June 16, 2011

Why Can't We Have a Straight Pride Parade?

todd_S_2010aBy Todd Schoepflin

Occasionally, when talking about sexual orientation in my Sociology courses, a student will ask “Why can’t we have a straight pride parade?”

It hasn’t happened a lot, but enough students have asked the question to make me want to offer a response. I want to point out that the question tends to come out of nowhere. It’s not as if I lecture on the history of gay pride parades, or offer a sociological analysis of gay pride parades, which might open the door to such a question. Rather, the question gets asked during general discussions of sexual behavior. The question tends to surprise me, so I haven’t yet offered a consistent response in class.

I do tend to begin by answering the question with some questions: Why? Why would you want to have a straight pride parade? What kind of parade would it be? What purpose would it serve? I ask those kinds of questions as a way of pointing out that a parade doesn’t seem necessary for a group that enjoys a privileged way of life. image

Here’s a blunt way of saying it: Life is a straight pride parade. Walk through a mall holding the hand of someone of the opposite sex. Will that generate a dirty look? Bring home someone of the opposite sex to meet your family. Will there be disapproval? Do you have to “come out of the closet” to announce you’re straight? My point is that heterosexual relationships are encouraged and accepted in society. And while there is more approval for LGBT relationships than in past decades, there is still not full tolerance and acceptance for those relationships in society.

One function of a gay pride parade is to seek acceptance and understanding from society. Another purpose, it seems, is to spend a day with a group of supportive people. A man like me doesn’t need to march in a straight pride parade because I can walk in any public space with my wife and not be harassed, judged, mocked, or harmed in any way because of our sexuality. The question “Why can’t we have a straight pride parade?” suggests that straight people are being deprived of something in some way. I just don’t see how that’s the case. Heterosexuality is embraced by our society. It is not a basis for discrimination. So my answer, in sum, is that no parade is needed.

A follow-up question I sometimes receive when handling this topic is: “But why do they have to flaunt their sexuality?” The question assumes that anyone who is LGBT goes out of their way to call attention to their sexuality. Such an assumption strikes me as entirely inaccurate. I won’t pretend that some of my best friends are gay. Actually, all of my best friends are straight (as far as I know).

But I do have friends, neighbors, and co-workers who are gay. None of them flaunt their sexuality. What, by the way, does “flaunting it” mean? How does a person flaunt their sexuality? Am I flaunting heterosexuality by wearing a wedding band? By having pictures of my wife and kids in my office? By making references to my wife?

Students will sometimes claim that what really offends them is public displays of affection—it doesn’t matter who is kissing or hugging in public, they say, they just wish there was less of it. I don’t buy it. Simply put, I think a lot of people aren’t comfortable seeing gays and lesbians as couples. And I can think of some reasons why: it could be how someone was raised (a family belief system), it could be based on religious beliefs, or because of homophobia.

Beyond parades and expressions of sexuality, there is a bigger picture to consider. Lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender people deserve to live and work in communities that are “safe, healthy, and satisfying.” I think everyone wants this for themselves and their families. Everyone wants respect. Everyone wants to be treated equally. Sexuality remains a major factor in how people are treated in society. Curiosity about parades and displays of affection are understandable, but the larger issue is the existence of inequality based on sexual orientation. In conclusion, I believe the following questions should concern us: Why aren’t people treated the same in society? What can we do to promote equality? Finally, how can we work to achieve equality?

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Comments

We don't need to have a "straight pride parade" for the same reasons we don't need to have "Children's Day" even though we have Mothers, Fathers and even Grandparents Days. Every day is their day. - ellyn deuink

Very nice response, and I've had to give similar ones in the past, though not as concise as yours.

I see what you're saying, that there is no need because heterosexuals are not oppressed. But as of late, it feels like the heterosexual community is, in fact, being oppressed. All the anti "homophobia" and anti hate campaigns I have seen make me feel as if I am the bad guy. That I am an evil hetrosexual. That was sort of an extreme choice of words just now, but you get my point. Not all heterosexuals hate homosexuals. And if this country is for equality, straight pride parade shouldn't elicit any animosity. It would also show that not all heterosexuals are full of hate.

I never heard this question in my classes, but I can see it happening. I am not much for parades of any kind, but I think your responses are appropriate and on cue.

When I was in college 20 years ago I heard two variants of this complaint from fellow students:

1) Why don't we have a Men's Studies department?
2) Why don't we have White History month?

The answers are pretty much the same of course. But what's behind these complaints?

I think that the problem stems from dualistic thinking: If some other group that I'm not a part of is proud of their identity, then does that mean I should be ashamed of mine? That's the fear that forms the basis of the objection. Black history month must mean whites aren't important. Women's Studies must mean men aren't important. Gay pride must mean straights should be ashamed.

George Carlin nails the problem with pride in one's identity:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OnWnwwxNPA

While I agree with Carline that pride and shame should be reserved for the things that we do, I also understand the genesis of the pride movement which is also a reaction to a dualistic worldview. Gay pride parades arise from a long history of public shaming (ala "The love that dare not speak its name"). The natural response most people have to "you should be ashamed of who you are" is to reclaim pride in that identity as an antidote. But the younger generations, not knowing how shameful it used to be, takes this reclaimed pride as an affront to their own identities because of the lack of context of shaming that originated the pride movement.

So the question is a reaction to a reaction to something that is only dimly visible now.

The only type of parades I love is the Fourth of July Parade and any parade that is for a championship team. Why? I believe a parade should only promote love of one's country known as patriotism and/or love of one sport's team which in turn is love of one's community. Parades that separate or cause high intense emotional responses such as a Gay Parade are not needed in today's world. We need to unite together not apart. Instead of a parade why not hand out information pamphlets that a person can read on their time.

Shannon

@shannon. Very good point. I kind of meant that in my response, but yours is better. Parades of such types only make people come apart.

Jocelyn M

"What, by the way, does “flaunting it” mean?"

Well, say, for example, marching through downtown wearing stereotypical clothing, waving flags, public nudity, public sex (see Folsom Street Fair in San Fransisco). "Flaunting it" means drawing attention to yourself in order to stoke controversy, or making a spectacle of yourself and forcing your lifestyle onto other people. That, as the author points out, is the intention of hosting a "Gay Pride" parade. If a majority group did the same thing it would (rightly) be accused of oppression and insensitivity. If you want acceptance of your lifestyle, don't force it upon other people, and don't behave as though your lifestyle is somehow more deserving of attention, or respect, or admiration, or "pride" than anyone else's. Who's really a creating an "us vs. them" attitude with that kind of sentiment?

I don't know where you guys live but here nobody gives a gay couple a second look unless they act like horny dickheads kissing everywhere they go, and drawing attention to their sexuality ( and no, not just gays) then I'll get annoyed

The idea of a straight pride parade and white history month is offensive. Why, you may ask? LGBT pride parades and racial history months come about as a response to oppression, suppression and violence, generations upon generations of people struggled to attain the level of recognition they have today. To equate these struggles for social justice and human rights with something as trivial as white and straight people's insecurities of feeling left out is ludicrous, disgraceful and extremely offensive. In fact, it points out the necessity of these rallies for equality since most people seem to treat them with little or no importance. Lastly, when there is STILL ongoing discrimination, throughout the world; curative rapes, religious and state sanctioned beatings, killings, therapy, employment discrimination, racism, there can be no doubt that the idea of straight pride and white pride months is ridiculous. For people who still disagree I beg you to reexamine your position, and really ask yourself why you think you need a straight or a white pride month?

Umm yes a straight couple will gets looks if they are not of the same race. Yes your family could be disappointed even if your straight if you bring home someone of a different race. I am in an interracial relationship and I get dirty looks because I'm a black woman and he is an Asian man.

I'm tried of this "We're the Victims" crap Gay people preach. Stop acting like everyone has to respect and like or even care about gay people. The same way races will hate each other and not deal with each other is the same way MOST people treat gay people. You CANNOT force someone or a group of people to accept you. We learn this in the sandbox. Not EVERYONE will like you.

I have nothing against gay people but I do not agree with their lifestyle and I choose not to be too personable with a gay person. I'm not a fake person. I have friends who are gay but they aren't the over the top ones.

If the gays can have their day, so can normal humans. Period.

That is the equality that gays preach about so much. Denial of such a parade for normal by the gays proves that they don't want equality; they want special privileges. They make themselves look like clowns by betraying their gender and acting in affected manners to foster gay visibility. They are the ones insulting the rest of humanity with their evolutionary self-negating behavior. They have no right to complain about anything at all.

I think what people mean by "flaunting homosexuality", is a person who defines himself by his sexuality; his sexuality has to explain, compensate for, justify etc all aspects of their being-- even though it's a part of his being.

I can't help but feel that homosexuality will only become accepted as a normal and perfectly uninteresting aspect of everyday life (and the bigots will whither on the vine); when gay people themselves feel less pressured into thinking of their sexuality as a life-defining, political battle-- and more as something that doesn't consciously define them at all.

I often think that many efforts some gay and lesbian people make to draw specific attention to their sexuality could actually be counter-productive? It is claimed that gays merely want to be treated in the same way as non-gays, but if this is so, why the need for special festivals set aside for us? In fact it could appear that some gays want privileges denied to non-gays; imagine the rightful outcry if a non-gay person were to suggest a "Straight Pride" festival in their local town?

I think there's something self-defeating about the gay pride movement: If homosexuals want to be considered a normal, accepted part of everyday life, I don't believe there isn't a lot of point in activities which are so pointedly self-segregational. You cannot ask people to look beyond labels, if you are unwilling to do so yourselves.

It pains me when self-appointed spokesmen for minorities set up antagonistic movements, rather than doing things which emphasise our common humanity. A tolerant society cannot be built on hatred; when these spokesmen bang on about grievances, they undermine others who would rather live in harmony than outrage. It perpetuates the idea that gay rights are something only gay-identifying people should be concerned with.

Drag queens, camp boys, muscle men, people dressed up in leather. Let them do what they want, sure. It just annoys me to no end that they claim to be doing it on my behalf, and claim to represent me.

I think instead of gay pride, black history, women's day and so on, I think we should have humanity day: Where we celebrate and promote the rights and liberties of *every* human being.

Regarding the comment about not agreeing with "their [gay people's] lifestyle". Good news, there's no such thing as "the gay lifestyle", despite what marketing and magazines want to tell us.

There are as many (gay) lifestyles as there are (gay) people. Sure some gay people only go to gay pubs, visit gay websites, read gay magazines and only have gay friends.

Yet there are plenty of gay people who go to mixed pubs, read a variety of magazines and have varied friends; they are people 'who happen to be gay', if you like. In my experience the men who fall into the latter category, are the ones who are readily accepted by non-gays.

It is not easy for anyone to answer such an awkward question. And surely we don't need to have a straight pride parade irrespective of the different lifestyles we have in our society.

Heterosexuality is embraced by our society. This is not a ground of discrimination. So my answer, in short, is that no parade is required.

Simple...straights don't need to justify their actions.

In other words, straights don't need to justify moral behavior while immoral behavior is an endless road of justification (there isn't a parade long enough for that road).

by this logic we dont need a christmas parade, new years day parade or thanksgiving parade, since these are also accepted. a parade isn't a cry out for acceptance but more of a celebration of a something, whether it be straight or gay pride or thanksgiving, a parade can be used to celebrate anything and if enough individuals desire to celebrate at that extent (a parade) then why the hell not?

Now that more people are coming out it's like straight is out and gay that's sooooo messed up I'm straight and I want straight pride

Gays are not nor have ever been "oppressed". Quit the act. I am an all American mutt who asks for no minority special privliges. I ask no man to make way to my faults. Come live in my neighborhood to see oppression you weak minded drama queens.

Q: “Walk through a mall holding the hand of someone the opposite sex. Will that generate a dirty look? “A: For me, YES!
Q: "Do you have to “come out of the closet” to announce you’re straight?" A: YES I have to come out of the closet and announce that I am straight only to still be doubted and pigeon held to the homosexual diagnosis.'
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I am laughed at while on heterosexual dates. I am called dyke multiple times a day. I have no idea what it is like to be treated like a heterosexual on a regular bias b/c people have diagnosed me gay based on looks since I was about 19. Now I am 39 and the homosexual accusations are worse now than when they 1st began to infiltrate my life in the mid 1990’s. I have been isolated from the USAmericak work place and culture due to constant and unrelentless homosexual accusations which I can not live up to and I face constant controversy surrounding my sexual orientation as do many now a days. I am and flirted with openly by other women coast to coast as if they believe they are doing me a favor by treating me like a homosexual when they are actually boffending me as a heterosexual who needs normal heterosexual boundaries.
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Welcome to 2012. We now live in a world where sexual orientation is determined by how we walk and how we talk and not by how we partner and as a result there are now heterosexuals who are challenged with having to coming out as such. I was bought a heterosexual necklace by a former boyfriend who was forced to endure the homosexual accusations and outcries of, “No way!” as we made our way through crowds of USAmericans. I face more gay biased hate speech when seen on heterosexual dates than I do when I am alone b/c the US American public has come to believe that people are doomed to futures of homosexuality due to the way someos us appear. I have made my own straight pride t-shirt only to wear it and endure being called even more homosexual references for daring to challenge people’s perception of my sexual orientation as homosexual.
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Welcome to 2day where Straight Pride has become a necessity due to the popularity of Gay Pride.

Voodoo Cids – people who are full of baloney often do suffer for it, it they don't learn t o channel it properly. Have you considered a career in marketing?

seriously, even if all your wild tales of Endlessly Appearing Lesbian were true, then you aren't actually experiencing a single iota of prejudice for BEING straight, just for appearing to be gay. So what you've actually experienced is homophobia. What you need isn't to be "proud" of being striaght, because apparently no one thinks you are. You just need clarification; an "I'm straight!" hat would be fine.

I msyefl have some understanding of what that may be like. on the telephone, every customer serivce person i have talked to has called me "maam" and not one has called me "sir"; my voice must sound high-pitched on the phone somehow. Anyway, I don't pretend that I'm somehow experiencing anti-male discrimination, but instead the effects of some sort of mistaken method of determining my sex. (Really, they shouldn't say "sir" or "maam" at all, but that's another story.)

I agree with the commenter who said that there is no need for a White History month or straight parade. The parades and months of honor are for the groups in our world who have been oppressed or harmed. There is no need to have a straight pride parade, I think that with the way homosexuals are treated and bullied, people are proud to be straight so they don't have to go through the oppression and hurt that gay people have to experience.

I always saw Gay Pride parades as a statement, and a place to go to say that we're not afraid, that we shouldn't be put down for who we are. I didn't notice anyone or anything that said that heterosexuals aren't welcome at Gay Pride parades, it's an event that ANYONE can participate in, and do.

@OldDutchPipeFullOfAsianTobacco, in my state I can be kicked out of my job for being who I am, GSA clubs are unheard of in my town, and I fear my life would be in jeopardy if I were to start acting like my true self.

If that's not oppression, I don't know what is.

People just don't get it.

What most people think:
Feminism = Oh no! Misandry! Women are going to rule the world! They hate men!
Black History Month = Oh no! Our poor white people aren't under the spotlight for a second!!
Gay Pride Parade = Oh no! My homophobia has to be put on hold for a day!! NO!!

"Ignorance + Fear = Hatred"

- Keith Haring.

Mr. Schoepflin, On the contrary the Gay Pride Parade is full of people attempting to out perform each others display of sexuality but in a more unacceptable fashion compared to the accepted societal norm in regards to attire, sexual toys,sadomasochism accessories. I don't see heterosexuals doing this in malls or out on the street because it isn't normal to display private and personal choices/acts in public. LGBT Parade doesn't get a free pass, no special treatment but in your eyes we owe them the world? You are demented and a part of the problem our society is experiencing now days. You can call me names or suggest I'm narrow minded but you'd be wrong. I've had many gay friends, lived with friends of different sexual desires because that was the way they were born but you know what? They never flaunted it. Fools will never understand what damage they've doe until fools day. No need to respond, I won't read it. I don't have a fascination with mentally challenged people. What ever happened to being private? I ever did go flaunting that I like to have sex with women when I was single and I don't dress provocatively in the mall with my wife at my side to show others our sexual choices in the bedroom. Fools.

Fair Warning: I am not politically correct.

Disclaimer: These are my opinions. If you don't like them, feel free to have different opinions.

First, I completely agree with the George Carlin clip above. Be proud of what you do. Be proud of your Character, Personality, and Achievements. Being proud that you have a genetic predisposition towards homosexuality is delusional.

Second, if you are Homosexual take heart. As I believe it is now assumed that Homosexuality is in large part due to genes (you are born homosexual), the discrimination and oppression have a definite end. Since, by definition, homosexuals do not reproduce their genes will not be passed on to the next generation. So at some point in the future, Homosexuality will be bred out of Humanity. So the oppression is going to end without any help from the Gay community. So sit back and relax, there is no need for parades or protesting.

Maybe I'm spoiled by having always lived in such a diverse population of southern California. I went to school with all races and we were all friends. Gay people are around and I really don't care.
I don't know anywhere in this area where it is acceptable to discriminate against anyone based on sexual orientation or race. There would be such a huge public outcry that it would just be complete social suicide for any person or business to be discriminatory around here...
Living with such a large homosexual community, what is the purpose of a gay pride parade? I think that someone earlier had it right on when they said it was a celebration. People are celebrating because really, there is very little left to protest (marriage rights being probably the last milestone).
And as that same poster noted, if the purpose of parades was to protest oppression, then Christmas, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, and other religious parades really have no place. But they continue... Why? In celebration!
So why is it not acceptable for ALL groups to celebrate?

So having said all that, I personally don't feel the to have a straight pride parade. I can be proud of myself and who I am without forcing it on others. I am strong enough in my convictions and secure enough in myself that I don't need a parade.
Now I'm wondering... Why does the gay community need a parade? Are they really so insecure about themselves that they need a parade to announce what gender they choose to have sex with?
And really, that's all being homosexual is. Lets be honest about this. I am a girl and I have girl friends who I love dearly, but because I don't have sex with them, I am heterosexual. Being homosexual does not mean you don't have to interact with society and go about normal daily activities, it just means that you have sex with someone of the same gender.
Really? There needs to be a parade for people to feel better about who they sleep with? Really??

This writer is definetly gay. I wonder if he knows it.

Wow what a stupid article. You answer their question with why? That's not an answer, obviously you don't want a straight pride parade. Then you tell them life is a straight pride parade. Are you serious? Idk about you but there are more gay people than straight people where I live. Life is most certainly not a straight pride parade. The students want a straight pride parade cause they are tired of every day being smacked in the face with gay shit. I have nothing against gay people but how often do you see straight people walking around acting overly straight! But if you go into anywhere where there is gay people. They will act so gay that you may feel the need to vomit rainbows. Also as to do straight people need acceptance well more and more the answer is YES! I don't see why straight people should not be able to have there own day to celebrate their union. It has nothing to do with equality or what you believe in this is entirely for straight people to get to have fun and show some pride. If you don't know what flaunting your sexuality is, then clearly you have never seen two gay dudes at the mall. Obviously not all gay men are like that. But again look at the number of straight people walking around making out randomly or wearing ridiculous outfit. Guys in booty shorts, the numbers are there. Clearly if anybody flaunts their sexuality it would be the gay group. The one thing I guess we do agree on is that there should be a humanities day. That would be very appreciated. So that's my two cents. I hope I did not offend anybody but I am sad for the students who take your class who get such a biased answer.

wow, i'm super amazed that you straight people have ANYTHING to be proud of.

Let's face it; fifty percent of marriages end in divorces. Most straight relationships involve women desperate for men to find them pretty faking orgasm and spending all their time in expensive and time consuming beauty rituals as well as daily reading about how to please "him" that their spouses never encounter (even though Mister Man would surely benefit if his back hair was waxed off and he maybe learned a little bit about a clitoris). Most men would sooner spend time watching footzball with their "bros" than doing anything with what they charmingly call their "hoes". Not that I blame them, I myself wouldn't enjoy hearing "does this make me look fat?" twenty times while sitting in some silly boutique...but nor would I want to hear faggot jokes at the local dood bar while men in tights grope and tackle each other. I'm not saying that every heterosexual relationship is a farce; just that most of them are based on dislike and an almost capitalistic exchange of goods ("I'll look skinny and young and give it up to you a few times a week and even fake enjoyment; you ensure enough money for a comfortable life so I can continue to buy enough beauty products to look 'hot' for you. Meanwhile, I'll also spurt out children that we can turn into identical versions of ourselves so this state of events can continue." Face it, most men and women hate each other even as they try as hard as they can to subscribe to the very notion that MAKES them hate each other: that they are irreconcilably different, and that this contempt only proves that "opposites attract" and the gays are bad, bad, bad. Not to mention that any female who isn't a giggly boy-worshiping baby-loving fashionbot and every male who isn't a mean, lean macho machine is assumed to be gay, gay, gay...so heteros of all genders strive as hard as they can to meet these wretched stereotypes, while us queers struggle with serious sterotypes of our own (like the prevailing straight belief that all lesbians couple up as 'boys' or 'girls', that all lesbians have been raped, that all lesbians are "too ugly" to get a man, that all bisexual girls are liars, that all bisexual boys are gay,that all effeminate boys are gay, that all non-hyperfeminine women are gay, that all heterosexuals see sex as nothing more than a ten minute porking that results in no pleasure for the female, that all women are baby and bride-crazed psychos...I could go on and on. In any event, I don't know what you straights have to be so proud about, and, once again, I think you all are confusing gender expression and sexuality. I'm sure a pretty, well-dressed, sensitive boy who happened to be hetero would not be welcomed at your parade, while a macho gay man would pass undetected. If you straights learned to differentiate between gender expression and sexuality, the world would be a much less prejudiced place. For now, I'll just leave this comment with the one mession I would love for straights to realize: BEING MASCULINE OR FEMININE HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHETHER YOU ARE ATTRACTED TO MEN, WOMEN, OR BOTH. nor do either have anything to do with what gender you choose to be, whether that gender is assigned to you at birth or not. I know I'm heading into territory that most straights have never even imagined...the T and the end of the GLBT, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Why not have a parade for everyone's rights to love whomever they choose, to identify gender-wise however they want, to express themselves sexually however they want (rather than assuming that all gay men are promiscuous and all gay women just "hug" while all straight men jam their parts into women, and if the women don't like it, well, they're useless, and a baby needs to develop fast, and that women don't care what men look like while men all lust after pamela lee whateverherface). a march like that would be a true step towards a better society, one where stereotypes--about both hets AND GLBT people--don't rule the entire world of gender and sexuality.

Thank you Todd for that response above. That was very well done.

Why should gays be allowed to parade? In fact while we're at it, why don't we allow a "March Against Bullying" or chase terrible politicians away from their position as authority. Why should gays have an extra right? Why should we change the laws, so that we, the children of straight families, would have to go around town calling our mothers, the women that gave birth to us, and deserve the respect, and right to be called 'Mom', 'Parent1'? It's disrespectful! Our parents aren't robots! Why should the children of gay families have to go through their life thinking their parents might hate them if they end up straight, the way they should be? Children don't fall from trees; and their parents should be their only role models. My fear is that in the future gays might overpower, leaving only a minority of us, heterosexuals, only because of their perverted dreams of same sex PDA. Of course, I realize that our so called 'authorities' allow the parade- the 'authorities' are also the ones that lead us straight to Hell with their constant 'promises' to change the world; Families are in financial Hell; Africans are starving; and what our politicians are worried about is the 'Gay Pride Parade'?

Last but not least- Serbia is right to ban the parade twice in a row: it should never have started! I understand rebellion, but this is exaggeration!!!

I always saw it as putting it in your face. Like who gives a shit if you disagree with our grotesque behavior and life choices. You have to deal with it or your a bigot! Nasty people.

I have the right to disapprove of anything I see fit to disapprove of. All of this parading around and sinful showings of "pride" are going too far. I do not care what you do as long as it does not interfere with me or anyone else that doesn't want anything to do with it. Be as quiet about being gay as I am about being straight and I probably won't even notice or give a shit. I do not fear homosexuality, I do not embrace homosexuality, I merely live and let live because that is the right thing to do. Whether I approve of ones choices or actions should be of no consequence to that person.

The problem is it gets thrown in my face, it works it's way into my entertainment like some kind of subliminal subterfuge aimed to make me see homosexuals as normal. I'll never accept it as "normal". I believe the promotion of it confuses our youth. It does not need to be promoted through television, news, entertainment or any damned parade.

When people start minding their own business and stop regularly labeling people by race, religion or sexuality (other than for identification purposes, somewhat obviously), we'll see a better world. Maybe, just maybe, if we can get people to mind their own personal baggage we can work together on a much more grand social scale the likes of which we have never seen. The future is now.

The only type of parades I love is the Fourth of July Parade and any parade that is for a championship team. Why? I believe a parade should only promote love of one's country known as patriotism and/or love of one sport's team which in turn is love of one's community. Parades that separate or cause high intense emotional responses such as a Gay Parade are not needed in today's world. We need to unite together not apart. Instead of a parade why not hand out information pamphlets that a person can read on their time.

Shannon-

TO you and to the person who commented after you abotu hos pride parades divide and seperate. .it only divides the hateful homophobes from the people who want to live and let live. ANYONE can take part in a pride parade..you dont have to declare a side..just want everyone to get recognised as people worthy of respect. YOU are the ones bringing division into it. If half the town stays home because they dont like gay people..then half the town are bigoted and thats their choice..all the friendly loving folks will be at the parade fostering the idea that we are all people and all deserve the dignity associated with that.

@Corlessr the whole idea of those parades IS to flaunt..its a parade.. because the sooner society stops treating folks like second class citizens..the need for such things will cease as well. And of course you dont flaunt your heterosexuality..because noones making laws and lobby groups to keep you down therefore there is no need for you to wave anything in anyones face because..everyone around you is doing it. Im sure if this were 1960 youd be saying things like "they may get to go to white schools and sit in the front of the bus..but i dont have to like em!" because your argument sounds very similar.. just like there are no civil rights marches really in USA today..as soon as we treat all our neighbors as people the need for parades and stance-takin will go away. But its not going to budge as long as people have a fear that there are people like YOU who will be in charge of them at work or in govt.. IM sure you had some gay friends before you made this post..but im also equally sure you have less now

I feel that if a heterosexual parade was implemented, it would be creating almost like a competitive environment. We shouldn't separate homosexuality and heterosexuality so much. Half the people that go to pride are straight, it's more of a celebration of who you are, supporting those who aren't getting the support they need when it comes to their sexual orientation. Unfortunately the majority of the people who aren't getting being accepted are homosexuals.

The same reason you can't have a white pride festival.

I'm not gay, but I did attend a gay pride parade and was taken aback by what I saw. There were people making out hard core in the park, walking around in leather pants that had the rear cut out, carrying whips, etc. Gay or straight that's NOT acceptable. EVERYONE should be able to celebrate who they are and be proud of it, but not by breaking the law and what I saw there was breaking the law. Try doing that as a straight person and you'd be locked up for indecent exposure.

To everyone complaining over the behaviors and apparel being "indecent" and overtly sexual, I would like to point out what could easily be called a "straight pride parade": Mardi Gras. Nearly naked people are not uncommon, nor are various sexual behaviors, "earning beads", for instance. Men demand of women to bare their breasts in exchange for plastic beads. Please tell me how that fits in to your superior straight morality.

@lina: As another black bisexual woman, I can tell you you are ignorant. Ask yourself this question: did you and your husband get looks for being straight or being interracial. There are interracial couples out there whom also happen to be gay, so they deal with BOTH issues of being interracial AND gay. If you didn't get looks for being straight, than your heterosexual relationship in itself it's not being persecuted for being heterosexual.

it's like a white woman recalling the time she was sexually harrassed in a public facility and suggesting that it had to do with her being white rather than a woman and a patriarchal system that exists.

I'm sorry, but the other areas of identity that you are marginalized in don't cancel out your hetero privileges. It's ridiculous. It's not an oppression olympics game.

Every day is Straight Pride.

How about this, we can do straight pride when straight people get beat up for holding hands, when straight people get bullied to suicide for being gay, when society condemns straight people.

Basically straight pride can be a thing when life becomes like this:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnOJgDW0gPI

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