How to Throw the Perfect Party

We’re officially in the thick of summer and it’s never too late to throw the ultimate party for you and your friends. Whether it's in July or any time of year, it’s always the perfect time to celebrate everyone’s individuality and the unifying power of love.

You already know this month is full of parties, parades, and special events, so why not host one of your own? You can choose to celebrate the history of Pride, the love you have for your friends, or simply your freedom of expression!

Throwing a party is easier than you might think. Once you have the basics down, there are a few “finishing touches” you can add to ensure everyone knows exactly what you’re celebrating.

Ready to have a good time? Let’s cover a few tips that will set off the perfect party.

Liven Up Your Invitations

Nowadays, it’s beyond easy to invite people to a get-together. A few clicks on Facebook allow you to create an event in minutes and invite all of your friends. While there’s nothing wrong with that, if you really want to have a special party, it’s worth it to go the extra mile.

That starts with sending out some killer invitations.

Your party announcement should include things like:

  • Date and time
  • The event name
  • Location
  • RSVP or call-to-action

Once you have the basics covered, have fun and be creative. There are plenty of online platforms you can use to create a colorful and unique design. Or, if you’ve got an artistic streak, you can develop your own design from scratch, using traditional rainbow colors or even photographs that mean something you to and your friend group.

A tangible invitation is something people will notice. It will make it easier for them to remember when the party is, and spark their interest and excitement so they’re more likely to come. After all, who doesn’t want a cool and colorful party invitation hanging on their fridge?

Choose the Right Location

When it comes to throwing a good party, location is everything. If you want to adopt a “the more, the merrier” mindset, it might not be realistic to cram everyone into your apartment, or even your house.

One of the best solutions is to throw an outdoor party, utilizing your backyard space. You can choose to go elegant and classy with a traditional outdoor dinner party or keep things colorful and vibrant with unforgettable decor. When it comes to throwing an outdoor party, make sure you check the weather, have enough space for everyone, and ensure there’s enough lighting.

Most people feel comfortable outside and it can make for a stress-free environment. So, if you’re inviting some old and new friends over who may not have met before, keeping things outdoors can keep everything casual enough that no one feels awkward and everyone is welcomed with open arms.

Don’t have a backyard of your own? Don’t sweat it! Consider using a local park if your guest list is small, or contact an outdoor venue to rent for the night. That will help to take some of the burdens off of you when it comes to getting everything ready and having to clean up afterward. If the cost is too much, consider asking everyone to chip in and make the party more like an LGBTQ+ community event, rather than a private get-together.

Eat, Drink, and Be Merry

A party isn’t a party without food and drinks.

No matter what you serve, make sure it’s conducive to your setting. You’re probably not going to want your guests to dish out spaghetti and meatballs onto paper plates when you’re mingling outside.

Things like finger foods are perfect for parties as they allow guests to nibble while talking to others. If you want to go one step further, choose foods that fit the party theme like:

  • Rainbow fruit and vegetable trays
  • Colorful salads
  • Sweet desserts
  • Festive drinks

Speaking of drinks, why not create a signature cocktail for the event? You can find plenty of LGBTQ+-inspired cocktail recipes online, or you can create one of your own specifically for the party. Your guests will love the innovation, and they might even end up asking you for the recipe.

When it comes to the “merriment” aspect of your party, make sure your guests are entertained. You don’t have to have special activities lined up, but things like fun background music and a few adult outdoor games can make a big difference. Ask your friends beforehand what some of their favorite songs are, and compile them to create a perfect party Spotify playlist you can use all night. Whether you want to encourage some dancing or you just want to fill in the silence, music is a must.

How to talk about transgender issues

So how do we talk about transgender issues (even if you're not transgender)? There are three main things to remember when discussing transgender issues today, so before getting into the meat and potatoes of it all, let's keep these things in mind:

  1. It is not a political discussion, it is a human rights discussion.
  2. There is a rich history rooted in transgender rights that must be considered when discussing these issues.
  3. Humanization should always be at the forefront of the conversation.

Before going into any conversation, no matter who it's with, try to keep these things in mind before you say something that may be inappropriate, misguided, or just plain wrong. Even those with the best intentions can mess up; remember that it is always ok to admit when you do not know something or when you are wrong. That being said, let's get into it.

sign with a 'friendly for all genders' image showing a person in a wheelchair, and a person with half a dress and pants on.

Transgender bathroom bills

So whether you choose to become a transgender activist or if you just want to be a better ally, this easy talking point will generally keep you in line and on the safe side of conversations while still putting forth the effort to encourage and better represent transgender rights.

Easy, all-around approach: This will work for almost all transgender issues and expand on the previous three rules; firstly, trans issues are not a debate. When discussing with someone, do not indulge in hypotheticals and always remember that transgender people are the exact same as anyone else, with the exact same feelings. Keeping this in mind, let's use the bathroom bill as an example. When discussing this issue, one should humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation. How does one employ this, though? Here is an example of how the conversation may go.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restroom, they will rape my daughters.

So this statement is clearly based on reactionary conversation perpetuated by anti-transgender ideals. This means that the person probably has a misconception of the history and oppression of transgender people. They also show concern for their family, which is a step towards humanization, despite the misconception. Here would be an appropriate response that helps to humanize, de-politicize, and normalize the conversation.

Person 2: I don't want men in the women's restroom, either, which is why we need to make sure people who identify as women are using the women's restroom. There has never been a documented case where a transgender person has raped either a man or woman in a public restroom. And by forcing people to use a restroom that does not match their gender identity, it is promoting violence, as there is a strong history of physical violence against transgender people.

By only saying about three sentences, you are able to do the previous steps while discussing the issue in a civil manner without opening it up to debate. The key to this is to keep it short and sweet, stating both the truth and an ally's stance to support the transgender community. It's critical to make sure that what you say is backed with confidence, though, which is why this second approach is more encouraged as it gives the person speaking more confidence in their opinion.

gif of a man in a suit talking about number 1. Number 1 GIF by PragerU Giphy

The second approach: backed by facts and history, is the exact same as before, but this approach leaves the other person with more questions about their stance and gives them something to consider. Before going into this approach, however, it is important to keep in mind that you are not debating the existence of trans people, nor are you trying to change someone's mind. That is not the goal; the goal is simply to get your opinion across in a way that honors both the trans community and their ideas. Let's take the same example as before but add the new sentiments.

Person 1: I don't want men in the women's restrooms, they will rape my daughters.

Person 2: There has never been a documented case of a transgender person raping anyone in a public restroom, and the only published cases of such were proven to be false. Further, when people say things like this, they are perpetuating violence against transgender people, which has historically (and still does) oppressed and insight further physical violence against them. And honestly, the most common reason there is this stance is because the person typically does not know a trans person and may not even know a person who does know a trans person. But the truth is, they probably do. The probability is more likely that the transgender people around them are just not comfortable enough in the environment to come out and speak up about their gender identity. And yes, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but it is quite sad that some people's opinion does not invite civil discussion but instead incites violence.

This approach is more confrontational, which requires more confidence when using it in a conversation, but it still holds true to all of the previous rules and sentiments. It adds truth based on history, which is an important aspect of trans rights as it reminds people of where we were/ where we are currently with human rights. These ideas can be transferred to most all trans issues and will honor the transgender movement and your allyship. The last thing to keep in mind is the person or reason you are standing up for/with trans rights. The passion -the compassion will shine through in conversation if you keep your reasoning close to heart. Whether it is because of a transgender friend, family member, or just because of your moral values, if you put your emotions into your reasoning, it will create more compelling statements, especially if the statement is well versed with the facts.

Tips to Remember When Discussing Transgender Issues

  1. Transgender issues are not political, they are human rights issues
  2. There is a rich history behind transgender issues
  3. Humanize transgender people through our words and ideas and don't forget to include:
    • 3(b). The facts
    • 3(c).The confidence
    • 3(d). The inspiration behind the support for transgender rights

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