With pride season upon us, I have been scrolling past more and more posts on Facebook about how LGBTQ+ pride parades are unequal and exclusive to Straight people. One of my favorite articles that has been causing commotion in my newsfeed lately is "Dear straight allies, please don't come to pride until you've understood these 6 things," by Meg Cale.
As I continue to come across these posts, I choose to not say anything directly and happily click "unfriend" on the complainer's profile. But, I have been trying to think of a way to nicely tell straight people that we don't care what they think about Pride, or if they come.
This is not me saying straight people can't celebrate with us at Pride. If you're an ally, come! But if you're not an ally, again, we don't really care about your opinion, or if you come. That is kind of the whole idea behind Pride, anyway, you know.. to not care about what hateful people think and celebrate who you are.
In case you haven't read Meg's article, she gives a history lesson on Pride. To sum it up, the Stonewall Riots of 1969 mark the first official Pride celebration. Much like our police force today, officers targeted specific, profiled individuals and found some reason to arrest them. Patrons of the Stonewall Inn and the LGBT community finally decided to take action against the harassment and injustice, which slowly turned into a riot. It was a riot that was a fight for equality, but also a celebration of sexuality and identity.
Anyway, Pride became an annual event for LGBTQ+ folk to celebrate their sexualities and the overcoming of oppression.
And I think that my previous statement is what many straight people seem to forget when it comes to Pride: who it is really for.
We don't have Pride every year for straight people to celebrate being straight. You're straight? Awesome! Yay! I'm glad you know your sexuality and are comfortable with it, truly. I'm sure everyone else in the community also agrees with me.
Buuuuuuut once again, Pride is an event for LGBTQ+ folk to celebrate their sexualities and the overcoming of oppression. We love and accept everyone with open arms that wants to celebrate with us! Just keep in mind that Pride is about acceptance, love, and pride in being different, as well as how far the LGBTQ+ community has come.
I can guarantee Meg meant no harm by her article, just like I don't. I would LOVE if every straight person went to Pride to celebrate us with us! In fact, I hope everyone reading this attends their city's Pride. If you're part of the community, welcome home! If you're a guest (straight/cis), act accordingly, be respectful, and love on.
I hope you start loading up on rainbow apparel and practicing your "YAAASSS!"