Trending Heterosexual Pride Day

[You may be] proud to be straight because [you] haven’t been given a reason to be ashamed of it. A statement of pride in your heterosexuality is not a brave thing to do; rather it serves to affirm abusive cultural standards of sexual identity. You are not helping the dialogue. You are simply perpetuating the status quo. (And by the way — the status quo is shit.) Of course you’re proud to be straight; why shouldn’t you be? No one’s going to kill you for being straight.
-dredsina

I woke up to Heterosexual Pride Day trending on Twitter. Yay!!!

I responded to 3 people.
note: This is Twitter. 140 characters per tweet so some of the words and sentences are clipped to fit the format.

To person #1 (woman of color): Why? Proud you were born with a socially acceptable sexuality.  Proud you can’t be fired, disowned, murdered for being straight?

To person #2 (black woman) several tweets: Why are you proud to have a socially acceptable sexuality? Your life, livelihood, basic human rights are not at risk.
When we say we have pride in ourselves we are trying to show our strength and solidarity in the face of discrimination and hate.
This [sic. Heterosexual Pride tag] is like #whitehistorymonth and #alllivesmatter you are missing the political need/point of Pride.
Our history is of violence discrimination corrective rape execution for existing. Pride is our response.

Then Person #3 (black male) and I had a civil discussion of sorts.

P3:  I was born straight OK y’all just have to accept that fact you don’t choose to be this way #HeterosexualPrideDay
Me: #whitehistorymonth #alllivesmatter

P3: explain how either of those comparisons makes sense to you
Me: Ok. Thanks for asking. I have questions for you? Why #BlackHistoryMonth? Why #BlackLivesMatter? Do you know why Gay Pride?

Then I shared this meme:
gay-pride_Be happy You don't need one

P3: straight pride does not bash or belittle gay pride & pride is not limited to one group it’s for for everyone
note: The rest of the conversation I wrote several tweets in a row and sometimes I responded to him when he wrote something but mostly kept writing
Me:
No. You don’t have to. You have not been threatened or demeaned because of your sexuality. You haven’t been told you’re not eligible for basic rights because of who you love. You don’t have anything to overcome. You don’t have to convince people that despite their best efforts to keep you down, you still know you are a quality person.
When we say we have pride in ourselves we are not trying to sound arrogant. We are trying to show our strength and solidarity in the face of discrimination/hatred.
You do not risk being disowned, beaten up, executed, murdered, denied basic human rights because of who you are/who you love.
P3: I’m black that can happen at any time to me
Me: This is true. Imagine being a black gay, bisexual, or transmale. I’m not saying one of us has it harder. I’m saying in my mind straight pride is like white folks saying white pride Your sexuality is not a negative in this society.
Why are you proud to be born as a socially acceptable sexuality? What do you risk for coming out as straight?
P3: because I’m allowed to have pride in my self same as everyone else & their does’ t have to be a risk for me to celebrate
Me: And you are of course allowed to be proud of who you are but would there be a Heterosexual Pride without a Gay Pride?
Tell me the negative things that have happened to you directly because of your sexual orientation? That may be my last ?
And I want people to be proud of who they are and have pride in themselves, I just feel that Straight Pride is every day.
Imagine being a person who is not straight in a world that is Imagine losing your job, your house, your kids, your life for it
Gay pride is the desire and ability to be brave and have pride in yourself even though you’ve been told all your life that you are less of a person because you’re gay. And though we’ve been laughed at, called names, teased through school, we can hold our head-up high instead of down in shame.
So when we say gay pride, we are saying we are not ashamed of who we are and will not, despite bullying, be silent and invisible.
Gay Pride is our response to a world that dehumanizes us.
Thanks for reading all this. I mean this sincerely.

#whitehistorymonth IT ALREADY EXISTS

#alllivesmatter ignores context. It certainly sounds reasonable enough and in most contexts, it would be. But the thing is when people say “Black Lives Matter,” they are acknowledging an important context that involves several centuries of slavery, civil rights, mass incarceration and brutality. It’s specifically highlighting the value of black lives because, historically this country has often ignored that value.
from “The Problem With Saying ‘All Lives Matter'”

Again, thanks for asking and reading.

***

What a great way to start this Wednesday morning! But seriously, I do feel better about “speaking up” and I’ve typed this all up so I can move on with my day.

notes: Some of what I wrote is paraphrased/borrowed from “Straight Pride…Really?” by Shane Jordan

LGBT Pride Month: The Fight To Be Seen As Human Beings

Maybe because I’ve been that suicidal teenager/adult. Maybe because I mentor lgbtq youth and adults who deal with rejection, self loathing, self harm, abusive parents, and suicide ideation. I deal with people who live their lives as “straight” but are scared to come out. It’s okay if they don’t. That’s up to them. I know what they have to lose. I also know what they will gain but everyone decides for themselves. I recognize the judgmental and hypocritical culture we live in. I recognize that we, as human beings judge and behave in hypocritical ways. I recognize that we all are all full of contradictions.
I don’t post every youth we lose to suicide because of bullying about their sexual orientation or gender expression. I don’t post every time a trans person is murdered. I don’t post when parents shoot their children and their loved ones in the head or when people throw boiling water on a gay couple to teach them a lesson. I don’t post about places in the world where it’s illegal to be gay. Where we are stoned to death or thrown off high buildings. I don’t post about the “corrective” rape used against men, women, people, to “fix” them and make them heterosexual.
Partially I don’t post these things every time it happens because everyday there’s something. Partially it’s to spare people the reality of how many of us live. It’s depressing and distressing. I care so much but I am afraid that you don’t. Or you’ll think I’m exaggerating. Or that I should just focus on something else.
Maybe because friends of mine, highs school teacher, counselors, strangers, and many lgbtq people reach out to me for advice and support. We all have our fights and ways we contribute to society. We all have our issues we care about. This is one of mine.
I’ll speak on human rights for as long as there are people being persecuted, oppressed, discriminated, beaten up, set on fire, acid thrown in their face, bodies disregarded and left in dumpsters, alley ways, abandoned buildings, placed in de-gaying camps. facilities, mental hospitals, kicked out on the street to fend for themselves because of who they are and who they love.
Dramatic as it may seem, It is a life or death thing for me.
It is a life or death thing for many. It is about being a compassionate, aware human being thing for me. I wake up this way. A mixture of gratitude mixed with anger and righteousness, laced with hope. Always hope.
It is the siren song of my blood.
It seems I am always fighting. And even if you are not a QUILTBAG person, I know some of you understand what I’m talking about. You are always fighting for your lives. To better your life or those you love. Always fighting and we know the exhaustion that comes from that. I’ve been at it so long, recently I’ve been looking to fight. Preemptively defensive. I don’t particularly like this development but I recognize this is where I am right now.
Pridecolos_katieBarnes

Image by Katie Barnes