I am a straight, cis-gendered black man in America. With that, I can wholeheartedly say that the proposed “Straight Pride” parade is hot garbage.
It’s just a bunch of Alt-Lice, Proud Boy bigots coming together for a circle-jerk of heterosexism. Just listen to one of the right-wing founders and renowned Republican snowflake, John Hugo, explain the flawed logic of this parade: “We want tolerance, and we want tolerance for everybody — not just the LGBTQ community,” Hugo said. The founders of this proposed Straight Pride Parade have made baseless claims of heterophobia, suggesting that the LGBTQ lifestyle is being forced upon them. Their preposterous claims served as hilarious fodder for social media users, as the Twitterverse had a great time slamming them.
If we take these imbecile incels at face value, we can call them on their bs. It’s easy. Straightness is the gold standard in Western society when it comes to sexual orientation and romantic relationships. Straight people aren’t routinely discriminated from employment opportunities, housing, or medical care. There’s no ban on hetero cis-gendered people joining the military, but there’s a trans ban. There was no need for the Supreme Court to legalize straight marriage. Every romantic comedy, best-selling book, T.V. show, and big budget movie that features a romantic relationship always centers hetero ones. They barely focus on any queer romantic relationships and, most of the time, just erase queer individuals altogether.
In America, the assumption is that everyone is straight. But the organizers of this straight pride parade will tell you it’s so hard to be a hetero person because we don’t get to have a parade every June. Oh, boo hoo! This faux oppression coming from hateful straight people is no different than the white people who get mad at black folks for having the nerve to celebrate black history month. Every day we celebrate the accomplishments of white people, even when they don’t deserve the credit. Shout out to Elvis Presley and the Rolling Stones!
George Carlin called it years ago: some of the biggest homophobes are probably in the closet. We see this all the time with anti-gay GOP politicians. Hold your head, Mike Pence! In reality, sexuality is a spectrum and not so black and white. The famous sex researcher Alfred Kinsey stated this:
“Males do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheep and goats. It is a fundamental of taxonomy that nature rarely deals with discrete categories… The living world is a continuum in each and every one of its aspects.“
So, it’s 2019, and it’s okay to be gay!
While some homophobes may be in the closet, I doubt that John Hugo is secretly a gay man. He’s probably just a run of the mill asshole, like Trump. Assholes love to harshly police other people, especially when it comes to sex.
Anyway, my man on Twitter said it best:
You can’t have a Straight Pride Parade. Parades are inherently gay. Embrace it.
— Ronald Funches (@RonFunches) June 4, 2019
Look, if you want a Straight Pride Parade, just join the drive-thru at your local Chick-fil-A.
LGBTQ Pride Parades are Awesome!
In June 2016, I attended a Pride celebration in Knoxville, TN. Being a city boy myself, this was far different than any pride celebration I’d experienced in Chicago. For one, it was hot as fuck, and secondly, it was down-home, ratchet, and very country. But dammit those queer hillbillies knew how to throw a helluva party! I implore any of my fellow straight folks who are comfortable in their sexuality to attend a pride event. I can assume that at most pride events, there is probably a critical mass of both queer and non-queer people getting turnt up.
Why We Should All Be Allies
But it’s not all just a party. LGBTQ Pride has a deep history in resistance and revolution. Even in 2019, the status of the LGBTQ community is a state of flux across the globe. This is an ongoing human rights struggle. Here are a few reasons why you should support the LGBTQ struggle for civil and human rights:
Protect Black Trans Women
For every Janet Mock or Laverne Cox, black trans women who have achieved fame and fortune, there are far too many, Michelle Simone’s or Claire Legatos. These are just a couple of the names on an ever-growing list of murdered black trans women in the United States. In Jamaica, due to extreme religiosity and homophobia, black trans women exist on the margins of society eeking out a living in Kingston’s open-air sewers. When we say black lives matter, we must mean it, whether the black person is male, female, old, young, gay, or trans.
Protect Abandoned LGBTQ Youth
Queer youth make up 40% of homeless youth in this country. Many queer youth face bullying and physical violence in school. They have higher rates of depression and suicide compared to their peers. They can face sexual harassment, and assault when forced out on the streets. They can even be exploited by the police, and other adults meant to protect them. I can’t imagine disowning a child because of their sexuality or gender identity. Yet this is a reality for far too many LGBTQ youths.
Love is Love
Sexuality and gender aren’t as black and white as we’d like to think. These binaries are thrust upon us by society at birth. People run the risk of losing a lot when they reject societal norms. Not very long ago, people faced jail time or worse for engaging in consensual same-sex relations in this country. Times have changed dramatically for the LGBTQ community here, but we as a society still have a long way to go.
Malcolm X once said, “It’s liberty or death, it’s freedom for everybody or freedom for nobody.” Pride is much more than a corporate sponsored gay parade. Its origins are rooted in liberation and freedom. Freedom to express yourself, freedom to love yourself, and the freedom to love whomever you want. So this Pride Month, turn up and strike a Pose.