Gay guide for straight people

Do you consider yourself heterosexual? Would you like to increase your harmony with an ever-growing gay community? If so, read on, for I am here to help.

Below I have compiled a list of helpful hints, tips and trivial information that might make it easier to bridge the gap between the perceived gay and straight worlds. And while I am not afraid to just crack open the gay vault and reveal some of our deepest secrets, there is enough space on this page for me to offer only a short list of suggestions. The time is now for us to break down the walls between us and expand our horizons. And so, in a world where rules are bending faster then gender, I offer you this quick survival guide:

• It’s P-O-R-T-I-A (not Porsche), with a lowercase “de” (unlike the uppercase in “DeGeneres”), R-O-S-S-I.

• There’s no need to be intimidated by the words “fabulous” or “fierce” — we don’t really use those anymore.

• I am pretty sure ear-piercings and faux-hawks are no longer telltale signs of a person’s sexuality.

• While having a conversation with a person who isn’t allowed the same legal right to marry, it is best to avoid making quotation marks with your fingers when you say “civil union.” If you accidentally do this, simply do the same with other, random words or phrases.

Remember: Gay people tell the best gay jokes.

For the guys: If you hit on a girl in a bar and she says she is gay, she probably is telling the truth. If you feel the need to make things cool, offer to buy her a drink or, better yet, donate to her favorite charity.

• Yes, there are a lot of straight people who enjoy the gay nightclub Connections (i.e., bachelorette parties). These patrons do not leave gay.

• On the other hand, what happens at Connections stays at Connections.

• Here’s a bit of gay trivia to impress your friends: The ’80s television sitcom “The Golden Girls” addresses the issue of gay marriage when Blanche (Rue McClanahan) is invited to attend her gay brother’s wedding. Sophia (Estelle Getty) asks Blanche, “Everyone wants someone to grow old with, and shouldn’t everyone have that chance?” And then she proposes to her. (The YouTube clip is worth 1 minute and 21 seconds of your time.)

• Calling something “gay” because you don’t like it is so 2002. (And gay.)

If a queer person is staring at you, be flattered. They are probably admiring your shoes.

• Thank you for cutting down on the “we are two straight guys at the movie theater who leave a seat between us” thing. That really took up a lot of seats unnecessarily.

It is possible: Straight guys can wear women’s jeans.

• Ladies, it’s OK if Penelope Cruz makes you feel lezzie for a minute — she does that to everybody with a pulse.

• There were popular queer figures throughout history, even before Adam Lambert and Cynthia Nixon. From Billie Jean King (U.S. tennis star in the ’70s) to Gertrude Stein (American-born author in the ’30s), from Oscar Wilde (Victorian-era Irish playwright) to King Alexander the Great (300 B.C.) to the poet Sappho of Lesbos (600 B.C.), whose place of birth inspired the term “lesbian.”

• Single gay people are still gay. You can be gay by yourself.

• Judy Garland is not just a singer, but also a really good actress.

• Never, ever touch a queer person’s iTunes playlist without asking.

• Remember, if you are unsure about using the word “queer,” better add that “ah” ending to make it “queeah.”

• And finally, yes, you can be straight and have gay pride.