Dear Straight People: A Reminder About What 'Pride' Is Really For

Dear Straight People: A Reminder About What 'Pride' Is Really For

Sometimes people lose sight of what Pride is really for, which isn't to be unequal and exclusive. Here's a reminder. Happy Pride!
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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!"


Cover Image Credit: Wellesley Free Library

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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Don't Ask Me if it's Real or Not

PSA: Don't ask a girl if her hair is real or not, you may get a response you weren't expecting.

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I am a server at a restaurant in Tampa, and last weekend at work I got asked numerous questions about my hair. Normally, getting asked about my hair isn't a huge issue for me, but it was the comments that were said after, as well as the look of disbelief in this person's face when I answered them.

I walked up to greet my table. Two elderly couples were coming in for drinks and dinner. Putting on my best customer service voice and smile, I introduce myself. As soon as I finish, one of the gentlemen looks at me and says, "WOW. Is that all of your natural hair?" I smile nervously and assured him that this was the hair growing out of my scalp. He then proceeds to add a comment saying,

"It's so big. It looks like you stuck your finger in something and got electrocuted."

I had to sit and pause for a second after hearing this. I think my facial expressions could tell how I was feeling, because his wife jumped in and tried to compliment me on the thickness of my hair, envying it because she didn't have as much hair.

After such an experience, I decided to conduct an Instagram poll, to see what other people's opinions were about this incident, and if it's ever happened to them. Based on the results, people with naturally straight hair don't get asked if their hair is real or not, compared to those with naturally curly hair. Out of those with naturally straight hair, about 76% of the people that voted, have not experienced someone question the authenticity of their hair. On the other hand, of those with naturally curly hair, approximately 82% said they do get questioned about the authenticity of their hair. As a result, 66% of that 82% with naturally curly hair, are of African-American decent or mixed races.

So what's the big deal?

Naturally straight-haired people rarely ever get asked if their hair is real, however, once someone comes along with naturally curly hair and happens to be a person of color, originality is questioned. Why does a certain category of people get asked more often if their hair is real or not? Stereotypes? Ignorance? Genuine lack of knowledge?

Whatever the reason may be, it needs to stop. Wigs and extensions are extremely common in this day and age, but they also aren't restricted to one race of people. Even celebrities of fair skin wear wigs and fake hair.

Whenever I get asked about the authenticity of my hair, people look astonished when I tell them it is all mine. Why would anyone think the hair growing out of my scalp is fake? It is a known stereotype that people of color do have more coarse and curly hair textures, but that also isn't the case for everyone. We need to stop putting people in categories based on stereotypes. This applies to more than just hair texture. Especially when interacting with strangers, you cannot assume things based on what you've heard or any prejudgements you may mentally make. Asking someone if their hair is real or not, is just as bad as asking someone if they got a nose job or breast implants. What if you ask them and they say no? It can be more offensive to that person than you think. I understand there are cases where the person genuinely is uneducated about other hair types, but either way, those types of comments or questions should not be vocalized. As a society we need to be more considerate of the things we say, as well as get rid of stereotypes and negative prejudgments. At the end of the day, we are all the same species. We may look completely different than the person next to us, but that's the beauty of it all.

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