Internationally, the month of June is recognised as pride month for the LGBTIQ+ community to commemorate the Stonewall riots of June 1969. The word ‘pride’, in this context, is used as an antonym for ‘shame’ or ‘disgrace’ – words which were and are still used to describe anything that is not hetero.
The phrase ‘gay pride’, therefore, didn’t just sprout from the ground like daisies and sunflowers. It is used to counter the stigma attached to people based on their non-heterosexuality.
June has, in recent years, been overrun by #StraightPrideParade on social media, which still leaves me stunned because, firstly, it comes as a direct response to #GayPride and secondly, it is not necessary.
Why the talk about “straight pride” when straight people have never been subjected to discrimination or ever been called a shame on the basis of their heterosexuality? In fact, straight people are the most privileged people as far as human sexuality is concerned – they enjoy the comforts and benefits of heteronormativity from birth.
There shouldn’t be any talk about “straight pride”, at least not if it’s being equated to gay pride. Straight people never had their sexuality criminalised anywhere in the world; no one has ever been killed because they were straight; straight people always had their right to marry; nobody has ever refused to bake a wedding cake because the couple was straight. I can go on and on.
It’s true that people don’t have to go through oppression before they can be proud of who they are. But the #StraightPrideParade is bogus – it’s not about being proud of heterosexuality. It was started to counter the LGBTIQ+ pride and if the LGBTQI+ pride didn’t exist, neither would the so-called straight pride.
Supporters of straight pride seemingly fail to understand that gay pride was born to repudiate the idea that being gay is bad and also to celebrate sexualities that are being oppressed. Contrariwise, the straight pride parade was born simply because LGBTIQ+ pride exists.
Straight people can have their pride if they want to, but please, they shouldn’t equate it to the LGBTIQ+ pride. They don’t know oppression and straight pride is not what it’s cracked up to be.