SubCultural Party Crashing 101
Bring a gift, you aren’t the gift
Coming from the South, there were rules to politeness that I was raised with. One of the biggest is never show up to someone’s house/ party without bringing a gift.
In short if you are going to crash someone’s party and come into their community, you should have something to offer.
If you are a hipster or have some money – a little or a lot… donating to the community in the form of supporting community events, benefits, and business is a good way. As someone who has worked the gates at a few different community street fairs, nothing is more rude then people outside of the community coming to party at the fair like they support the community but not donate money at the gate to help support community causes & charities. Buy support wear to show you care. Or if you don’t have the money volunteers to help out in the community and share any special skills you might have. Also, always show respect and loyalty as much as possible.
Learn the rules, culture, and customs, and follow them. Get to know the history and the ancestors, and respect them. Go with the pre-existing flow, especially if it works for the larger number of the group.
Make their style your own – don’t mock or become stereotypes
Nothing makes you look like a posers and can be insulting to a subculture then your first or so time hanging out with them, you come dressed full on/ extreme like the stereotype the media says or you believe they all dress like. Unless, it is really a custom event like Dickens’s Fair or Edwardian Ball come dressed like you with some hint of the subculture. Wearing things like support wear from groups associated with the sub- culture shows support and buying them from members of the community shows even more support. See how the group seems to dress and add a bit of their look into your style but don’t copy or mock … copy isn’t the biggest form of flattery, it is often fake or creepy.
Be careful not to wear things that make it looks like you are more part of the group then you are or you don’t understand. In short some groups have patches pr types of clothes or accessories that only people get to wear when the hold a certain stature in the community. Also, really don’t wear anything from a group you do not know. ‘A’ it makes you look stupid if people ask you anything about what you are wearing and you do not know, and ‘B’ what you are wearing maybe of a group or something that isn’t actually liked my the group you are hanging with.
Don’t let the lower half be your only gateway in…
Do not sleep, date, or ass kiss your way into a community; basically don’t think ass kissing or your below the waist activities is your golden ticket in. It may work for a whole but at some point it is more then likely you just get labeled a user or name- dropper or groupie. I’m not saying if when you are dating someone and they have you hang out with their sub culture; that you can’t actually become a member of the community.
You have to find what you can do as an individual to make yourself – unique - special – helpful in the community. I have seen some people who first became part of groups due to dating someone or someone’s one through the work at community places they became very maternal in the community and start to actually listen, care about, and try to help with issues of people in the community. In short, just don’t think just because you ‘really’ know so and so – no matter how big in the community ‘so and so’ is – that you can just rest on that, it takes more to really belong. In short, kittens, you will need to ‘put out’ in more community benifitual ways…
One of my pet peeves
There are a lot of street fairs in San Francisco that use the money they collect at the gate to donate to community organizations, so people actually donate at the gat and don’t just go “the streets are public, I don’t have to pay”. It isn’t enough to just come to the fair – dressed in I’m part of the community for day” (straight people coming to Pride with “the Gay for the day” rainbow and faux fur and sometime skimpy wear, and get annoyingly drunk. Give at the gate cause it equals giving to the community. Also, don’t be a dick. … Yes, you young straight teen-agers (under 21) trying to get boozes (for free) from booth run by the Folsom Street Fair group last year and being totally pushy and hell -a – annoying about it…. You are so luck no one brought their whips….
Don’t punk on the host’s floor
When you first join a sub culture, it is sort of like crashing a party…in a while you want to be quiet and discreet … see how they are … if you think things should be change … politely maybe say “Have you all ever through of…” or keep your mouth shut till you are asked … cause unless your change will stop pain and problems or bring better things to the community. No one wants to know…. Yes, no one cares what the new person likes… if everyone else is happy.
....Okay, I was in Esta Noche and some people who were so not community or allies of the community came in and started moving table and stuff around to create there own seating space that made it hard to use the pool table. Some pool playing regular hit them with a ball, and they looked all surprised and hurt. They came over to the bartender and started to suggest music and boozes they would like more – young white heterosexuals in an old school Mexican tranny bar. It was a wonderful special – unique – community space.
The bar sadly ended up changing their way due to rent prices going up and know is another dull bar where everyone plays on their phones and it is were fun and community comes to die.
In short, death!! When you mess with a community based thing that is already there and beautiful…. It may not always be the death of the place. Just saying….
Friend the mamas and the papas or good people in general
You are know by the company you keep; so make sure you hang out with the good and respected people when you are new to a sub culture community. You don’t necessarily want to try to be friends with the leaders, heads, or stars of a community right away, because sometimes that just reads as user and groupie. No matter who, you befriend you want to make sure you seem like a user or groupie.
Be careful not to align yourself with user groupie, community fuck ups, or people who are generally trouble. Keep is mind to be aware that sometimes people seem to be friends with people who are train wrecks that they laugh at or feel sorry for, sluts, people buying affect some how, or people with certain talents – but these people aren’t respected (fans aren’t always friends and on- lookers aren’t always loyal). While you should polite to these people but don’t actually align yourself with them.
Some people are like the mamas and the papas in the community – activist, helpers, and the people come to with their problems… they know everyone and are the best people to let you know the ways of the community and the good people... and make introductions…
It is just a matter of sitting back for a while and observing how people act around each other to find out who is who…
Thank you note via Social Media
Likes and positive comments on community sites and post are great…. But when you are new to community … it is like being on a first date don’t be too pushy, to controversial, or making it too much about you.
It is always nice to say how much to say thanks or great an event or such was. But do it with doing it the ‘Hey I was there – how cool am I’ thing’ or the ‘Hey, I was hanging with so and so – how cool am I” thing.
When joining a community it is better to make it about the whole then just the you…. Cause post not what a community can do for you… but ask what you can do for a community….
Also, remember “If can’t say anything nice; then don’t post it on FaceBook” … and “Snitches get stitches”… don’t post things that are secret… and know enough before posting to know what those are…
…. We all make Social media mistakes … know how and when to say ‘I was wrong’
Learn their way, learn their stories
Every sub culture has a real life mythology about people, places, event, and such that are or have been important to the community. Best way to learn about any person or any group is to hear their stories and how they tell them….
It is important to get your stories from people actually in the community and not just hear say stories from folks or stories from main stream media which normally gets things wrong and sensationalizes stuff for ratings.
Most subcultures have a rich history of stories that have helped define whom they are as group and contact their rules of conducts and life lessons.
Please unless you are asking for a story that has something community secret in it; most people like to tell stories about people and events they like…
Be attentive but ask stupid questions… and yes, there are stupid questions…
When you are we and when you are an allie and a supporter
There is nothing wrong with being ‘just’ and allie – associate – friend of a community … Sometimes you can really official be a member of a community – because you lack a certain life experience type or level … or some demographic qualification- but you can be an important – kick ass – associate – friend of a community…. And who doesn’t need good friends ..
Just remember though you can help them fight their fight and help them with their struggles – they aren’t yours so don’t ask like you completely get it… don’t say
‘We feel’ but ‘I’m very close to community and my understanding is they feel…” Or better now when to be quiet and supportive and let the community members talk… they actually often know more. If someone wants and needs you to speak up and do more – they normally ask …. And then you do that…
Sometimes you can be just as helpful and supportive going “go team!” in background… You can throw down hard as an allie – associate – friend with out being all ‘we’….
To Contact Lilycat