Since the 1970s, June has been celebrated as “LGBTQ+ Pride Month” to commemorate the anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in Greenwich Village, New York June 28, 1969. The entire month serves as a time to remember the efforts of the LGBTQ+ people of the past who fought diligently for Gay Rights, one of the most notable being same-sex marriage equality. A great deal of backlash has accompanied these years of pride with countless groups of people outside the LGBTQ+ community complaining they do not get a month of “Straight Pride.” While straight pride has been a continuous argument, a group of men this year ran farther than they should have with this idea and applied for a Straight Pride parade in Boston, which has been approved by the city of Boston to take place this year August 31, inciting backlash as the world argues over the basic question: Does the world need Straight Pride? The answer is absolutely not.
Pride Month is misconstrued as time for parades that celebrate being gay. This perception of Pride proves the ignorance of people who refuse to invest any time or care in learning the truth of queer history (like the reclamation of the LGBTQ+ community of the word “queer”). Explaining Pride Month as a celebration of just simply being LGBTQ+ is simplifying it to the degree of saying a wedding is “just a fancy party” because the meaning of Pride Month bleeds so much deeper into the history of the humans who have suffered for loving whom they love and identifying as who they are. Pride Month is a time to celebrate the ability to be queer and to express one’s gender and sexuality without persecution. It has never been just basking in the “glory” of being gay. It is being grateful that one can step out onto the street without being beaten or murdered just for being who you are. The persecution LGBTQ+ people have faced their whole lives is appalling, and Pride Month is a time to celebrate not being so strictly oppressed as before, although the world is not completely accepting yet.
For years, cisgender heterosexuals abused and discriminated against the LGBTQ+ community in a variety of ways, including the popularity of conversion therapy in the 1960s and the affiliation of homosexuality with sin in several religions.
The discrimination has still not gone away entirely, especially with same-sex marriage not being granted in the United States until 2015 and with people still being able to be fired for being LGBTQ+ in many states. Take for example, the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando on June 12 a mere three years ago where one shooter took the lives of 49 people at a gay club. Hate crimes that may not be as major or news-breaking as the Pulse Nightclub Shooting happen often throughout the world, whether it’s someone yelling slurs out a car window at a same-sex couple on the sidewalk or a lesbian couple in London being beaten for not kissing in front of men, the world remains a dangerous place for LGBTQ+ people to live in. The amount of transgender women, especially POC (person-of-color) trans women discriminated against and murdered in the United States alone (i.e. Brooklyn Lindsey and Tamara Dominguez) is abhorrent. Being gay is still illegal in over 70 countries around the world. The discrimination against non-straight sexualities in the world alone is vast, but the discrimination against transgender people is something criminally under-represented in the media. Ignoring the harrowing reality that LGBTQ+ people face even in today’s world is nothing but inconsiderate and irresponsible in modern times.
LGBTQ+ Pride Month celebrates the fact that queer people have made great strides towards equality and have tempered the harsh rejection present in the past. No matter how much further the world needs to come, Pride Month is a time to reflect on the fight that the queer people before them fought and to take joy in the fact that they’ve moved beyond those times, whether it means celebrating same-sex marriage equality or how less homophobic hatecrimes happen now than in past decades.
“Straight Pride Month” is every month except for June. Straight people have never had to hide who they are. No straight person has ever had to “come out” for being straight nor have they been kicked out on the street for being heterosexual, and the same goes for cisgenders. The cry for “Straight Pride” is nothing but a cry for attention. Rather than wanting a Pride Month, straight people should be grateful they do not need a pride month; that they have never been murdered and beaten simply for being straight or cisgender.