Straight Pride Parade Sparks Outrage Among LGBTQ+ Members
September 11, 2019
On August 31, 2019, the first ever Straight Pride Parade was held in Boston, Massachusetts. This idea originated from John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Samson Racioppi, who created the Super Happy Fun America, an organization created to celebrate straight members of society, and planned a parade similar to the Pride Parade during the month of June.
“I’m all for people being proud of their sexuality, but the name Super Happy Fun America doesn’t even have to do with the subject they are celebrating. It is inconsiderate towards the LGBTQ+ community,” said Julianne Bland (‘21).
This event has caused a lot of controversy. Members of the LGBTQ+ community of Boston and the United States viewed the straight parade as a mocking of Pride Month. Pride Month is a month in which attention is brought to the ongoing struggle for basic rights of the LGBTQ+ community and to celebrate how far the community has come.
Eva Schillinger (’22) said, “Honestly, I don’t think it’s necessary. That just seems rather immature of the straight community to act like this. They’re acting like a pouty toddler who didn’t get a present like their sibling did on their birthday. I know there’s a lot of hate against queer people and the pride parade is a safe ground for them to have fun and share their love. The straight pride parade is plain unnecessary as there isn’t any much hate against heterosexual relationships.”
The Straight Pride Parade was run similar to the Pride Parade, whose history of protests are often unknown to the heteronormative society. In 1970, the famous Stonewall Riot broke out. The queer community of New York were being brutally murdered and assaulted by the police, who were also stolen from. Homosexuality and other gender identities besides the one assigned at birth were illegal at the beginning of 1779. This sodomy law could allow the underground LGBTQ+ bar attendees to be arrested just on the suspicion of the association with community members.
Since the 1970s, newer generations of LGBTQ+ come together to bring awareness and support one another because they can safely exist in the United States. Identifying as a member of LGBTQ+ community was decriminalized and no longer listed as a mental health issue in 1973, almost two hundred years after the first anti-LGBTQ+ laws occurred. Although it has made progress, the vote on October 8, 2019, could possibly reverse the rights the community has. The Trump administration is planning on passing a bill that if a member of the LGBTQ+ community is fired for their sexual orientation or gender identity, they wouldn’t be under the same protections as citizens.
“That is unfair, just because someone’s sexual orientation or gender identity is different than the normality, doesn’t mean they don’t perform well at their job. I think it’s a biased rule and it’s unfair to the people because everyone deserves the same rights,” said Anna Frisco (‘20).
This is not the case in some places. Being queer or transgender is sometimes punishable by death in the Middle East. This is largely because of the Islamic religion, which is very strict when it comes to relationships. According to The Economist, homosexual acts such as hand holding and hugging are seen as an act punishable by death. In these modern times, Pride is a time in which the minority community can bring awareness for the ever more important activism to provide the majority with the oppressions they are seeming to ignore.
Campus Ministry Director Katie Holland said, “I am totally fine with people celebrating whatever justice issues that they want to, but I have to be honest, I have never before considered having pride in being straight. I think I would actually be much more inclined to participate in a pride parade for having all my laundry folded, for answering all my emails, or for just being uniquely loved and created by God. I think that would be a pride parade I would definitely participate in.”