“Why isn’t there a Straight Pride month/movement/parade?”
I’ve heard that question asked too many times to count — by trolls on social media and in person, too. I’ve heard it from all generations — from millennials, but also from those of my parents’ generation, who were truly raised in a different time, a time before the LGBT community was given a voice. A time before there was Pride.
But the answer from many — from the LGBT community and from allies — is often the same.
“If you’re asking that question, be happy you don’t need a whole month/movement/parade to represent you.”
The “othering” of marginalized groups is unfortunately not new in our society. There were the slaves in the 1860s. There were the Jews — as well as many other groups who did not fit the bill of “white male” during the Holocaust and World War II. There were African Americans here in our country, years following the Civil War, who were forced into segregation prior to the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.
And then there was the LGBT community.
The Stonewall Riots of 1969, while filled with injustice upon the actual events, are regarded as the catalyst for the protests championing fairness and justice for the LGBT community in the days that followed. The Stonewall Inn in New York City is now a landmark for not just the LGBT community, but for anyone who is remotely concerned with civil rights.
Our millennial generation is concerned with changing the world for all marginalized groups — and that most definitely includes the LGBT community. We’re attending Pride celebrations. We’re forming support groups. LGBT millennials are risking a great deal by coming out, and straight allies are also making their voices heard.
So, the next time that someone asks why the LGBT community needs a “pride month/parade/celebration/support group” — remind that person just how much courage it takes to come out, to families and even to peers.
Remind that person that we’ve made progress toward acceptance, but we still have a long way to go (as evidenced by the mass shooting at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando in 2016) — and that not all states in the United States are as culturally focused on acceptance as others.
Remind that person that conversion therapy is still a thing.
And of course, remind that person — especially if that person is not a part of a historically marginalized group — to be happy that he or she does not require pride… and that the LGBT community needs its pride in order to forge ahead.
Disclaimer: The political views presented in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Not Another Millennial Blog.