Last year, we ran a quiz to help straight people decide whether or not they should attend a pride parade. (Basically, if they think pride is their time to act a fool and make it all about them, the breeders should stay home). But we recently ran across a list of tweets where LGBTQ people explained conditions under which straight people shouldn’t go to pride. It was so good that it inspired us to create our own list.
Here they are:
1. Straight people shouldn’t go to pride unless they go with their LGBTQ friends.
We had to put up with y’all going to gay bars for your bachelorette parties for years before we could wed — it was disrespectful and annoying. Don’t do the same thing to our pride parades. We don’t have the same rights or spaces as you, and as a result, it’s unsafe to be openly queer around most of the world. Let this space be ours without trying to take it over, even if you are an “ally.”
2. Straight people shouldn’t go to pride if it’s just to gawk LGBTQ people like a zoo or an excuse to dress up in rainbows and post pics to social media.
If you wanna stare at gay people, go rent a copy of The Birdcage. You can also play dress up at home — it’s cheaper and better air conditioned. Or better yet, go get your voyeuristic fix by looking up pictures of historic LGBTQ people and learning how they fought oppression.
And if you really want to show everyone on Instagram how much you love LGBTQ people, post pictures of LGBTQ organizations they can volunteer for. Pride is a healing time for us against a stigmatizing society, not just a chance to see and be seen.
3. Straight people shouldn’t go to pride unless they actively attend our protests and rallies throughout the year, not just our parties.
Our queer siblings around the world are being imprisoned, evicted, disowned, attacked, tortured and killed every day. Because straight people are the majority (and their voices are valued much more in our society more than queer ones), we need you to show up, work alongside us and actively dismantle queerphobia year round — not just get drunk and sing karaoke with us during the fun times.
4. Straight people shouldn’t go to pride unless they understand that pride started as a protest against police brutality, not a way to collect beads.
Pop quiz: When was the first pride parade? If you didn’t answer, “A year after Stonewall” or even know what Stonewall is, then stay home and study up.
Although pride has come to represent how much we’ve been accepted by society at large, it’s also a time to commemorate our shared heritage and our ongoing fight against institutional discrimination. Everyone should know this.
Admittedly, a lot of LGBTQ people don’t know what Stonewall or the first pride parade was for. But if you learn, you can help teach more people and start conversations about how we can all continue our forbearers’ work.
5. Straight people shouldn’t go to pride if they don’t call out their friends for saying “faggot” or “tranny.”
Showing up for LGBTQ people matters when we’re under attack or uniting for a common cause, but it also matters on a smaller, day-to-day basis. Many of us have had anti-LGBTQ slurs thrown at us throughout our lives, and when you let your friends use that language to describe us, it communicates that you’re okay your loved ones needlessly insulting and degrading us. Don’t let that violence continue; change starts with you!