Steve Ball: Straight Pride - really?
Posted on 26 Jun 2019

Heterosexuals should be grateful they don't need a Pride...

Last month people celebrated Pride with carnivals and street parties across the world.
But one Pride celebration has caused lively debate on social media. A group in Boston in the US called Super Happy Fun America has applied to the city government to hold a ‘straight Pride’ march in August. 
The organisers’ website states that “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement and hate”.


I don't know about you, but I'm not aware of “judgement and hate” oppressing straight guys. I'm not aware of families throwing them out or the police raiding straight bars, invading their privacy and  locking them up for merely existing. Straight people don't think twice about holding hands in public - unlike our own community, where more than two-thirds of LGBT people say that they’ve had to avoid holding hands with a same-sex partner for fear of a negative reaction from others.

Homophobic and transphobic hate crimes have more than doubled in England and Wales in the last five years. In the most recent year of available data, police recorded 11,600 such crimes. 
These findings came to light as a lesbian couple were hospitalised with facial injuries after being attacked when they kissed on a night bus in north London. They were attacked by a group of four men, who punched both of them in the face until they were covered in blood.


The following week, two actors were attacked on their way to a theatre performance in Southampton, in what was described as a “cowardly homophobic hate crime”. Lucy Jane Parkinson and Rebecca Banatvala were starring in Rotterdam -  recently performed in Birmingham, Leicester and Malvern - a comedy about gender and sexuality which tells the story of a young gay woman. The final two performances were cancelled as a result.

These incidents highlight the importance of gay Pride events. Prides enable LGBT people to be seen as normal, regular and visible, not something to be feared or attacked. At this time of increasing division, Pride festivals help to promote a culture of tolerance, inclusivity and civic pride.
Pride matters because it reminds people that we exist. Straight Pride? I don't think so. Heterosexuals should be grateful they don't need one.

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