Why We Don’t Need a Straight Pride Parade
A couple of days ago, Boston city officials approved a permit for a Straight Pride Parade to take place on August 31st. Although the event’s organizers, Super Happy Fun America, still need the approval of a licensing board and police district captains, more than 2,000 people are expected to show up if it goes through.
It doesn’t seem like much of a coincidence that the idea of a heterosexual pride event is gaining popularity at the tail-end of June, which is LGBTQ+ pride month. After spending an entire month celebrating members of the LGBTQ+ community, it isn’t that surprising that some straight people are feeling a little left out.
Although the mastermind behind the parade, John Hugo, has assured everyone that the event is “not anti-gay but pro-straight”, he’s faced some backlash for the idea — and for good reason.
Even if people like Hugo might be able to throw a straight pride parade, that doesn’t mean they should.
There’s not really a reason to
As a bisexual woman, I wouldn’t consider myself particularly active in LGBTQ+ pride events. This is partly because I live in a tiny southern city on the edge of the bible belt. The LGBTQ+ community here is a lot like oxygen or gravity — you know it’s there, but you can’t see it or hear it.
However, despite my lackluster participation in pride events, I still love knowing that they exist. I love that I live in an era where LGBTQ+ people feel comfortable enough to celebrate their identities instead of hiding them — which is why I will never be able to support the idea of a straight pride parade.
Whenever I hear heterosexual people bring up the idea of a straight pride parade, they always sound like someone’s bratty kid. “Well, Tina’s mom lets her eat chocolate cake for dinner, so why can’t I eat chocolate cake for dinner?”
Even if LGBTQ+ pride parades look a lot like a bunch of half-naked people covered in rainbow glitter and body paint, these events symbolize so much more. Not only are they a way for marginalized people who may face homophobia and discrimination in their every day lives to interact in a safe way, but they also recognize just how far the LGBTQ+ rights movement has come.
Straight pride parades, on the other hand, happen because a group of heterosexual people feel left out. They see someone else eating chocolate cake, and they want it too.
While the LGBTQ+ community has been trying to claw their way up the mountain for decades, straight people are already sitting on top.
We already celebrate straight pride all the time
People like John Hugo can say what they want, but the reason we don’t need a straight pride parade to remind us of the joys of heterosexuality is because we already know. We see it all the time.
Heterosexual characters dominate the TV screen and everyone’s favorite blockbuster movies. Out of the 109 major films produced in 2017, GLAAD counted that only 14 contained an LGBTQ+ character.
Hell, Disney tried to include the most inconsequential “gay moment” of all time in their live-action Beauty and the Beast, and it still got banned in places like Kuwait, Malaysia, and in rural Alabama.
The LGBTQ+ community has to fight tooth and nail to even be seen, and straight people just don’t have the same battles. They don’t have to worry about countries like Kuwait or Malaysia banning their films because you briefly see a man and a woman dancing in the background.
In real life, the same odds are true. A man tenderly kissing his girlfriend doesn’t warrant the same reaction as two women holding hands. Teenagers don’t get thrown out of their homes or disowned by their parents because they came out as straight.
Whether we go to Hugo’s event or not, we’re already attending a straight pride event: it’s called life.
Everyone — straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, etc. — should be proud of their sexuality. However, not everyone needs a parade to celebrate it either. LGBTQ+ pride events are about more than just rainbow flags and glitter — they’re an opportunity for LGBTQ+ people to gather in a safe place, and recognize the progress they’ve made.
For me, Hugo’s straight pride parade and any others that may pop up feel a lot like gender reveal parties or half-birthday parties. You might get to eat some cake and post your best selfies on Facebook afterward, but there’s really no reason to have them.