Let me begin by stating that I am a straight, white woman and therefore fit into the demographic I am criticizing. Therefore, I have not personally experienced any of the injustices I'm going to be touching on in the following; however, I have heard about and am able to recognize such injustices because I have friends and family who have undergone these experiences.
Straight, white people are really good at taking an influential movement started by and made to empower a minority, and making it about themselves. I write this now because, while Pride Month may be over now that it's officially July, this is a conservation that deserves to be held all year round.
All throughout June, also known as Pride Month because of the Stonewall Riots that occurred in June of 1969, I heard and saw comments from people complaining and whining that there was a Pride Month and a parade for members of the LGBTQ+ community, but no such things existed for heterosexuals.
This gave me flashbacks. First to the month of February, also known as Black History Month, and then back a few years when the Black Lives Matter movement/riots were heightened.
During Black History Month I heard and saw numerous comments wondering and questioning when "White History Month" was. People just couldn't seem to understand why there was an entire month dedicated to black history, and yet no such honor was bestowed upon white history. Similarly, during what I would consider the height of the Black Lives Matter movement, campaigns began circling for "Blue Lives Matter" (referring to the lives of police officers) and "White Lives Matter."
These instances, to me, have the same energy as heterosexuals wanting a parade to demonstrate their pride in being straight.
This drives me absolutely crazy. Every time I see a comment like that on social media I have to resist the urge to respond to it with a long-winded essay explaining why those things (white history month and a heterosexual pride parade) aren't necessary.
What a lot of straight, white people don't seem to grasp is that African-Americans and members of the LGBTQ+ community aren't attempting to claim that they are better. They are not saying their lives matter more, nor are they saying only LGBTQ+ pride should be nationally celebrated. Instead, they're bringing attention to the fact that they deserve to be recognized as equals; not more, and not less.
There is no white history month because white history is constantly being recognized. I'd even go so far as to argue history is white-washed, because history books are more times than not written by the victors, and more times than not the victors are white men. Black History Month exists for many reasons, one of them being that it isn't unrealistic to think that if it didn't exist, we wouldn't acknowledge black history at all. We see commercials and advertisements and campaigns that teach us about black history during the month of February, but the rest of the year we seem to ignore even history's most famous African-Americans. This month of honor does not exist because black history is more meaningful than white history; it exists because black history is of equal importance to white history.
The Blue Lives Matter and White Lives Matter campaigns were offensive and received some backlash because the premises they were based on were never being called into question. Of course the lives of police officers matter, and of course the lives of white people matter, no one was arguing with that — I doubt anyone has ever argued with that. The lives of African-Americans, though? That was being questioned and has been questioned for centuries, hence why the campaign was started. It was not an attempt to say African-American lives are more valuable than white lives; it was a way to bring attention to the fact that African-American lives are also important and deserve to be held to an equal standard to that of white lives.
Here I circle back to my original point. There is no heterosexual pride parade or month designated to the celebration of heterosexuals because straight men and women don't face the injustices members of the LGBTQ+ community face. They aren't bullied in schools, discriminated against by businesses, kicked out of their homes by their families, or beaten for who they love — something they have no control over I might add. So, why isn't there a month or parade dedicated to heterosexual pride? Because straight people don't need to raise awareness for their lifestyle to be justified; it's been justified since the beginning of time. The LGBTQ+ community, on the other hand, needs to band together and celebrate to be assured that they are not alone and to express their pride; they're not ashamed of who they are and nobody else should be either.
So, to straight, white people: if you're someone who was upset last month because there is no heterosexual pride parade, you need to realize your lifestyle and your race is already justified and celebrated. Give the rest of the world a chance; they deserve to be seen as equals.