by Ayana Antoine ’20
Every June, LGBT people across the world celebrate Pride month, which commemorates their community’s struggles throughout history and the strides they have made. Besides members of the LGBT community, the events during Pride month include both people who have not come out yet and those who aren’t in the community but support of LGBT efforts. The celebration grows more prominent every year, from large companies giving their support to celebrities acknowledging and celebrating the efforts of the disenfranchised group.
Despite all the positivity this month is meant to represent, there was a push in Boston to have a “Straight Pride” as a way for heterosexual people to show their Pride in showing off their sexuality. The “Straight Pride” celebration supposedly is intened to show inclusivity and celebrate the contributions that heterosexual people have made this society. The Boston Parade took place August 31 and only had about 200 participants to the thousands of counter protesters. The irony of this is Pride month celebrating LGBT people isn’t meant to solely represent the contribution of the LGBT people have made to society but is supposed to act as a way of acknowledging their contributions without ignoring the fact that their sexuality or gender identity may have caused additional obstacles in life. Although it may be hard to hear as a heterosexual or a cisgender person that people who don’t identify with you feel persecuted by you, the fact of the matter is there is a societal norm to be straight that LGBT people don’t have the privilege of identifying with, which is why having their own Pride month is so important.
Despite the unwarranted desire for the parade, the insistence for a “Straight Pride” comes as no surprise. The concept of a privileged group not feeling comfortable with a disenfranchised group speaking their truth is not new. For several decades during awareness months such as Black history month, Latin American history month, and Asian Pacific Island history month, there has been an interest in having a “White History Month,” But in the same way that white history is taught as a standard while black history is taught as an elective, “Straight Pride” has no real basis.
Straight people don’t have to face coming out or their sexuality being deemed a s sin. According to a Harvard study, more than half of LGBT-identifying people have experienced violence, on the basis of their sexuality or gender identity. Even if individuals don’t personally agree with the concept of Pride month, that doesn’t change the fact that straight people don’t face a prejudice that they need to celebrate overcoming.