If you aren't aware, June is Pride Month for the LGBTQ+ community. But every time it rolls around, people start asking the same questions: "Why do we even need gay pride?" or "Why isn't there a straight pride?" To give the short answer, Pride is not a party, it's a protest. But you probably want the long one as well.
To address the first question, we need to look at the history of the LGBTQ+ community. You see, for the vast majority of history and even today, members of the LGBTQ+ community have been discriminated against and persecuted. There isn't a lot of recorded history of how queer people lived because, up until the 1960s, there was no way to even come out. There are some speculations about who may have been queer in the past, but very little solid evidence.
Let's not forget that gay marriage has only been legal in the US since 2015. And there are still people working to limit the civil rights of queer people through laws that would restrict bathroom usage and allow for discrimination under religious pretenses. And don't even get me started on the violence against transgendered people. In 2018, there have already been 12 transgendered people violently murdered among the others who have been assaulted because of their queer identity.
And that's just in the US. In 74 countries, it is still illegal to be gay, with the punishment being death in some of them. Not to mention Chechnya, where suspected gays are being threatened, beaten, and killed.
Pride has been used as a way to push back from anti-LGBTQ+ ideology. Even the very first pride, in 1970, was to celebrate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots, an event that forced the LGBTQ+ community to become more visible and really push for equal rights. Now, most major cities have a Pride celebration of some sort. While it usually looks like a party (and is so fun, really you should check it out) it is still a protest. We are still working towards the same goal that they were a year after Stonewall. Whenever we celebrate Pride, we are saying that we are not ashamed of who we are and that we will not stay silent any longer.
Now to answer the second question, "why isn't there a straight pride," we must ask another question: "Have straight people ever needed Pride?" No. They haven't. Now, saying that straight people shouldn't have Pride doesn't mean they can't be proud of themselves, but they don't need it the same way queer people do. Never in the history of the world has a straight person been discriminated against for their sexual and gender identity. They've never been turned down for jobs or housing because of it and have always been allowed to get married. So, yes, be proud of who you are, but understand that queer Pride is a different kind of pride and is used for different reasons.
The LGBTQ+ community still needs pride. And we are going to keep celebrating it until all queer people everywhere have equal rights and are protected from discrimination whether you like it or not.