Recently, a person I know reposted this photo on their Facebook page, and I want to explain why it hurts.
Beginning with the note on the side, it tells you that “I’ve seen others post this and they are attacked viciously.” No, others post this and mindful persons call those people out for their lack of understanding how close minded the straight pride sign can be. Being attacked viciously is what happens when LGBTQ people walk down the street just being themselves, not what happens when you post an ignorant message on your social media.
Then, “Apparently it is now intolerant and bigoted to be straight and proud…” Let’s be clear, it’s never been unacceptable to be straight. Heterosexuality remains the norm, in books, on tv, in films, in advertising, in life, i.e. heterosexuality is the default sexuality for people until they declare otherwise.
Pride is the problem in this equation. LGBTQ people have had to claim the word pride in order to create a safe space to express themselves. Society as it stands did not begin with that safe space, so a safety zone needed to be created. Claiming straight pride detracts from that minimal safe area LGBTQ people can call their own.
Straight people are rarely “ashamed” of their straightness. On an individual level, a person might be uncomfortable being open and public with their relationship, but that’s not as a result of sexual orientation with heterosexuality. Society is accepting of heterosexuality, making “straight pride” unnecessary. In fact, there is a privilege with being straight. People value straight people as more complete, and every person is automatically viewed and treated as a second class citizen when they proclaim their non-heterosexuality.
What I ask here is that people understand being proud of your heterosexual relationship is fine, even encouraged. But proclaiming “straight pride” belittles the reality that all members of the LGBTQ community live in a world that doesn’t always let them have pride in who they are, and need to scream it from the rooftops in response.
Thanks for reading.
Claire Straeten Draper
Here was my original comment in response:
This post is in fact intolerant in that straight people spend their lives being proud, can walk comfortably down the street holding hands, but everyone in the LGBTQ community has the fear that if they hold hands with their significant other they will be on the receiving end of more than just glares. While LGBTQ couples are being beaten in the United States and countries around the globe for just loving who they love, they deserve every bit of their Pride parades and shouldn’t have that singular moment of security damaged by straight people proclaiming straight pride. Because being comfortable to express affection to a significant other, being able to proclaim your relationship on Facebook, being able to talk comfortably to family about the person your bringing to dinner is inherently a pride LGBTQ people don’t have. No LGBTQ person is saying don’t proclaim straight pride, rather that you already have that privilege and detract from the message of LGBTQ pride month with this type of post.