opinion

COLUMN: Why “Straight Pride” should not happen



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A rainbow flag waves in the wind June 8 at Indy Pride in Indianapolis. Rainbow flags were displayed outside of shops on Massachusetts Avenue for pride. Alex Deryn Buy Photos

Since June is LGBTQ Pride Month, many cities across the nation have or are planning on hosting their annual pride festival.

However there have recently been sparks on social media about a “Straight Pride” event happening in Boston.

Pride events are when members of the LGBTQ community gather together to celebrate their sexual orientation in a public sphere, which has not also been an option for many.

People who do not identify as heterosexual most likely has experienced hatred for their sexual orientation, whether that is being called slurs or even assaulted for whom they love.

Pride is an open invitation to allow people to openly express their sexuality without having fear or anxiety of being verbally or physically attacked.

Naturally this “Straight Pride” event has faced a huge backlash from the LGBTQ community. Many are upset "Straight Pride" is actually going to happen in Boston.

Heterosexuals have not endured systematic hatred, oppression and persecution like non-heterosexual minorities have.

Twitter has been the host of many people showing their dismay at the thought of a Straight Pride event.

“I’m all for straight pride. Let them have all the things queer people have - fear and anxiety when in public, an upbringing full of shame and psychological abuse, uncertainty about whether the rights you’ve gained will be taken away at any given moment. #StraightPride,” shared one Twitter user.

Those identifying as heterosexual have not suffered hate crimes such as the Orlando Pulse club shooting in 2016, which was purely motivated by the shooter's homophobia.

As an outsider of the heterosexual community, I struggle to see where its motivation for this event comes from. However the LGBTQ community has a very renowned reason — Stonewall.

Stonewall happened in June 1969 when police officers conducted a raid on the Stonewall Inn, resulting in protests and riots from the LGBTQ community.

Stonewall hosted drag shows and welcomed any non-heterosexual individual to be their true self, but unfortunately, those people still had a lot to worry about.

“For instance, solicitation of same-sex relations was illegal in New York City, and there was a criminal statute that allowed police to arrest people wearing less than three gender-appropriate articles of clothing,” according to the History Channel’s website.

Many LGBTQ individuals would go to bars and clubs that serviced the community so they could express themselves; however police worked hard to shut these places down.

Openly-identifying LGBTQ individuals could not be served legally until 1966 — a privilege heterosexuals have not had to endure.

Stonewall is still very prevalent to the LGBTQ community since it was the monumental event that sparked change and motivation for equal rights.

“Stonewall is still considered a watershed moment of gay pride and has been commemorated since the 1970s with ‘pride marches’ held every June across the United States,” according to the American Psychological Association.

Opposition to Straight Pride is by no means an effort to oppress or silence the heterosexual community. Instead it is simply a fact that the LGBTQ community has pride events due to its long battle for equality.

This month, focus on and celebrate overcoming the trials and tribulations that LGBTQ members fought so hard, rather than taking attention away by hosting "Straight Pride."

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