Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Why is the idea of Straight Pride so offensive?

I have seen quite a bunch of straight people around Twitter asking why the idea of a Straight Pride Parade is problematic and offensive. Many of those didn't seem to know what the problem was. Their questions seemed genuine, and the responses from the LGBTQ community weren't always kind, which is understandable. This is the only month we have, and bigots are doing their best to ruin it for us, so we are all a bit on edge. 

It has not even been one week into June, and straight bigots have already been rampant on social media threatening to shoot us, wishing us dead and making very real threats that we are taking very seriously because the anniversary of the Pulse shootings is approaching. 
Remember that Pulse happened on Pride Month. It didn't happen on a random month. It happened on Pride Month. A month when we are supposed to celebrate. A month when we now also mourn deeply. It is not a date we will ever forget, and receiving constant threats on Pride Month is putting us all on high alert. So if we seem aggressive or unwilling to communicate, it is because many of us are angry and scared and tired of the constant hatred. 

This year is especially important to us since it's the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots. Seeing people try to ruin that for us is simply infuriating. 

So I decided to write this post to explain matters in a calm way that could maybe help understand why a Straight Pride Parade is an offensive (and really bad) idea. 
Please note that these are my views only. I cannot speak for other queers, and I won't speak for other queers. I am simply trying to explain why, from my point of view, Straight Pride is an issue.

First of all, the idea came from the same people who want White Lives Matter marches.
The idea of a Straight Pride didn't come from a kind place. It didn't come from regular straight people who just wanted a chance to be themselves. It came from the alt-right. It stemmed from a very dark place of hatred for LGBTQ people. And that is the biggest root of the problem. In supporting the idea of a Straight Pride, you are supporting the anti-queer values of the alt-right, whether you are doing it knowingly or not. Think about the fact that this could be another Charlottesville...

What many non-queer people don't seem to realize is that the alt-right has been attacking us from the outside and the inside.
They create fake LGBTQ accounts on social media to promote pedophilia and soil our community's image.
They spread hateful propaganda against transgender people and come to our parades to attack transgender people, pretending to be LGBTQ so as to divide us and tear us apart.
The Straight Pride Parade is just another way for the alt-right to attack our community and show us hatred.

Now, don't get me wrong, there is prejudice within the community. Every queer person is aware of that.
We have to be vigilant and learn to tell when a person attacking us is truly LGBTQ or when the person is someone from the alt-right pretending to be LGBTQ to create issues from within. So when someone comes to us asking about Straight Pride, it is hard not to assume the worst.

Pride for queers isn’t about antagonizing others. It isn't about hurting anyone or rejecting anyone.
It started as riots because of the injustices and the violence constantly perpetrated against queer people. Today, it has become the one occasion for queers to be together in a safe environment once a year—a safe environment straight people do not need in the same way. (Well, Pride is almost safe because there are still bigots who come to Pride to beat us up for fun. It happens every year!)

I have also seen genuine questions as to how queers have been oppressed through history and are still oppressed today, so here are but a few examples:

- During WWII, gay men were put in concentration camps and forced-castrated by the Nazis.
Imagine having people forcing an innocent man to lose his balls, literally. How horrific that would be for any cis man out there!

- When AIDS broke out, young gay men were left to die because nobody cared. They only started to care when the disease started affecting straight people. Bigots were actually wishing for that horrible disease to take down innocent men who hadn't hurt anyone. How cruel can people be?

- LGBTQ kids get kicked out of their houses for being queer constantly.

- Many churches do not open their doors to LGBTQ people (including kids in need of shelter). Some churches refuse to help homeless people if they are LGBT.

- Transgender people are no longer allowed to serve in the army because they are transgender.
- LGBTQ people cannot hold hands or kiss in public without getting harassed or insulted by bigots.

- In Chechnya and many countries around the world, LGBT people are put in camps, tortured, and killed just because they are queer.

And that is just a tiny portion of how LGBTQ people are discriminated against every single day.
ALL those actions were and are perpetrated by straight bigots. ALL of them.

Now, I know some straight people also get killed and harassed and can get discriminated against, BUT it is NOT because they are straight. And that's the difference. And because LGBTQ people are put through intense suffering because of straight bigots, it feels like hatred when straight people want a parade. It basically tells LGBTQ people that straight people are proud of the way they have been treating the LGBTQ community.

As a cis woman who is married to a cis man, I know how privileged I am to be allowed to show him affection in the open without ever fearing to get harassed, insulted, or killed for it.

Just think about it this way: LGBTQ people get killed for kissing the person they love. They get beaten up for holding hands.

As a cis straight person, do you ever fear for your life because you kissed your partner or spouse in public? No.
The next time you do kiss your loved one in public or hold their hand or simply hug them, imagine doing so with absolute fear in your heart that someone could hurt you or your loved one for it. Imagine kissing your loved one and having a random stranger attack your loved one and beat them up to the point of landing them into a hospital or a casket. That's a reality for queer people every single day, and it is not an exaggeration.

Straight Pride is not an issue in and of itself. There is nothing wrong with people wanting something special for themselves. The issue comes from the fact that it was an idea created by and promoted by people who absolutely hate LGBTQ people. The problem is that Pride for queers came from a place of genuine pain that has never, not once in history, been inflicted upon straight people because they were straight.

Instead of doing a Straight Pride and focusing on themselves, maybe straight people could ask how they can help better the difficult lives of LGBTQ people.
That’s what a kind, considerate, and caring person would do. They wouldn’t make Pride Month about themselves when their orientation has never been a cause for suffering in any way.
This is a month when straight people can learn, not only about queer history, but also about our trials, about the beauty of our community, and about the various ways our community has been hurt over the past centuries.

I hope this answered your questions. LGBTQ people need allies. Demanding a Straight Pride is not the right way to be an ally. It is, however, the perfect way to play into the hands of the alt-right.

Thank you for reading.