Gee: What is your personal reaction to Pride Month?
If you visit Wikipedia, LGBT (or LGBTQ) pride is listed as the “positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, celebrate sexual diversity, and gender variance.”
Whew! That’s a lot of stuff.
It’s probably a good thing that they have a whole month to spend on it. You know, like one month out of an entire year — Pride Month.
I look at that list of things that gay pride is all about and I really don’t see anything to be alarmed about, threatened by, or scared of. But yet, there are some people who really have a problem with all of it.
I am blessed to be part of the Seahawks 12 Tour, and get to meet Seahawk fans of all shapes and sizes in all parts of the land. We recently finished an event at Rainbow Fest in Spokane in celebration of Pride Month.
Myself, two Seahawk players, and a couple others including Mario Bailey were walking over to the event. We were all wearing a really cool Seahawks shirt which featured the familiar Pride Month rainbow colors, to show our support for the event, and the community it represented.
That’s when a man walked up to us and said, “I wouldn’t be wearing that. That’s punk s***. A bunch of punks.”
This interaction got me thinking. Kind of like how the old song says “If loving you is wrong, I don’t want to be right.”
I think about all the things the LGBTQ community is asking for in a month of awareness and celebration. And I cannot help but think that I, too, want the same things for myself, my children, and everyone I know. I want that for people I don’t know. And you know, I want that for people I don’t even like, too.
I’ve also been hearing a lot of things recently, like “you don’t see us having a straight people parade.” And they’re correct. Because those things don’t exist. They don’t exist because they don’t need to exist.
Have you heard the story about the straight guy who got denied a job because he lived with a woman? Or the wild tale about the straight man walking home from school who was attacked by an angry mob of transgender men? How about the story about the married straight couple who wanted to adopt a child, and ran into all sorts of difficulty and resistance because they were heterosexual? Have you heard the one about the lady who applied for a job, but wasn’t hired because she had a male sexual partner?
You probably haven’t heard these stories because they don’t exist. At least not in today’s culture. And they don’t exist because people organized, rallied, and brought attention to the injustices they faced.
Yet, if I change a few words in those above examples, these are experiences that the LGBTQ community deals with daily, in today’s supposedly modern culture. You don’t have a “Straight Heterosexual Awareness Month” because there is little need, if any, to showcase the tremendous struggle you have as an individual in this category.
I also cannot help but read the list of things that Pride Month is about, and see the similarities with what I and other Black Americans experience. There are various awareness campaigns that aim to right some wrongs that were set into place by people long before our time. I cannot help but be aware that the LGBTQ community isn’t asking for anything special. They just want to “be.”
If you truly feel you need to have a Heterosexual Awareness Month, or a March for Straightness, then by all means, please organize, file the necessary permits, and run your events.
If you are offended by a Seahawks logo with rainbow colors on it, then chances are we aren’t going to agree on a few other things. But maybe — just maybe — you are the person that completely validates the reason for Pride Month.