Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Straight Pride Week


If you don't want to go read the article: basically, a bunch of College Republicans at a school in Oklahoma are having a "Straight Pride Week."

This reminds me of when people had the whole "Conservative Coming Out Day" on the same day as the National Come Out Day. Totally insenstive, really. Making fun of people when they are at their weakest.

Now, I've heard from a few people similar arguments, "What's wrong with being proud of being straight?" Nothing. I'm straight. And I'm "proud" (if you can call it that) of being attracted to men. However, "pride," in the sense of "gay pride" is less about celebrating one's attractions as celebrating one's ability to be oneself. It's celebrating how far our society has come (and recognizing how far it has yet to go).

Here's the thing though: if anyone says that this is about being "proud" of being straight, I think they're being disingenous. The point of this is not to celebrate attraction to the opposite sex. We celebrate that in our culture everyday. Going with the definition of pride in the previous paragraph, straight people have no need to celebrate the ability to be oneself. They always have that option.

Gay people do not. They can't talk about significant others at work. They can't have pictures on their desks.

No, the point of "Straight Pride Week" is to go against gay people. I can't really think of a reason that someone who wasn't anti-gay would really need a "straight pride week."

This makes me think of someone doing something like "white pride week." Is there anything wrong with being proud of one's heritage, white or not? Absolutley not. Is there a need for a "white pride week"? Absolutley not. White people have their history and heritage affirmed every day, on television, in the media, in text books, and in countless other ways.

Just like blackness, homosexuality is associated with threats of physical violence. Think of yourself as a black person in the segregationist south, where lynchings and assaults are common. Now, what would White Pride Week mean to you? It would mean a constant fear. Now, think of today, where reports about of men and women being killed and assaulted because of their sexuality (suspected or real). Just as then, most of these crimes aren't reported by the media. But they happen. And people are afraid. What does Straight Pride Week mean to gay people? It increases the fear, the threat level.

I'm sorry. But the very idea of this week is offensive to me. Not because of the idea of being proud and open about sexuality but because of the anti-gay sentiment that is behind it. I think the test would be is this: would this group be willing to have a "Gay-Straight Pride Week"? Would they be willing to celebrate the diversity of sexuality?

All year is Straight Pride Year. They aren't just the majority, they are the default.

But, yeah, go ahead and have your Straight Pride Week. Then your White Pride Week. Then your Rich Pride Week. I know how difficult it is to be one.

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