Why there is no straight pride: pride is to celebrate progress and bravery, not to please others
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The Gay-Straight Alliance Club at Franklin County High School in Winchester, Tenn. was faced with straight pride signs after news of its first meeting reached local parents. Student members in opposition to the club’s gathering made signs that said “straight pride” superimposed over the gay pride flag with a giant “no” sign over the club’s meeting information.
The same students also defaced club advertisements with the words “no gays allowed” and other discriminatory slurs. This backlash is common to many school GSAs and other support groups for the LGBT+ community.
Senior president Meghan Bauer of Coppell High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance felt that GSAs were commonly misinterpreted.
“GSA, the whole name of it literally is Gay Straight Alliance and I think a lot of people don’t realize that we do in fact cater to everyone,” said Bauer. “Honestly, we’re probably one of the most inclusive clubs in this school. If you have an open mind, then you’re welcome there and if you can just be a semi-accepting person then we’d love to have you.”
Bauer was also quick to point out the delicate social and political climate that the school’s GSA ran under.
“I know that at this school before I was here, it took them years and years to get a GSA approved because the school was afraid of what parents would say.”
One question that follows many within the LGBT+ community is “why is there no straight pride?” While the question might be asked from a place of genuine curiosity, it is rooted in ignorance. This brings me to the subject of why there are LGBT+ pride events to begin with.
There are two key issues to why there are no straight pride practices: one, it is unnecessary, and two, it is ignorant to the historical struggles of the LGBT+ community.
There is a difference between having pride in heterosexuality and having straight pride. Having pride in your heterosexuality means that you live knowing that the law does not directly affect you. Straight pride is showing the need to celebrate freedom from sexual persecution.
Straight people have no need to fear showing affection in public. Straight people do not go through the same steps of understanding their sexuality that the LGBT+ community goes through. Above all, straight people do not have to answer or explain their sexuality or gender identity to anyone, because it is accepted as a standard.
Straight pride is ignorant to the historical struggles of the community. Straight people have not been condemned in any way for their orientation. Straight people have an extensive understanding of their history whereas my community does not, which is part of the practice of pride – to learn about the culture and history of the groups within the LGBT+ community.
There is a reason that schools have GSAs and other alliance organizations and straight people do not. They have not voiced a desire for acknowledgement in pride until recently. They often seek pride for the attention and flash of celebration, not for the appropriate reasons of celebrating centuries of history and culture.
There is nothing wrong with heterosexuality at all. The only problem is the demand for a straight pride to build the illusion of true equality. The point of having a pride parade, event or days is not to just celebrate being a certain gender/sexual-orientation for the fun of it. It is about celebrating the progress through the socio-political struggles of our communities.
History has catered to a heteropatriarchy whereas most of the LGBT+ has no access or understanding of their history and culture.
Every day is a straight pride parade.
Straight couples can show affection in public and not fear any misogynistically-biased backlash. Pride represents bravery from minority struggles. Straight people are not a minority and they have not struggled for the rights of their sexual orientation.
I do not celebrate pride for the pretty rainbow flags. I celebrate pride for Martha P. Johnson, a gay liberation activist and Stonewall veteran, and former San Francisco Board of Supervisors Chair Harvey Milk, the first openly gay person to be elected to public office. I celebrate pride to remember those who died in the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history. The Orlando shooting with 49 dead was a confirmed hate crime against gay people.
Pride is not a trend, but rather a practice based in a traumatic history of multiple social minorities. It has only become a positive and popular trend because it is also meant to be a celebration. Anyone can be proud of their heterosexuality for any reason they choose, but there is no need for a special pride event for someone to celebrate being straight.