Thursday, 6 February 2014

Why (as a straight woman) I think "Straight Pride" is nonsense.


Every now and then, something is shared on Facebook that makes me blink several times and say "EH?"  I know; it's a highly intellectual response...  Anyway, today I saw this picture.  And after I'd had my traditional "eh" moment, I had a really good laugh.  Because, it's a joke, right?  RIGHT?!

Apparently not...

"Straight Pride" is, it turns out, an actual thing.  The trouble is, it's a thing that isn't remotely needed.  It's a thing that has the potential to minimise the struggle for gay equality.  I mean, look at the wording in that image:  "Apparently it's now intolerant and bigoted to be straight and proud in this upside down, politically correct society we live in."

Is it intolerant and bigoted to be straight and proud?  No, not in itself.  I'm straight.  I guess "proud" is the wrong adjective to use to describe my feelings about it, because I was born that way (just as gay/bisexual people are born that way), but I'm proud of the person I am, if that counts.  Being straight is just a part of that.

What is intolerant and bigoted is to suggest that gay pride is somehow a symptom of "the upside down, politically correct society we live in."  And let's face it.  That appears to be what the image implies.

Oh, how terribly upside down of us, to believe that gay rights are actually just human rights and that no person should be denied their rights based on their sexuality!  IT'S POLITICAL CORRECTNESS GONE MAD! 


Here's the thing.  We don't need a Straight Pride Day.  And I say that as someone passionate about giving everyone the right to be proud of who they are.  So if you're straight and you think that's great (ooh!  I wrote a poem!), then go right ahead and feel free.  Enjoy the life you have!  Be proud!  But in between celebrating your straightness, have a think about a few things...

In much of the world, being gay is still illegal.  In Iran and parts of Africa, it's punishable by death.  Even in some countries where gay people are allowed to marry, the marriage is clearly viewed as an inferior substitute for a marriage between a man and a woman.  In Russia, with the Winter Olympics taking off, there is a law which criminalises discussion of gay rights in front of minors.  Not gay sex.  Gay rights.  It's against the law to talk about the human rights of an entire group of people in front of children, because those people happen to be gay.

Ask yourselves, whilst you're slipping on your Straight Pride t-shirt, how you'd feel if it was illegal for you to marry your partner of the opposite gender?  Question, whilst you're planning to march in support of straight people everywhere, what it would be like to live in a country where you have to hide your straightness in case you're arrested and put to death?  Think for a second, what it might be like to be unable to walk down the street, holding your partner's hand, without being subjected to verbal - and sometimes physical - abuse?  To have people assume that you might be a paedophile, based on nothing but your sexuality?  To have religious people scream at you that you're going to burn in HELL?

The fact is, that's just not the case.  The very notion of "Straight Pride" ignores the fact that straight people have privileges that gay people are still denied in many parts of the world.  As straight people, we're not subjected to the same persecution.  We have no idea how lucky we are in comparison.  We can speak about being proud of our sexuality whenever we choose.  And that's why, whilst everyone has the right to be proud of who they are, the idea of "Straight Pride" is a pointless one.

Gay Pride was born out of a need for gay people to speak unanimously against the discrimination and violence they faced every day.  The term "Pride" is used to counter the shame and social stigma homophobes and bigots throw at the gay community.  Gay Pride is now a way for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people to unite and find support from those with shared experiences.  It's a way of actively and visibly campaigning for equality, whilst celebrating diversity and fostering an atmosphere of inclusion.  


Too many people use the "Straight Pride" banner as an excuse to push their anti-gay views, too.  It's often used as a response to Gay Pride, which is ridiculous - countering an event created to give an abused minority a voice, by creating an event to give the majority (who already have rights and a platform) an even louder voice?  Wow, guys...  *Slow clap*

Like I said, I have no problem with anyone being proud of who they are.  And if straight people want to be proud of being straight, then go for it.  But we don't need to march to defend straight people's rights, because we have them all already.  We don't need to speak up for greater understanding of straight issues, because they're the issues that the world already takes notice of and understands.  And we don't need a special day for Straight Pride.  Because every day is Straight Pride day, in a world where gay people can be executed for their sexuality.

So let's be proud of who we are.  But let's be even prouder when people with fewer rights than we have stand together and demand equality.  Because they're not asking for gay rights.  They're asking for human rights.  And we already have them.







9 comments:

  1. Interesting take. Only thing is, if straight people shouldn't have a pride day because...well we are just born that way, why do gays? Weren't they just born that way? and if straight people weren't allowed marriage, probably wouldn't be many people around. Gays can't reproduce...see,same plumbing and all.

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    1. -Because as of 2014, according to the cdc report, straight ppl make up almost 97 percent of the population. (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nhsr/nhsr077.pdf)

      -We're practically the default relationship in EVERY movie ever (Have you never asked yourself why straight media is just called romance, and everything else is labeled Gay/Lesbian?).

      -LGBT relationships are seen as more sexual and taboo than regular, even without sex. It's the reason why 12 year olds are "too young" to know their sexualities or gender, but there are Chick Magnet shirts at Baby Gap.

      -Straight Pride parades are literally just parades.

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    2. Okay, Dallas Wright, I'll trade you. I'll be the privileged, ignorant heterosexual, and you can go through life knowing that over half the people you know and love would deny you your basic human rights. You can be physically and verbally abused for the way you were born. You can be terrified every time you go out in public with your significant other, because in many places it is legal to abuse someone for no reason other than their sexual orientation. This is what it's like to be LGBT+, but it's all worth it if you get the damn parade, isn't it?

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    3. Um, you realize that people can and do reproduce outside of marriage, right? Marriage was just a man-made construct to keep track of ties and property, aka women, and has, in the past, included polygamy. There are also many infertile or childless couples, so are their marriages worth less? HINT: Reproduction is not the purpose of marriage. Besides, gay people can technically reproduce; some tolerate having sex with the opposite sex to have their own baby, or they might just use a donor / in vitro.

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    4. Shania Sanchez

      "-LGBT relationships are seen as more sexual and taboo than regular, even without sex. It's the reason why 12 year olds are "too young" to know their sexualities or gender, but there are Chick Magnet shirts at Baby Gap."

      I know this is true, but much of it can actually be traced back to the gay community itself. Of course, some people don't speak for everybody, but one has to think about how it is percieved.

      I've seen a lot of pride-parades and attended a couple myself and large portion of the participants made it seem like more of a sex-parade than a gay rights parade.
      I am pro gay right and all, but I do think it is important to differate between love and sex.
      I saw mainly naked people with buttplugs and leather walking around, slaves, horse play, people having sex in front of everyone etc.
      It is not the fault of the ones arranging it themselves but even in the official program there was a lot of sex.
      I am not saying there is anything wrong with sex, I am saying that by having SO MUCH sex implemented in the one parade that one time in an entire year that is supposed to promote gay rights and that will unevitably stand to represent the gay rights movement, wherever you look around you there is sex and perversion. (perversion doesn't neccesarily need to be a bad thing but there is a time and place for everything.
      It's like arranging a christian parade with the intention of showing that christians can be just like us and have a hellfire-preacher attend.

      It is talked about how "straight pride" hurts the gay right movement, but I honestly think the gay pride movement often hurts the gay rights movement.

      If we actually care about the people in countries where homosexuality is punishable by death, and we want to change their ways, no ammount of flag-waving is going to make a difference, especially when said parade displays what in those countries would be considered a clear evidence for the deprivity and decadence that makes up the gay movement.

      You and I both know not everyone is the same, but not everyone knows that. People see what they want to see, especially if they already have prejudice, and we see proof of this everywhere.
      A gay man who is also a pedophile - that means ALL homosexuals must be pedophiles. Etc.

      What I am saying is that people are putting their own political agenda in front of the wellbeing of others. If we want to show other countries that homosexual people are just like heterosexual people apart from the obvious sexual preference or sometimes simply romantic preference, shouldn't we be more careful?

      Why can't there be a pride parade AND a sex parade? Why is the pride parade virtually a sexparade in the first place?
      I personally don't understand it, and I do think it is harmful. Far more harmful than allowing some "straight pride" advocates to just do their thing. IF they are bashing on gay people, THEN it is time to intervene, but there is NO reason to shame people simply for being pro straight.
      Some people actually do feel that being straight has become something "ugly" within certain movements, and they have a right to their own opinion and to demonstrate this without getting attacked.
      The only ones that should be "outed" are those who actually do spread hate.

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  2. I can only applaud the above comment and agree wholeheartedly.

    We don't *need* a straight pride, because we're already afforded all of the rights that people of any sexual orientation should be given. It's not about celebrating just having been born into one sexuality or another. It's about acceptance, tolerance and respect. The vast majority of straight couples have that shown to them by the media and the law already.

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  3. I absolutely love this article and agree 100%. Thanks for the support! (I'm a lesbian) I think you are awesome! 👏

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  4. I love this!!! I have been trying to explain this to people for some time now. Thank you for wording it so perfectly!! I cannot wait to share it!
    From a straight, LGBT advocate and friend. ♥

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  5. Thank you :) I couldn't have said it better myself. I am proud of who I am as a human being, being straight is just a teeny tiny part of that

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