You don’t get to be the victim, honey.
When I woke up on Wednesday morning and found #HeterosexualPrideDay trending across my Twitter feed, I thought it was a joke. Thankfully the people on my feed were using it ironically or using it as an opportunity to educate – but sadly that wasn’t true on a broader scale.
Soon even Facebook was on board, recommending I buy Heterosexual Pride Day products (boy, did they miss their demographic), and I knew it was happening again. Every year we hear the same idiots say the same thing: “Why isn’t there a straight pride parade?” These people come from the same school of geniuses who wonder why there isn’t a white pride month, and unironically they both get the same answer: because the rest of the year and the majority of the world is already yours.
Lady Gaga sent a tweet into the Twitterverse that sums up the phenomenon quite neatly. She posted a completely black and white map and wrote: “In red are all the countries where it is illegal to be heterosexual. Heartbreaking. ??? #HeterosexualPrideDay”
There isn’t a Heterosexual Pride Day because heterosexuals never have to worry about whether or not their rights are going to be legally recognized.
There is no straight pride parade because you don’t need a safe space – every place is safe for you.
You don’t have to worry about whether you’ll be allowed to use the right bathroom.
You don’t have to pretend to be siblings or best friends when you’re on the wrong side of town.
You don’t have idiot politicians using your sexuality for their personal gain.
You don’t have to worry about being called a slur for holding your partner’s hand in public based exclusively on your genders.
When I was a teenager, I remember going to the post office one day with my partner. We were waiting in line, holding hands, and there was this cute little girl running around and playing hide and seek with herself. She couldn’t have been more than four. I smiled and waved at her, and she giggled and waved back. She started hiding from me, I’d pretend to hide from her, and we entertained ourselves while we were in line.
Her mother was a few people in front of me so they left before we did, and as soon as they stepped out I heard a harsh hiss from behind me. “You people can do whatever you want in your homes, but when there are children present you will behave sensibly.”
I whipped around to face the older white woman with her face set in a hard scowl. “You don’t need to wave your obscenity around when there are children in the room,” she pushed.
I glanced over at the security guard who was standing nearby and wearing a similar scowl. I wish I’d been brave enough to say something, but I was too afraid of things getting worse than they were. After all, I was in a small town in Texas, surrounded by people who weren’t likely to be on my side – and they certainly didn’t move mountains to speak up for me. It was better to take the verbal abuse than risk things getting worse, which they certainly could have. Numbly, we separated our hands.
That’s just a tiny slice of what it’s like to live in a world that isn’t safe for you. It’s a thousand small things that straight people never have to worry about. You may wonder if your parents will approve of who you’re dating, but you don’t have to worry about whether or not they’ll disown you before they even get a chance to meet them.
So before you mouth off about how you don’t have a month dedicated to your sexual orientation, take a step back and realize why that is exactly, and be glad you don’t need it.
Image via samuel-warde.com.
Comment: If you could tell the members of society one thing, what would it be?