Dear Straight People: Here's how I'm celebrating Straight Pride Day

Julie Maclellan

Dear Straight People:

It has come to my attention that some of you are currently feeling hard done by and that your tender little feelings have been hurt because you don’t have Straight Pride Day. Now it seems some of you are feeling compelled to turn these hurt feelings into an official Straight Pride Day celebration.

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Just thought that, as a fellow Straight Person, I should get in on this discussion and point out to you that, in fact, we hard-done-by Straight People have been celebrating Straight Pride Day for many years.

It’s true. Here, for your enlightenment, is just a small sampling of some of the Straight Pride Days I’ve celebrated so far in my almost 49 years on this planet:

That day I never stopped to think about the fact that I was female, inhabiting a female body, attracted to males, because I was just me and I never had to question it. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I had a crush on a schoolmate and I could talk about it to my friends without worrying what their reaction was going to be that I was attracted to a boy. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never had to worry about being bullied in the schoolyard or beaten up in the school washroom because I was straight. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never had to hide my identity and live with the weight of that secret pressing down on me until that weight was so unbearable I couldn’t take it anymore and I was desperate and there was no one I could turn to and I just gave up and tried to end my life instead. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never had to sit in church and listen to a priest tell me that my identity was a sin. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never came out to my parents about being straight. That day I never had to worry about what they’d think about having a straight daughter. That day I never had to wonder who’d stop talking to me, or what would happen at family gatherings when I showed up with my partner, or how my straightness would sit with my religious relatives. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I decided to marry the person I loved and we got a marriage certificate without question. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never had to fight to have my partner accepted as my partner in the eyes of the law. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day my sexual orientation never stopped me from holding a job I wanted to hold. That day I never had to accept that “don’t ask don’t tell” was as good as it was going to get. That day I never got fired from a job because of my straightness. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I never had to wonder whether law enforcement was keeping tabs on me as part of their surveillance of heterosexuals. That day I never had to celebrate because the government finally decided that it was legally acceptable to be heterosexual. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I realized Svend Robinson will always be more famous than me because if I ever ran for federal office, I would never make headlines for being the first openly straight MP in Canada. That was Straight Pride Day.

That day I walk down the street holding hands with my partner and nobody bats an eyelash. That’s Straight Pride Day.

That day my partner and I go places with our child without raising eyebrows or incurring curious questions about how she was born or whether she’s really ours. That’s Straight Pride Day.

That day I can do everything I need to do – go to work, go out for lunch, buy groceries, play at the park with my daughter, have friends over for drinks on the patio – and never once have even a fleeting thought that my straightness might offend someone that day. That’s Straight Pride Day.

That day I decided to write this blog post, and I actually had to sit down and think hard about all the possible ways that the world might treat me differently because of my sexual orientation, because being discriminated against on the basis of my sexual orientation is something that has never – literally never, not once, ever, in any way – happened to me.

That day I had to turn to Google to look up information about all of the things that have happened to Canada’s LGBTQ community and it broke my heart because I learned so many things I didn’t know and I wondered why the hell I never knew it all and I realized that there are people out there who have been fighting this bullshit every day of their goddamned lives and now they’re having to turn around and fight with a bunch of straight white men who think they’re oppressed for being straight and it makes my blood boil with rage just thinking about it and it isn’t even personal for me because, and I repeat: BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST ON THE BASIS OF MY SEXUAL ORIENTATION IS SOMETHING THAT HAS NEVER – LITERALLY NEVER, NOT ONCE, EVER, IN ANY WAY – HAPPENED TO ME.

Oh yeah, and it’s Friday and it’s an ordinary day and I’m drinking coffee at my desk while I type and absolutely nothing out of the ordinary is happening in my life right at this moment.

This is Straight Pride Day too.

So all of you jokers (I’d use a stronger word, but let’s stick with jokers) who think it’s a great idea to lobby for some sort of Straight Pride Day because, hey, "they" get a Pride day so we should too?

Here’s the thing you’re missing: Pride has never been just about rainbows and sequins and a big ol’ street party. It’s been about a constant crusade against injustice and the oppression of an entire community in so many ways that it would make your delicate little straight head spin just thinking about them all.

So here’s my advice to all you Straight Priders – not that I think you’ll take it, but I can live in hope.

Sit down. Shut up. And be grateful you don’t have a Straight Pride Day, because it means you’ve never needed one.

Sincerely,

A Fellow Straight Person

 

 

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