to hear? Have you rehearsed the lyrics and dance moves to “I Kissed a Girl” and/or “Let’s Hear it for the Boy”?

Do people have any misconceptions about Pride? It’s not all rippling muscles and glitter. There will be muscles and there will be glitter but that’s not all of it. That’s the biggest misconception – this idea of “fat people stay home.” I’ve seen that online. That’s so not it.

And, I was asked today if Pride would be child-friendly and I said “Absolutely.” You might see some heels and some glitter, but it’s not a sex pit.

Is there such a thing as a fashion-don’t at Pride? Not really! Just let your freak out.

What if someone doesn’t have a freak?It’s all about support. All about love. It doesn’t matter what you bring as long as it’s support.

What if someone is new to Pride and the community? Any tips to meeting people?Nobody is going to judge you for what you think are your downfalls, so take a step outside of them. Make friends that you maybe wouldn’t have.

That’s a lot of my thing. I am the most shy person. If I could be home in my room constantly, I would do that. I make myself get out and do these things because I know people are watching and you never know who is watching and it could be helpful to someone else.

Other etiquette tips?It’s really open; we’re all people, so be people. It’s not like you’re going to some theme party and everyone has a role to play. Just be yourself.

Just because people are running around in underwear doesn’t mean you have to be a pervert. There’s no touching.

I’ll have on so much hair that if you touch my hair, I may kill you. And, don’t touch my face (or anyone’s). This is a $150 worth of makeup that I need to stay on all day long. Don’t kiss me. If you mess it up, it’s over. We air-kiss. We love each other.

Any other thoughts on Pride? It’s not just a week, this is real life. Pride is all the time. We have Four Corners Alliance for Diversity in Durango. It’s awesome. We are constantly doing things and we always need help. There’s always something people can volunteer to do or donate to.

Recovery tips if people party too hard?Hydration! Hydration! Ibuprofen. Hydration! Praying. [Laughs.]

And, don’t see the ex. Don’t call the ex!

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity. For all the details on Durango Pride 2017, check out http://4calliancefordiversity.org/events— Patty Templeton DGO Staff Writer

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