As you may or may not know, there was a straight pride parade in Boston on Aug. 31. This is a stunt pulled off of feelings based in hatred and bigotry, not in activism for those who identify as straight.
Pride is not a threat to people who are not in the LGBTQIA+ community. Minorities celebrating their identity do not impose a threat or harm to another’s identity.
Throughout the summer, specifically in June, people who are in the LGBT+ community celebrate pride. This is celebration of the freedom to express their identities and individuality.
One of the largest shows of this during the month are Pride Festivals or Pride Parades. They are a colorful display, mostly of the different flags representing such identities.
However, in Boston there was a counter movement brewing, planning a “straight pride festival/parade.”
The organizer of this event, Mark Sahady, commented on Facebook saying that this event was planned “to make fun of the left’s identity politics.”
Later adding, “For (the left), everything is based upon identity. It is all about who is a victim and who is an oppressor.
If you are a victim then you get celebratory status and the oppressor is expected to defer their true feelings and allow them to do so.”
This ideal is one that diminishes the LGBT+ communities and what they stand for at their core, acceptance and equality.
The opinions of the people in these straight pride rallies are based off of ignorance and discriminatory values.
These ideals are ones that encourage something that LGBT+ peoples have faced for centuries: oppression and discrimination.
Pride has been a way for this group to fight back and normalize their sexual and gender identities through showing the general public who they are and what they truly stand for.
If you look back at the history of LGBT+ communities, you will see why a pride festival is necessary for these communities and why a straight pride parade is not necessary.
LGBT+ communities do not have the same access to the basic things and freedoms that straight people do.
In fact, the right to marriage is one that they were restrained from up until a Supreme Court ruling in 2015.
We do not need to have a festival to teach about straight history, as those ideals are engrained into our society. We just know them since they are the cultural norm.
Take a look in your history books. Most all of history is written with straight white men in the forefront, with women and people of color scribbled in the margins. LGBT+ peoples are an endnote if they’re lucky.
These straight pride parades are just another way for white men to undermine minorities again and shift the focus back onto themselves, something that they are great at.
Here is the thing, pride events are not a show to prove that they are better or more important than the majority, rather they are just assuming the position of an equal in society.
This is something that allows for the conversation that these minorities are deserving of recognition and happiness too.
Straight people already have recognition in society. There are no double takes by people walking down the street if they are holding hands, except maybe for a first grader who believes in cooties.
Straight pride parades are recognizing things that are already accepted in society. With this acceptance, society acknowledges heterosexuals and deems them as normal.
So, why is there a need to create more awareness for a group that is already accepted?
A major claim of the far right is that because the gay community has made so much progress, pride is no longer necessary.
Last year, far-right site The Federalist published an article from Chad Felix Greene titled “I’m a Gay Man. Here’s Why I Don’t Celebrate Pride Month.” In the article, Greene says about not needing Pride Month: “I no longer have those limitations. I am free to pursue any dream I wish.”
His article mirrors the opinion of many members of the far right, of all sexual orientation.
I can jog your memory of a few cases: refusal to officiate weddings, discrimination during the adoption process, refusal to have cakes baked for their weddings.
While those are just a few large examples, there can also be examples seen in day to day life.
Outside of America, the status for LGBT+ community is even worse. In some countries, if there are even whispers that a person is gay they will be caned publicly, not only to punish the person but to also deter the general public.
In 2018, CNN reported that two gay women were caned in Malaysia after being caught having sex. This is just one of the many incidents that occur worldwide everyday.
Although interracial romances have been subject to discrimination in the past, Loving v. Virgina (1967) struck down state laws which banned interracial marriage. There has never been a court case that prevented discrimination of LGBT couples. In fact, there has been court cases that have actually supported those that discriminate against the LGBT based on religious beliefs. Straight people rarely recieve the same violence, degradation, isolation, and unlawful acts that the LGBT community have been encountering well into the 21st century.
Straight people are not turned away from shops just because of their sexual preference or gender identity.
Straight people are not ostracized by their families because they have shared they are straight. In fact, straight people do not need to even explicitly tell their family they are heterosexual.
Straight people do not experience the type of fear LGBT+ members have when being seen in public with their partners.
They have never experienced the social isolation and bullying at school, workplaces and within families just because of who they are or what they love.
Straight pride is not and will not ever be something that we need in society. Every day is a celebration for the non-LGBT+ community.
Pride is a time to allow for a push for visualization and acceptance of a minority group.
Because LGBT+ issues are such a hot button issue, it is very important to stay aware of your representatives policies and stances.
Be sure to read up on where they stand on these issues. Write to your congressional representatives and urge them to protect the rights of those who are considered disenfranchised.
We know that there are those who use their power to disenfranchise.
One day, those in the LGBT+ community can wake up one day not having to fear these sickening and hateful protests of their pride.