Straight Hate

A few weeks back I spotted the fun, new Twitter account ‘Straight Pride’   (they’ve even got a blog  now). At first I thought it was genuinely some sort of misguided heterosexual just feeling jealous of the floats and glitter. But it did not take very long to realise that these folks were not-so-loosely veiled homophobes. The kind that deserve literally none of my thought processes.

Come out and tell everyone you are straight and proud

So, that’s that. But I think that it does raise some important questions. I had never really questioned pride. Never wondered by there was a queer pride and not a straight pride. But then a friend’s mum asked me. She’s always been 100% supportive and lovely and so I knew it was a genuine question.

Why is there a gay pride?

I think the problem is that people do see a ton of glitter, fabulous clothes and beautiful floats, and not a whole lot more. And sometimes it can be a bit unclear what Pride means to us. That as a queer community we are not simply ‘proud’. We are proud in the face of discrimination. We are proud in the face of adversity. And we are proud in the face of hate. And all for being who we are, and loving who we love. Something our heterosexual friends and family do not have to face. So, I want to talk a little bit about why I’m proud.  Because I am proud. I’m super proud.

London pride 2012

I’m proud because despite fear and nervousness I come out monthly, weekly, sometimes even daily to new people in new environments. Because I shouldn’t have to be afraid and nervous to be who I am. And if I make it easier for one other person to come out, then I’ve made a difference.

I’m proud to challenge the casual homophobia that we experience on a day-to-day basis. Because it’s that very low-level discrimination that allows for bullying, and harassment and eventually hate crimes.

And I’m proud because despite the headlines, the homophobic arguments made by ‘legitimate’ politicians in our ‘democratic’ parliament, the name-calling in the street, everyday I walk down the street holding the hand of the woman I love. Because I will not bow down to bigotry.

So tell me, why are you proud?

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4 thoughts on “Straight Hate

  1. WhatIsPride? says:

    I’m really not confident that that’s the best view of pride. To say that you are mainly/only proud due to those who are against you is a very reactive pride. Why is it wrong to be proud of being gay purely for the love of your own sexuality. Embracing it?

    I’m also somewhat in the minority in that I find pride of anything that is beyond control to be somewhat irrelevant. I understand and agree that fighting homo/transphobia is both necessary and important, but for me, I always find a logical dichotomy between being proud of yourself for your achievements and being proud of yourself for something that you never controlled or contributed to. It’s like being proud of your hair colour, your skin colour, your bone structure. These are all things you are, not things that you have chosen or earned. Sexuality is exactly the same, it’s not a choice, it’s not a reward, it’s a natural state, an orientation that you find you have. I’ve never truly understood the concept of being proud of that. But then, I have no real answer to what I would replace “gay pride” with, in terms of a cause to represent anti-homophobia.

  2. badlydrawnfox says:

    I think you raise some interesting points here about why there is “gay pride” and not “straight pride”; it has always seemed obvious to me, but can be tricky to explain when someone does ask.

    However, where you said that discrimination, adversity, and hate are “[s]omething our heterosexual friends and family do not have to face”, I thought it might be worth pointing out that heterosexual couples do face these things, for example as a result of a mixed race relationship (or a perceived difference in social class, wealth, age…). While I don’t think glitter and floats are necessary, I hope that they too feel pride in the strength of their relationships.

    In response to WhatIsPride?: I think the idea is that we are proud as opposed to ashamed. It is not that we consider our sexuality to be an accomplishment, it’s that we know it is not a failing. That is why it needs to be reactive pride – if there were no people who wanted us to be ashamed of who we are, then we would have no need to let them know that we are NOT ashamed.

  3. I am proud of transitioning, despite all the difficulties it entails.

  4. Badlydrawnfox, entirely agree! Of course, our heterosexual counterparts may face discrimination. But, this discrimination is not **because** of their sexuality, but rather because of some other characteristic they may have or maybe even because someone has just taken an irrational dislike of them. I hope we (people) can all stand proud in the face of any adversity or hatred that we might face.

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