Recently, a group in Boston announced plans for a straight pride parade. It’s been a hot topic within the LGTBQ community and even mainstream media outlets. I certainly haven’t wasted any extra energy looking in to the main organizer’s background, so I don't know his exact rationalization for a straight pride parade. There have been plenty of fiery, educational posts about this covering the reasons why LGBTQ pride parades are so crucial to our community and why straight pride parades are irrelevant. In particular, Gay Times (@gaytimes on Instagram) made a great post that I’ve seen reposted many times. Instagram was rife with memes and roasts, but from what I saw the general response was one of understandable anger and outrage.
I agree, and there is a part of me that is fed up and insulted by a straight pride parade. Having Pride celebrations is a way for LGBTQ people to take a break from constantly being on alert. We can take a deep breath and relax for once.
In some ways, LGBTQ acceptance has never been higher, so a straight pride parade appears to be a natural response from someone who may feel threatened by our power as a community. I was actually a little taken aback that so many people were surprised that a straight pride parade might happen. The past two years or so have done nothing but increase tolerance towards hate against minorities, and this is just the latest step. So kudos, Mr. straight pride, you’re entirely transparent and predictable.
That being said, I have to admit my general reaction to this straight pride or any other that may pop up is complete indifference. I don’t give a single fuck if that’s what these people choose to do with their time and money. If that’s how they choose to exercise their freedom of speech, so be it.
For us, we have so many positives to focus on, however imperfect they (and we) may be. Pride parades are growing in size and number all across the country. Within those different celebrations, representation of the LGTBQ community and our allies is constantly increasing, and that representation is finally including people of color, transgender people, and those who live outside the binary. It’s still a struggle, but there’s starting to be a clearer path towards more widespread acceptance, and those that choose to stand in the way will be disregarded.
Pride is a time for LGBTQ people to let go and be free, to revel in our fabulousness, to finally exhale in spaces that are dedicated to us, if even only for one day or one weekend of the year. Look at photos of any Pride celebration; you will see faces alight with joy and personality.
People from all parts of the LGBTQ community work so hard to carve out spaces where they can be their whole selves. Pride is an integral part of that, and it deserves all of the attention and focus it can get. Let’s leave this straight pride in the dust where it belongs, and go back to focusing on our LGBTQ family. My first Pride is right around the corner, both as a business owner and an individual. I can’t wait.