No, “Straight Pride” is Not a Thing

Earlier this week a GOP candidate for the Texas state board of education named Lady Teresa Thombs shared a photo calling for “straight pride.” When she was called out, she defended herself by saying that she loves the sinner but hates the sin, just like how we still love murderers but not the murders they commit. Because gay people are like murderers, I guess.

No. No. No. Lady Teresa Thombs, you’ve just made it worse.

While that murderer comment is bad, it’s pretty easy to demolish. Being gay doesn’t hurt anyone. Being a murderer does. That’s kind of the definition of murderer.

But let’s talk for a second about pride movements. (Also, consider this a warning to all of you who are planning on making white history jokes come February.)

The point of pride movements – be they gay pride, or black pride, or whatever – is to take back some legitimacy for a group that the larger society has deemed illegitimate. It’s a way for an oppressed group to own what makes them different and say that those differences don’t make them subhuman.

I’m a straight, white, cis person living in the United States. I’m only a penis and a few million dollars away from being dealt the royal flush of life. Still, there’s a lot of privilege there. I live in a world that values these things over the alternatives. Even if I don’t want to unfairly benefit from this, I do simply by virtue of being. This is why “straight pride” is insulting, and it’s also why you shouldn’t ask why there isn’t a white history. The world benefits being straight and white every day in ways that can be hard to notice.

It’s of course OK to be proud of your heritage. Those differences make the world a more interesting and wonderful place. They provide different perspectives and ways of thinking. However, if you come from a background (i.e. white, straight) that is generally valued more than others, you need to be careful.

This is true even if you or your ancestors never owned slaves. This is true even if you’ve never thrown a homophobic slur. Because the world as we know it has been shaped by the actions of people who did those things. Today’s national borders were shaped by colonialism. The United States is still trying to shake off the legacy of slavery. Homophobia was so ingrained that it’s codified in law. Even if you don’t want to benefit from these things, if you’re white and straight, you probably do.

None of this privilege makes you a bad person. I cannot say this enough. Just because you benefit from a bigoted history doesn’t make you a bad person. What does make you a bad person is if you try to wedge yourself into the conversation about an oppressed group’s issues and history.

There isn’t a “straight pride” movement because there doesn’t need to be one. Homosexuality has been largely erased from history, and we’re only just now starting to get it back. The gay rights movement has made a lot progress over the past few decades, but there are still a lot of terrible people who suffer no consequences for being openly hostile to gay people. Co-opting pride movements is just another mechanism by which to hide or minimize oppressed groups, and it’s really not OK.

Photo Credit: Tim Green via Flickr


Terrance Kimball
Terrance Kimball3 years ago

I think its 100% BS that there is no straight pride. Im 100% happy to be and support straight pride. We should have a parade. We should proudly put it on banners, flags, shirts, and arm bands. Why arent we allowed to set up straight pride clubs in schools and public. There are proud Latino, Italian, irish, black, but no straight clubs. Im not bashing just raising awareness. If you are against me your anti straight.....perhaps your parents should have been pro choice. Hmmmmm?

Airen M.
Airen McClure3 years ago

While I really love the points made here and am going to share this article, I should like to point out that by saying, "I’m a straight, white, cis person living in the United States. I’m only a penis and a few million dollars away from being dealt the royal flush of life," the author is implying that it takes a penis to make a man which is very transphobic and transmisogynistic. Assuming that Mindy Townsend identifies as female, being born with a penis would not change that. That would make her a trans woman, which certainly would not be a privileged aspect of her identity. Being a trans man myself, someone saying that penis=male implies that I am not a man.

Angela P.
Angie P3 years ago

Thank you for the article. Wish we all would be able to get along and respect each other.

pam w.
pam w3 years ago

Kelly G.."Why is it that if Christians want to be able to pray in public is violating someones -something? "

It's about CONTEXT, Kelly. If you want to stand on a street corner and pray out it. If you want to pray out loud while in line at the it. (People might ask you to shut up but you have a legal right to pray publicly and NOBODY here has disputed that.)

BUT...if you represent a government office or official or a public school CANNOT pray in publicly-funded venues and you CANNOT impose your prayers on my school child!

I'm sure you're intelligent enough to see the difference.

The LGBT community is NOT ''cramming'' anything down your throat. They're demanding the same civil rights as you or I and they've every right to it!

If they want a parade...why not? The Irish have parades. Shriners have parades. Veterans have parades. Hispanics have parades and so do Asians. If that bothers you....don't attend!

The Halloween parade in West Hollywood is almost totally composed of rioutsly-dressed homosexuals and it's the most fun of any parade I know.

You can stay home. Nobody cares.

Amy L.
Amy L3 years ago

I'm proud to be a straight ally for my gay brothers and sisters!

Joseph C.
Joseph C.3 years ago

I'm proud to be an American. .. BTW being a middle to upper class white christian American male puts you into one of the most hated groups of people on the planet. JS... who really wants to be a part of that? Everyone is a hater when they are jealous. Maybe thats why I don't hate gays or other races. I'm not jealous?

Holly D.
Holly D.3 years ago

Im sorry but this is kind of contradictory. Talking about Getting back legitimacy and whining about straights or whites wanting their own day, so what? If you really think about it, whites aren't the "big society" anyway, we are the minority today, so in that sense, maybe we should get one. Also, Co-opting pride movements is just another mechanism by which to hide or minimize oppressed groups, and it’s really not OK, seriously???? They are making a point, everyone has the right to be proud of who they are, and also gays are always whining they want equality and to be treated the same, blah blah blah, yet they constantly have to be making spectacles of themselves. Ok, you are gay, if you want to equal and treated normally then act like it and quit cramming it down everyone's throats 24/7, live your life the way you want, get on with your life, and quit with the constant drama and needing to be the center of the world's attention.

Wrex Allen
Wrex Allen3 years ago

Actually, perpetuating a double-standard is what makes you a bad person.

I have no issue with gay, straight, bi, can't-decide, black, green, pink, name-your-difference people, at all. What I have issue with, is everyone who say or think (or even are) different than some majority of what's "acceptable" or whatever, playing the victim card while doling out rage unto others.

Good job, there. You did it wrong. Next article?

Kelly Gossett
Kelly Gossett3 years ago

Why is it that if Christians want to be able to pray in public is violating someones -something? Nobody said everyone is forcing anyone else to do it, we just want to be free to do it ourselves but then you say Pam W. "Sounds to me as if you're pissed because you can't cram your religion down the throats of the rest of us." Well then why are the LGBT communitiy cramming everything down our throats? My kid is gay and I am happy she is happy but WHO she chooses to love is not WHO she is. I would never support her marching in a gay pride parade- there is no reason for it and I thank God she thinks they are just as stupid. We don't have hetero-pride parades running around half dressed looking like morons. Get married, who cares. But if you want to fight for rights, do it as adults and don't take the rights of others away to get your rights because then you are just as bad as those who oppose you. I have a right to my beliefs just as much as you do whether they are different or not. I pay taxes too Pam! Gays keep crying about rights - other than marital benefits- what rights don't you have? You can vote, you have all the constitutional rights as anyone else but WHY DO YOU THINK YOUR VIEWS/BELIEFS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN OTHERS? There are some who don't believe in gay marriage in my family- GUESS WHAT?- If there is ever a wedding you don't have to come. My daughter respects you right to your belief, but you have to respect her as well. Thats why we all get along because nobody FO

Lee Rowan
Lee Rowan3 years ago

no point in trying to talk sense to someone who's got cottage cheese where her brain should be.