The city of Boston will be hosting its first-ever “Straight Pride” parade on August 31 after being slapped with a discrimination complaint following the event’s initial rejection. The event will follow the same path as the city’s annual [homosexual] Pride Parade and hopes to culminate with the raising of the Straight Pride flag.
What likely began as trolling to shed light on the absurdity of having a parade to celebrate pride in one’s sexuality became a battle for civil rights and equality. Super Happy Fun America (SHFA) proposed a Straight Pride parade to the city and was swiftly rejected, but the group filed a discrimination complaint, forcing the city to concede that it could not deny a group based on its values or beliefs.
“Permits to host a public event are granted based on operational feasibility, not based on values or endorsements of beliefs,” Boston’s Mayor Marty Walsh announced earlier this month. “The City of Boston cannot deny a permit based on an organization’s values.”
City Hall has, however, denied the event organizers’ request to fly a “Straight Pride” flag outside City Hall on the day of the event, claiming it has sole discretion over what can be flown outside the building, CBS Boston has reported.
Super Happy Fun America, whose tagline is “It’s Great to be Straight,” is touting the event as an opportunity to “celebrate heterosexuality” and said the parade will be “used as a platform to educate the public on the unique problems facing our community and to fight against heterophobia.”
“We want people to be aware that there is not only one side of things,” the group’s president, John Hugo, said in a statement reported by CBS. “There’s a lot of people that are uncomfortable with a lot of things that are going on in our country and they’re afraid to speak up.”
Hugo asserts that the purpose of the parade is not to be divisive but to celebrate traditional values.
“We don’t hate anyone; we just want to have our own celebration just like everybody else has a right to. All people from all communities are welcome as long as they show mutual respect,” Hugo said at a June news conference.
March organizer and SHFA Vice President Mark Sahady framed the event as a celebration of patriotism. “This is our chance to have a patriotic parade in Boston as we celebrate straight pride,” he wrote in an online post.
Milo Yiannopoulous, a “right-wing,” openly gay activist, has been appointed the parade’s grand marshal, the Washington Post reports.
Predictably, the event has provoked outcry from the LGBT community and the Left.
The Daily Wire reports that actor Chris Evans slammed the event as “homophobic” on Twitter and accused the organizers of using the event to mask their own homosexual tendencies.
“Wow! Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of ‘Straight Pride’ parade, how about this: The ‘desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children’ parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose??” he tweeted.
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) weighed in with her criticism. “Will ‘Straight Pride’ be a Freaky Friday type situation where all of our history books, movies, stories, media, news, etc feature mostly LGBTQ+ people & perspectives?” she tweeted. “Will people have to come out as straight? What would folks march in? Socks w/ sandals on? Dad jeans?”
The liberal hosts of The View derisively relegated the parade as a movement of “straight white guys” who are closeted homosexuals, prompting Super Happy Fun America to decry the group’s critics for “trivializing the voices of many in the diverse communities that are participating.”
Sahaday notes, “I am Syrian. My people have been through a lot, and it is highly problematic to be dismissed because I do not fit society’s stereotypes.”
The group’s gay ambassador, Chris Bartley, who is himself homosexual, asserts that being homosexual does not mean that you cannot recognize the rights of heterosexuals.
“Just because I am gay does not mean I can’t advocate on behalf of straights,” said Bartley. “If the View’s hosts had researched our organization, they may have avoided making reactionary comments from a place of ignorance.”
According to the group’s website, SHFA “advocates on behalf of the straight community” to ensure that heterosexuals are treated with the same respect and inclusivity that is afforded to other groups.
Hugo is quoted on the site as saying, “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgment and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations.”
One of the group’s agenda items is to have the “S” (for “straight”) added to the LGBTQ acronym “because its more inclusive that way.”
Image: Sean Pavone via iStock / Getty Images Plus