Purely a figment of your imagination

What amuses, annoys, concerns or otherwise interests me – Noodlemaz

“Straight Pride” isn’t a thing, nor should it be

20 Comments

Here we go again!

You may have heard about the Boston ‘Straight Pride‘ proposal. First off, this isn’t just some straight people feeling left out and demanding faux equality. It’s actual neo-nazi assholery; of course (some) people are rightly put-off by outright nazi agendas (sadly not everyone, what a time to be alive) so this is a neat way for them to pull in some generally uncomfortable people to their cause. Don’t fall for it.

→ See full thread. You can also read more about what they’ve been up to the last 2 years.

I tweeted a tirade on the idea of the event too so here’s a more shareable/readable form.

Why can’t the straights have a Pride?

So, #Pride  is not just literally having some pride (anyone can do that) but more for protesting the bigotry, discrimination and violence meted out to the LGBTQI community. Pride is a counter to the shame that is inflicted upon the “non-standard” sexualities and genders.

A demand to be allowed to live freely and safely. ‘Pride’ only in the sense that we should be free to be without ridicule or threat; to be open and true to oneself without restriction because simply being harms no one.

Straight people do not need this; it’s the cultural default and you are safe as can be.

Pride [the emotional state/concept] is a weird thing at the best of times. It’s maybe most relevant to achievements. And actually, in this world, being outside the acceptable norms and surviving is an achievement. Because of bigoted assholes who enact violence because they’re scared of difference and therefore hate it.

There is zero achievement in being straight in this world. It is expected of you. It is shown to you from the moment you are born as the standard human way of life. You are not shamed for it. Challenging that idea is an achievement (regardless of your own orientation). Living outside it to pursue your happiness is achievement.

“Straight Pride” is neo-nazi bullshit designed to attract people with resentment, who feel that others having recognition and acceptance somehow makes them less acceptable, when they already have all the acceptance in the fucking world. Don’t be nazis, straights.

Teaching kids that a whole bunch of different people exist and that’s OK is not ‘indoctrination’. Knowledge of something won’t make you into that thing. Did you want every job you ever heard of? No. Understanding builds tolerance. People shouldn’t have to fight to just exist.

But every day people are told they’re broken and wrong, with words, with exclusion, with invisibility and violence and legal restriction, with discrimination and barriers to opportunity. With murder. No one suffers this because they are straight. Some do for other reasons (hi, intersectionality; straight people who live under some other part of the minority or oppressed umbrella aren’t going to automatically avoid all life’s struggles by virtue of their accepted sexuality. But none of those struggles will arise from their straightness).

The imagined trials of straightness

So please. Next time you see someone whine about why they can’t have a Pride for their common or garden heterosexuality, do ask them how, exactly, they have suffered for it in their lives.

pridethanks

“Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay [lesbian, bi, trans, intersex, queer…], but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.” – source unknown

What taunts did they receive at school (beyond the usual “Haha what you fancy WHO NOW?” because kids are cruel about anything) and what persisted into adulthood? What’s been shouted at them on the street by strangers, how many slurs that focus on straightness even exist?

How scared have they felt to hold the hand of their partner in public? To hug them, to kiss them? Have they ever felt any compulsion at all to be circumspect in an everyday situation when with their significant other, because any random bystander could take exception to your display of affection for this person, and put your safety at risk?

How many times are they met with confusion when they introduce a spouse? Do they worry about how to refer to them; does ‘wife’ or ‘husband’ carry any risk of attack (verbal or otherwise) from anyone they’ve ever met? Are they living in one of those places where straight people aren’t even allowed to marry? After all, it’s been traditional in many cultures that only non-straight marriage is permitted (just in case you don’t see it, the sarcasm is creeping in now).

Have they wondered about how to reveal their sexuality to colleagues, or family, ever? How many of their straight peers have been made homeless by the people who professed to love them after discovering their straightness? How many have ended up in hospital after an attack, or been lost to a hate-fuelled murder?

Have they ever wondered when they might see a straight couple in their favourite TV show or movie, or do they struggle to find role models in popular culture generally for their straight kids? Do they worry about how they might have children and whether they’ll be bullied at school because their parents are straight?

Are they haunted by the history of pseudoscientific efforts to categorise the way they feel about other human beings as a mental illness and did their relatives or family ever send them to an abusive camp to try to make them less straight or get rid of it altogether?

How many countries have governments turning a blind eye to gangs whose explicit purpose is to harass, attack, murder or drive out straight people? How many have laws against straightness? How many will see you arrested for displaying your heterosexual affection in public? How many will execute you, and how many other countries will willingly send you back to face that even if you escape?

How many religious people have discussed their personal lives openly in front of them and said “Oh no we don’t hate you! Just what you choose to do, that’s sinful and you’ll burn in hell for it. But we love you.”

Do people always assume they’re not straight when they hang out with friends of the same gender and show some horror or shock when corrected? Do people question your right to claim your gender as your own? Are you told you don’t look straight enough, or too straight?

And so the imagined victims

There is so much more to the small and large adversity that LGBTQI+ folks experience in life but it’s always worth stopping to think about how much “straightness” has mattered in your life, in terms of negative experience following directly from it. Honestly, if you find one, I’ll hear it. If it’s not in fact misogyny or racism or ableism or similar, well done. You’ll have found a problem with being straight.

What people are doing is railing against diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, because that’s what insecure, toxic bigotry demands of its proponents. The “too PC!” brigade, the “shoving it down our throats!” ironic phrase fans, the “I just don’t want to see it” oblivious.

They’re worried that progress is happening and will take away their default-given powers of preferential treatment based on nothing but happening to fall into the most accepted categories of societies built on layers of discrimination. That worry does not deserve to be entertained, but dismissed. They believe they’re being shamed for being the default (or not “special”?) – when the actual problem is that any cultural default exists, that the range of acceptance is so narrow, not simply that they’re within it. Instead of trying to understand, they revert again to suppression and oppression – plus ça change.

There is no need for straight pride, because straight has never been presented or treated as less than. ‘Straights’ were not rounded up during the holocaust like LGBT people (many gay men) were. You have your acceptance. Expand it out for everyone else. It won’t take anything away from you.

Pride was a riot.

Links


Take none of this as a claim that there are no problems with Pride itself. It’s often a very white affair – issues of racism, sexual violence and ableism/inaccessibility affect people every year and the LGBT+ community has to keep working on that like everyone else, too.

Author: noodlemaz

I prefer to think of myself as a realist rather than a pessimist, but perhaps that's just optimistic. Honest, atheist, scientist, feminist.

20 thoughts on ““Straight Pride” isn’t a thing, nor should it be

  1. I’m not sure how much this was actually genuine and how much was just trolling for attention?
    I dated a conservative guy a few years back and I remember some of his friends tried to annoy a “black women’s group” on their college campus by setting up a “white men’s group”. In their case, it was obviously just childish trolling. They didn’t actually want to do it.

    • I’d recommend reading some of the links. It’s neo-nazi activism, they’re trying to get people to join their cause, because there is still a lot of homo-, bi- and transphobia around, and they’re capitalising on it. I saw so much knee-jerk ‘omg stop shoving this down our throats’ reaction during June. We have a long way to go, they know it, and they’re trying to reverse progress.
      And ‘trying to annoy a black women’s group’ is some racist shit. Glad you’re not still with him :/

      • There does seem to be some bad connections for some of the people involved, you’re right. I’m not sure why on earth they’d think that’s a good recruitment method though. It just makes them look pathetic.
        And yeah, his shitty friend group was part of the reason I didn’t keep seeing that guy. Not only the racism of attacking a black women’s group, but even in isolation I think creating a “white men’s group” has some seriously sinister connotations. Even if it’s meant as a joke, any white man who joins a group like that frankly needs to have his balls kicked into his throat.

        • It makes them look pathetic to you, which says good things about you..! Unfortunately, it makes them attractive to people who share some or many of their views. That’s how the ideology spreads. Suck in people with something that sounds good to them, and feed the rest in as they go. Also how to radicalise young impressionable people. Say hey, do you feel bad about this thing? Good news! It’s not because you’re a bad person right now and need to fix things about yourself, it’s *the world* that’s wrong, so join us and we’ll teach you all about how you’re being screwed over and how to make it right [by shitting on everyone else].

          I agree on the connotations of majority-and-privileged ‘clubs’ by themselves. Even without active nazis going on it’s a crap pile.

          • Well it surely makes them look pathetic to mainstream society too? Maybe I am more naive than you are about this, but I can’t avoid the sense that people who are convinced by those “tactics” are just sad losers who are never gonna accomplish anything or persuade anyone serious to join their cause?

            • Sad losers have already killed people and I think it matters to their families.
              There’s a sad loser in the White House and we have concentration camps again. People don’t take it seriously and it escalates slowly until… We know what happens. So we need to stop it earlier. Taking it seriously doesn’t mean thinking they’re cool.

              • How do we actually stop something like this though? They’re not really breaking any laws, and if you try and shut them down too much, it just helps get them even more attention.

                • I disagree. The worry that telling people not to be hateful makes them more powerful is just giving them space to operate. Hate speech is illegal. Trouble is, many in police forces have tighter ties to neo nazis than opposition.
                  Support local antifa groups. Educate. Be careful not to use their talking points and defenses (like their claims about free speech and freaking out over having good thrown at them when they’re stabbing people in the street).
                  https://thebaffler.com/latest/having-it-both-ways-neiwert

                  That’s a great piece and David is a guy to follow.

                • I’m definitely not saying we should do nothing about it and just let them organize and spread. But I do think you need to be careful about helping them get more media exposure than they otherwise would. For me the ideal situation is having a strong opposition from the local community whenever they organize, but trying to avoid getting them any national news exposure.
                  I don’t want to give the impression I’m not tough on these guys, cos I absolutely am. I’m a blue belt in kickboxing so if I actually knew a straight white guy who joined one of these groups, I wouldn’t hesitate to deal with personally. I think that’s the better way to do it.

            • And honestly, just go and find a big brand that changed its profile picture to a rainbow version or made a pride post and read the comments. Then come back and tell me how fringe the hate feels :/

        • You feminists are so hypocritical. Your complaining about extremism in the same comment that you threaten violence against someone for just joining a group as a joke! C’mon ladies.

          • Lol threaten violence where? And when that group is fundamentally about doing violence, you lose your moral high ground duder.

            • She said any man who joins a group like that needs to have his balls kicked into his throat. That’s definitely violence, Miss noodle!

              • Who is ‘she’ and what are you talking about?
                Dr Noodle to you, too.

              • Sorry for somehow starting a war in your comments section maz!
                And no Bobby, that’s not the same. There are no groups of feminists out in gangs in the streets just kicking random men. Women in general just don’t do anything like that.
                I was talking only about if it was someone I know and they’d joined an actual extremist group. I don’t know why you’d really object in those circumstances, maybe you’re one of those guys who’s just insecure about the fact that some women could kick your ass (I’m a kickboxing blue-belt so I probably could). Whether you like it or not, if I knew a man in that situation, he’s getting a boot in the testicles. I hope most feminists would do the same.

  2. I’m pretty sure it was just intended as a joke!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s