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COLUMN: No, we don’t need to celebrate Straight Pride

The pride flag flies at Pride day at the Canada Cup at Softball City in Surrey in July 2023. Pride Month has kicked off once again with Surrey Pride’s rainbow gala on Saturday night. (File photo: Anna Burns)

June is upon us, and that means the rainbow flag is flying in Surrey once again — and with it, the snark and commentary from the vocal minority who get triggered by its colourful stripes.

You know the people I mean.

They’re the ones who see the words Pride Month and immediately ask: Why don’t we get a Pride Month, too? (The “we” in question being, of course, straight folks.)

It’s not usually a genuine question, of course. It’s more likely to be rhetorical commentary about the so-called special privileges “they” get every year that “we” don’t.

But let’s assume for a moment that it is a real question, so we can answer it once and for all. (Or until next year, when it comes up again.)

Why don’t we celebrate Straight Pride?

Because we don’t need to.

Because we straight folks didn’t grow up being told our sexual orientation was something to hide. Because it wasn’t ingrained in us from early childhood that our identity was something to be ashamed of. Because we haven’t faced historic and ongoing discrimination on the basis of our sexual orientation.

Most of all, because every single solitary day that we exist in the world is already Straight Pride Day.

Remember that time when you had a crush on a kid in your class and you were worried about confessing to your friends that you liked someone of the opposite sex?

Me neither. That day you didn’t have to worry about that? That was Straight Pride Day.

Remember when there were no TV shows and no kids’ books that showed you what it looked like to grow up in a family with two opposite-sex parents? No? Well, every day you enjoyed a book that reflected your mom-and-dad reality was Straight Pride Day, too.

Remember that day when you sat in church and heard a priest proclaim that your sexual orientation was a sin? Neither do I, because every Sunday was Straight Pride Day.

The list goes on and on and on.

Remember when you wanted to bring your partner home for the holidays but you worried about how your religious grandmother and your intolerant uncle would react to the idea of an opposite-gender significant other?

Remember when you casually dropped into conversation with a new co-worker that you were straight and worried about how they might react?

Remember when you walked down the street holding hands with your partner and had to deal with heterophobic insults – or worse, violence?

Remember when you had to fight for the right to marry a person of the opposite sex?

Remember when opponents of your right to be married said allowing you to marry your partner would destroy the foundations of society as we know it?

Remember when you and your spouse had a kid and you had to answer all kinds of personal questions about how you came to have a child and whether the child in question was really yours?

You don’t remember those things because they didn’t happen. You don’t remember those things because every day of your existence as a heterosexual person in a heteronormative society has been that self-same Straight Pride Day you think you’re missing out on.

So when you see those rainbow stripes fluttering and start to get angry? Take a moment to remember that Pride as we know it is about far more than rainbow flags and sequined outfits.

It’s a movement whose sparkly surface reflects years of injustice, pain and grief. It’s a crusade with deep roots in fighting discrimination, in promoting social justice and in ensuring that all of us – regardless of where we fall under the rainbow – share the same rights as human beings.

Happy Pride.

Julie MacLellan is the Surrey/White Rock bureau chief for Black Press Media.

About the Author: Julie MacLellan

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