Pride month has come and gone, again. Although we aren’t openly celebrating it now, let’s remember the meaning behind the month of June. People see Pride as a reason to party, but it’s actually a political protest to celebrate the rights that members of the LGBTQ+ community were once denied.
On June 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court overruled all state bans and legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states. That was only four years ago. Legalizing gay marriage may seem like a small thing, but in other countries members of the LGBTQ+ community are denied basic human rights.
According to USA Today, “same-sex sexual activity is a crime in over 70 countries. Some of them, including six nations that are members of the United Nations, impose the death penalty. In 26 other countries, the maximum penalty is prison with terms varying anywhere from a few years to life imprisonment.”
These 70 countries are mainly located in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. To compare 70 countries where it is illegal to be homosexual to the five where there are discrimination laws for LGBTQ+ people is overwhelming. Pride is a celebrate the freedom that the community has received in this country and many others.
This summer, the concept of Straight Pride was introduced in Boston, Massachusetts. This idea angered many members of the community because older generations fought hard for the rights that are now received. Straight Pride would erase all accomplishments from LGBTQ+ community including the Stonewall riots.
My questions for these people who want and support a Straight Pride month are: When has a heterosexual person ever had to defend their sexuality? When having these people ever had to come out as straight? When have people been disowned by their family for the sole reason of being straight? When having these people worried about being murdered or assaulted due to their sexuality? When have mass shootings been specifically targeted towards straight people? When have these people lost a loved one from suicide due to their heterosexuality?
The answers to these questions are eye-opening. Members of the LGBTQ+ community face many more challenges in daily life because of their sexuality or how they identify themselves. We live in a heteronormative world, after all.