Straight Pride Parade
Society is at it again. Super Happy Fun America, a nonprofit organization that sounds like a child named it, are vying to add “S” to the LGBTQ+ acronym because “it’s great to be straight.” In their quest to exacerbate the prejudice queer people face on a daily basis, Super Happy Fun America obtained a license to hold a Straight Pride Parade in Boston this Saturday, which will march past Emerson’s campus. While this is obviously a political stunt fueled by privilege and ignorance, the fact that these things are still happening in 2019—and on a regular basis too—is pitiful.
As the queer daughter of same-sex parents and an outspoken advocate for gay rights, this issue hits close to home. Even in my liberal hometown, homophobia is all-too prevalent. Gay slurs plagued the hallways in middle and high school, while at my former job, I was subjected to frequent assumptions about my sexuality. “Do you have a boyfriend?” one coworker asked. “I know you’ll meet so many boys in college,” said another with a suggestive smile.
We live in a heteronormative society where everyone is presumed to be straight. For centuries, queer people have been marginalized, rejected, beaten, and even murdered simply for being themselves. Promoting a “straight agenda,” as Super Happy Fun America has deliberately chosen to do, merely worsens the issue at hand. It incites the delusion that such hate crimes are permissible and encourages others who share similar opinions to participate in this blatant discrimination.
While I acknowledge that society has made progress in terms of accepting the LGBTQ+ community, we have a long way to go. Equality is possible, but to obtain it, we can’t back down in the presence of bigotry. We must use our voice to combat the outdated norms that rationalize homophobia. We must speak up for those who are oppressed. We must advocate for equal rights and acceptance through non-violent methods. We must be true to who we are—even when society tells us otherwise. Because at the end of the day, there is nothing more liberating than authenticity.
Queer people exist. Choosing not to accept them is not an option, and anyone who feels otherwise, including organizations like Super Happy Fun America, can fuck off. The fight for equality is far from over, yet we press on. Maybe freedom won’t exist in five years or ten or even fifty, but I’m hopeful that the day will come when living your truth isn’t condoned—it’s celebrated.