We’re going to briefly but diligently address the absurdity of things such as “Heterosexual Pride Day” trending internationally on Twitter.
The general inspiration for the trending topic can be summarized as: “What’s wrong with straight people expressing pride in who they are? If LGBTQ+ people get a day, or month, why shouldn’t we?”
It’s the same logic that pops up every February with the question of “Why isn’t there a White History Month?” With an extreme “benefit of the doubt” approach, we’re taking this as an educational opportunity for both community members and allies alike.
The concept of “Gay Pride” was not born out of sheer celebration of one’s identity. It was a necessity; a response to violence, inequality and death. The Stonewall riots marked the beginning of the LGBTQ+ civil rights movement after years of facing police brutality, witch hunts and raids. Pride is, and was, a march for freedom, safety and the promise of a better future. From Stonewall to the AIDS epidemic, the death of Matthew Shepard to the shootings in Orlando, our community and its allies have continued the tradition of Pride to remind those who discriminate against us, who harm us, who kill us, that we will not be silent in our suffering.
It is a gathering of remembrance. It is a celebration of life, not sexual identities. It is a statement of perseverance in the face of adversity and loss. LZ Granderson, in an opinion piece for CNN, said: “Gay Pride was not born out of a need to celebrate not being straight but our right to exist without prosecution … So maybe instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride month or movement, straight people should be thankful they don’t need one.”
To feel left out of a history plagued with oppression is nonsensical. To feel threatened or offended by a community’s need to come together and raise each other up when in an instant 49 of its brothers and sisters can be gunned down for the same reason is beyond our comprehension. To those partaking in #HeterosexualPrideDay, ask yourself this: Why are you interested in appropriating tragedy, in victimhood?
Heteronormativity created the closet, demanding those inside of it to crawl out on their own. Heteronormativity continues to breed the concept of “Straight until proven Guilty” in our society. It withholds civil liberties, endangers lives and costs millions.
It persists despite our progress, and therefore the need for LGBTQ+ Pride must persist alongside it. To those who only know Pride as a parade and a party, we ask that you take the time to educate yourself on our history. We are proud to still be breathing, knowing how many before us were stopped for having the nerve to be their authentic selves.