As Pride Month comes to a close today, I wanted to address its importance, as well as some adjacent issues.
I am a follower of Davey Wavey on YouTube (if you aren't, you should be, he is awesome). Yesterday - I think it was yesterday - he put up a post about something that I have heard many times before. Sometimes, you hear straight people ask, "If there is a Gay Pride Month, why is there no Straight Pride Month?" Yes, some people are dense enough to not know the answer to this question. Sometimes, it isn't that they are dense, but they are people like Tony Perkins or Peter Sprigg: professional bigots who are against all things LGBT friendly (they are in the minority of people asking this question though). So what should one say when they hear this question?
Is there a anti-straight version of DADT? Is there an anti-straight version of DoMA? Are straight kids bullied solely because they are straight? Are straight people fired from their jobs solely because they are straight? Is there a straight version of Tyler Clementi? Is there a straight version of Matthew Shepard?
I made a post about the purpose of pride earlier in the month, but it is worth reiterating. What people need to know about Pride Month and the events therein is that it is about a previously invisible minority which has been persecuted and prosecuted for centuries (at the least) finally standing up for itself and saying, "NO MORE." Pride is about being free to be who you are and breaking the shackles of what society is trying to force you to be. Pride is about saying that you will not just lie down and be subjugated into second-class citizenry and demanding your rights.
It seems fitting that it was during Pride Month that marriage equality was won in New York State (not to mention in the manner it was won). We have cause to celebrate and hope for the future. This particular Pride Month illustrated how we are at the tipping point. It may be that the next few years will see more victories than defeats as opposed to previous years. I wholly believe that Pride is part of that. It encourages people to be themselves, it helps people to be comfortable in their own skin, which can help them to be more honest and open about their sexuality. This is one of the primary ways that we get allies and change minds because this is how those around us learn that there are not in significant fundamental differences between LGBT people and straight people. Sure during Pride events cameras are usually turned to the most "flamboyant" people, but I still believe that Pride events are more an asset than a liability. So let those Pride flags fly high.