President’s Note: stop trying to legitimize your bigotry with “straight pride”

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For those of you who may be unaware of an event that sounds like it’s right out of The Onion, during this year’s Pride Month in Boston, a group called “Super Happy Fun America” declared their desire to host a “Straight Pride Parade” on Aug. 31. 

The permit for the event was approved by the City of Boston, whose mayor, Marty Walsh, stated in a tweet on June 6 that “permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs. The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values.”

The group, who “invites you to celebrate the diverse history, culture, and contributions of the straight community,” has been at the centre of a significant controversy, not the least of which because this year’s Pride Month falls on the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall riots. 

Now, there are a number of directions that could be taken in the evaluation of this issue, but I will start with deconstructing the most obvious.

Simply put, heterosexual individuals have not experienced any kind of oppression because of their sexuality. 

Simply put, heterosexual individuals have not experienced any kind of oppression because of their sexuality. 

Oppression, or “prolonged cruel or unjust treatment or control,” also used in tandem with terms like persecution, discrimination, abuse and subjugation — especially in a systemic or cultural sense — is not something that has happened to heterosexuals at any point of history. 

Let me make it adamantly clear for anyone in the back: straight people have never had to fear for their safety, well-being or their life strictly because they identify with being heterosexual. 

Straight kids do not get thrown out of their houses or disowned because their parents discovered that they were straight. 

Straight kids do not get brutally abused or put through various forms of conversion therapy because their parents or others believe that being anything other than heterosexual is an active choice.

Straight kids and adults do not get death threats or killed by strangers — or people they know — upon learning that they are heterosexual.

As a straight male, it is frankly unconscionable that someone has made the active decision to turn “identity politics” into such a blatantly disrespectful “joke.” 

I’m disappointed we live in a society that believes that the idea of intentionally stimulating anger or fear in people for the sake of humour is anything but a moral and cultural problem.

This kind of poorly-orchestrated “ironic humour” is just a pathetic attempt to appear like some kind of hyper-intellectual, when the individual is, in fact, quite the opposite. 

I have LGBTQ+ friends who have actively experienced terrible things in their lives because of hateful bigotry and intolerance. 

Being proud of something that you have as an inherent privilege — being a part of the roughly 95 per cent of the population that is considered within the accepted societal standard — is ignorant and disrespectful to the history of a group of people who have spent decades working and struggling to be accepted for who they are.

In the same way that “White History Month” should never be accepted as legitimate, “Straight Pride” is equally as laughable: the idea that you need a period of time to honour or celebrate something which is seen as a cultural norm is just selfish, and demonstrates a suffocating need for the validation these groups supposedly mock.

My mother-in-law says it best: “It takes nothing to be kind.” It’s not my place to overpower a group of people who deserve to have one month (at the very least) to celebrate what so many try to oppress.

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