While the month of June is celebrated as the LGBT Pride month, some straight folks in Boston have planned a “straight pride” parade in August so as to celebrate their heterosexuality. The future of this event is still uncertain, as it is receiving worldwide criticism. People are calling it a homophobic attempt to interfere in the very narrow space that the LGBTQIA+ community gets to voice its existence. It is like patriarchy organising a rally to celebrate toxic masculinity and even worse. But even more cringe-worthy is the straight pride flag which looks like a rag made from a jail uniform (quite ironic, considering how many gay people have to hide their sexual identity and masquerade as heterosexuals, due to social constraints.)

KEY TAKEAWAYS:

  • In what seems like an act of homophobia, a group of “straight” people have organised a straight pride parade, complete with a straight pride flag.
  • The straight pride flag upholds the myopic beliefs of sexuality being black and white. 
  • Does being heterosexual mean that one should reject homosexuality?
  • When will homophobic people understand that we are all part of the diverse sexual spectrum?

It has taken those who have been oppressed, decades to create platforms for themselves, where they can celebrate their existence and identity.

In the era of representation, it has become a trend for the entitled to feel left out and demand a space on the platforms that they have practically had for themselves for centuries. These groups have not only starred in, but also written the cultural narratives across numerous countries and cultures. It has taken those who have been oppressed, decades to create platforms for themselves, where they can celebrate their existence and identity. But alas self-victimisation goes hand in hand with the privilege that social reverence brings. We have seen this happen when #NotAllMen began to trend no sooner than #MeToo took over the social media two years ago.

The LGBTQIA+ community has experienced bias, hatred and rejection in almost every corner of the world, but slowly the tide is changing. They can step out in the open today in most countries, although bigotry is never far behind. Just recently a flight attendant and her girlfriend were beaten on a bus in the UK, when they refused to kiss each other on some miscreants’ coercion. The community is far from receiving complete social acceptance and love that it rightly deserves. It still needs to get out in the streets to bring attention to the phobia and bias it has to deal with on daily basis. This is why LGBT Pride month matters. The parades that paint the street with a splash of rainbow and diversity is essential because it lets who have spent a lifetime in closets breathe freely.

We are stuck with straight pride parade and flag which is just alphabets short of projecting how gender and sexuality are essentially black and white. No one needs such rigidity and dullness in the dynamic times that we live in.

What “straight” people need to do right now is sit down, accept that sexuality and gender can’t be as simple as black and white and let the LQBTQIA+ community claim its place in the society. Have a conversation with your child on acceptance, support equality in marriage and love, help in toning down the hostility against homosexuality by minding your own business. Instead, we are stuck with straight pride parade and flag which is just alphabets short of projecting how gender and sexuality are essentially black and white. No one needs such rigidity and dullness in the dynamic times that we live in. Never in my life has an icon celebrating a part of my identity felt so embarrassing. But then, this flag doesn’t represent heterosexuality, it celebrates homophobia.

All this hoopla around straight pride parade also raises the question, what does being “straight” mean today? Should heterosexuals feel being cornered as the spotlight shifts to sexual diversity? When will us “straight” people understand that we are a part of this spectrum? Heterosexuals aren’t being left out; those on the outside are in fact entering the space that we have labelled “normal.” Sexuality isn’t us versus others, it all of us. We don’t need a separate banner to celebrate our orientation, the pride flag is a rainbow. It is accepting and inclusive of all. The question is do “straight” people want to be a part of it?

I understand how many may feel the need to celebrate their heterosexuality, but the reason to do so, shouldn’t be to retaliate or side-track gay pride. By doing so you are only celebrating homophobia. If you truly want to celebrate heterosexuality then join the pride marches, endorse the rainbow and become a part of the spectrum.

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Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are author’s own.

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