For as long as there have been LGBTQ people who have dared, once a year, to publicly and unashamedly celebrate who they are and their community’s vibrant history of resistance and resilience in a Pride Month parade or party, there have been straight people who have stomped their straight little feet and whined in their straight little voices, “Wait! That looks fun! What about us? We want to do that too!”
The latest gob of cloudy pond sludge to take human form and complain about the lack of straight pride celebrations is Ted Hickman, vice mayor of Dixon, California, who recently wrote a piece proclaiming July to be “Straight Pride American Month,” otherwise known as ... SPAM. (I couldn’t make this shit up if I tried, folks.)
In his op-ed (and I’m using that term here very loosely), which appeared last week in a local newspaper and on the politician’s personal website, Hickman claims his idea for SPAM is “not really legally anti anything,” but, rather, a time for “hundreds of millions of the rest of us” to “celebrate our month, peaking on July 4th, as healthy, heterosexual, fairly monogamous, keep our kinky stuff to ourselves, Americans,” by organizing “our parades in every state and county in this country with families celebrating together” [emphasis Hickman’s].
Hickman, who generously notes that he “support[s] the First Amendment, as much as the next person, and support[s] the rights of grown men to wear skin tight short-shorts and go-go boots and don tinker bell wings with wand and prance down the streets of San Francisco,” seems to take the most issue with what he calls LGBTQ people’s “inferior complex ‘show we are different’ type of crap.”
He ends his piece by emphasizing that he ― and all other straight people ― “ARE different from [LGBTQ people] ... We work, have families, (and babies we make) enjoy and love the company (and marriage) of the opposite sex and don’t flaunt our differences dressing up like faries [sic] and prancing by the thousands in a parade.” He then spirals off into a bizarre rant about “faries” being “powered [by] ‘bypiezoelectric’ crystals which can be energized by sound waves like [sic] made by clapping.”
Elsewhere on Hickman’s site, you can find an essay (I’m also using that term loosely) about bringing a statue of “Dixie the Dinosaur” to Dixon. He also shares some jokes (?) ― like, “i’m not saying i’m more vegan than you are………but when i fart it smells like pine cones,” so I’m pretty sure we shouldn’t be too worried about anything this boob has to say.
But, sadly, Hickman is not the only one pushing for straight pride months or parades. In fact, “Heterosexual Pride Day” reared its ugly head as a hashtag on Twitter in 2016 and now appears to officially be “a thing.” It seems that some straight people just can’t handle the idea of a day or ― heaven forbid! ― an entire month not being about them.
When faced with this kind of absurd and offensive rhetoric (to suggest, as Hickman did, that LGBTQ people don’t “work” or “have families” is so ludicrous I’m not even going to address it), most LGBTQ people and their allies have pushed back by rightfully arguing that there is no need for a straight pride month or parade ― since every day is straight pride day and every month is straight pride month.
Unlike LGBTQ people, who have faced great adversity and danger because of their sexual orientations or gender identities, non-LGBTQ people wake up every morning without having to worry about being discriminated against or facing violence because of how they love or get off or understand themselves to exist in the world.
A straight pride parade could essentially function as a way to ferret out the kind of bigoted thinking that still, even in 2018, exists in America but is often covert, slippery, cloaked in or justified by religion or simply left unaddressed.
Non-LGBTQ people are not murdered for being straight. They don’t experience higher levels of homelessness because they’re straight, and their parents don’t tell them they’re deviant or sinful and then kick them out of their childhood homes because they’re straight. They don’t need a day or a ride on a float to honor their community or tell themselves that they’re OK just the way they are, because the world ― and every magazine, TV show, movie, pop song and history book in it ― already assures them of that every second of every single day.
And that used to be my go-to response when I was confronted with this kind of nonsense, too. However, this morning, after I encountered Hickman’s proclamation, I changed my mind. In fact, the more I think about it, the more I believe we should have straight pride parades.
No, really! Think about it...
If Dixon (or any other city) had a straight pride parade, we could immediately identify the anti-LGBTQ assholes in town just by seeing who participated in or supported the parade. We’d immediately know which politicians were anti-LGBTQ assholes based on who rode through the crowds while waving from the back of slow-moving convertibles (and we could vote them out of office and maybe even score an all-LGBTQ city council like Palm Springs recently did). And it’d be obvious which local businesses were owned by anti-LGBTQ assholes who were willing to use their profits to help bankroll the event, and we could then spend our money at other stores.
A straight pride parade could essentially function as a way to ferret out the kind of bigoted thinking that still exists in America, even in 2018, but is often covert, slippery, cloaked in or justified by religion or simply left unaddressed. Not everyone or every corporation is as blatant with their bigotry as Hickman or, say, Chick-fil-A, so it would be invaluable to have a foolproof tool to identify those who either oppose LGBTQ equality or are so confused by or ignorant of their straight privilege that they need to be challenged and, hopefully, educated. Bring it on!
My hunch is that Vice Mayor Hickman won’t get very far into his parade planning before he realizes he doesn’t have much support for it. But if I’m wrong and he does, I’m dying to see who shows up and I can’t wait to call them out for doing so.