Ben Hsu

Blog · Essay · LGBTQ · Nonfiction

Are They Harming Anyone?

Sweet Lady Henderson has just about had enough of your shit.

It’s an argument I hear (read) about the Straight Pride Parade being organized in Boston, “Are they hurting anyone?” Admittedly, it’s mostly coming from 20 something year old, edgelord wannabes prancing about on 4chan. But they are people of voting age and I think it’s important to honestly answer their obviously rhetorical question. Plus, I personally know at least of few of these folk (Don’t worry, not going to name names).

So, the long answer is: Yes, it’s openly mocking and belittling LGBQTA+ culture. The common response to this answer is, “How so? If it’s okay to be proud of being gay or whatever, why is it bad to be proud of being straight?” (They are normally not as polite). Here’s where the answer gets a little long. The pride, in LGBQTA+ culture stems from an acceptance of yourself. Being anything outside of ‘normal’ in our society has fairly terrible consequences. You’re basically left with the option of forever pretending to be someone you’re not ,or be subjected to bullying, discrimination, and physical violence. Neither of these options is acceptable in the long term, or even the short term really. If you’re coming from that background, then being proud of your gender, sexuality, race, or religion is a rejection of inherently unfair treatment. The normal people (RE: White, Straight, Cis) don’t have to pretend to be something else or risk potentially horrible consequences, why should we?

At this point, ask yourself, “If that’s where the pride in LGBQTA+ comes from, where does the pride in the Straight Pride Parade come from?” These people don’t have a history rooted in fear and alienation; more often than not, they’re the ones doing the alienation. There’s no obstacles or hardships to overcome from being straight. There’s certainly no discrimination or inherent threat of violence toward you for being straight. So why then, are they ‘proud’ to be straight? Sadly, I don’t have a definitive answer, but if it’s anything like most interactions between LGBQTA+ groups and insensitive, straight, cis people, I can take a guess. Putting on a Straight Pride Parade without having done anything to warrant being proud is, at best, a pathway into self-entitlement. What will more likely happen is the achievements of the LGBQTA+ community will be marginalized and ‘pride culture’ will slowly turn into a participation award style and everything will go back to normal. Bear in mind ‘normal’ in this case means everyone who isn’t considered ‘normal’ goes back to needing to pretend to be something they’re not for fear of being insulted, beaten, or fired. It’s an attack at an otherwise safe space specifically set up by a group of people that are otherwise unsafe in modern society.

Well, there’s your answer. Yes, the Straight Pride Parade is harming people. The fact that they’re claiming discrimination and equal rights is just the shit stained cherry on the rotting sludge cake. These people are not discriminated against, they don’t live in fear just for being themselves. There has been nothing done to them that warrants extra protection and the very fact that they’re claiming the victim role is, in the best scenario, a mocking insult. A better question to ask is: “Are the LGBQTA+ groups harming anyone?”

Blog · Essay · LGBTQ · Nonfiction

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