Op-ed Showcase

Ask Ali: straight pride is no pride

Photo courtesy of Lance Anderson via Unsplash

Boston, let’s talk about what happened last Saturday. I was minding my own business, cozied up at home, just trying to enjoy my three-day weekend, when I turn on the news to find that there was a “straight pride” parade organized and held in your city by your own citizens.

I feel as though in 2019 I am continuously harping on the same topics that should be considered common sense at this point. Alas, some people cannot think outside of themselves and still think “politically correct” is a dirty phrase–so here we are. Boston, let’s unpack why what you did was wrong.

Evidently, the Donald-hype was so intense that tourists were quoted by other news sources, stating that at first sight they believed the event was a Trump rally.

Straight sexuality is not marginalized.

Straight people don’t need to “come out” so that people actually know their sexual or romantic orientation. Straightness is just assumed. Cisgender people are not made to specify their identity. Cisness is just assumed. Straight people are never shamed or made to feel uncomfortable about their lifestyle, as it has been systemically decided that straight, cisgender people are the “norm.”

As a non-marginalized group, there has been nothing to fight for, nothing to overcome and nothing that has been struggled with. Everything has virtually been handed to straight people since the dawn of time.

Straight people have had to work hard for nothing regarding their sexuality, and when you don’t work hard you don’t deserve a parade.

Sorry.

While these parade-organizers believe “straight pride” is just to celebrate a particular form of attraction, there is an underlying meaning to the whole idea, and it is certainly not as subtle as they think. It isn’t about being proud of who you love or of your sexual orientation, it’s about being proud of the binary that has been set up to oppress a minoritized group of people.

By throwing a parade to honor a group that has always been the majority, privilege is perpetuated and the original Pride, which has now existed for decades, is mocked.

On top of all of that, the parade that occurred this weekend featured various pieces of Trump paraphernalia, ranging from posters to massive floats to the chanting use of the ever-recognizable phrase “build the wall.” Evidently, the Donald-hype was so intense that tourists were quoted by other news sources, stating that at first sight they believed the event was a Trump rally.

This only makes the true intention of the parade even more apparent, as Trump, in his three years of presidency, has gone to great lengths to mark himself as an opponent of the LGBTQ+ community. From banning transgender people in the military to attempting to legalize the discrimination against LGBTQ+ members in the workplace, it is evident what Trump symbolizes in this context.

Boston, how are you going to reconcile this?

How are you going to make up for the damage that your citizens did in one afternoon in attempting to shame and discriminate against people in your very own neighborhood? 

Already, your judges have told arrested counter-protesters of the parade to stay out of Boston, but have not said the same to the actual “straight pride” parade members, proving that ultimately, your allegiance is with the people who cultivate hate, rather than those who oppose it.

So how are you going to show the world that your city is a safe and caring environment for people from all walks of life? Would it even be the truth?

If we get nothing else out of this, West Chester and our fellow students should utilize this moment as a counter example to the kind of community we want to be. There is never a time or place here for hatred, no matter how subtle or how loud. It is not something we want on our campus, and should it happen–there needs to be repercussions for the bullies, not those who oppose them.

Oppression is oppression, there is no gray area. People who behave like this know what they’re doing, and the only way to end the cycle is to universally acknowledge that what they are doing is wrong.

And Boston, do better.

Ali Kochik is a second-year English major minoring in journalism. AK908461@wcupa.edu

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