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Straight Pride = Death

Timothy Kincaid

November 10th, 2010

I’m all for straight pride. I think that straight folk are pretty amazing, over all, and that there’s an awful lot of good that can be celebrated in the history, culture and contributions of straight people. I even think that taking a moment to acknowledge one’s orientation can make one respectful for the orientation of others. When you look closely at your own attractions and how that impacts the way you interact with others, it not only makes you a better person but more appreciative of the way that others interact.

But that’s not really what those who trumpet the slogan “straight pride” usually mean. They aren’t really proud or appreciative or contemplative or even much aware of heterosexuality. No, they just want to demonstrate their animus towards gay folk.

Take, for example, three students at St. Charles North High School in St. Charles, IL: (mysuburbanlife.com)

While this week is ally week at St. Charles North and East High Schools, a week meant to put an end to anti-gay and anti-lesbian bullying and harassment, a group of three students from St. Charles North High School wanted to express their own views.

Michael Fairbanks, president of the St. Charles East Gay-Straight Alliance, sent out an e-mail to the media last night saying a group of St. Charles North boys came to school yesterday with shirts that read “STRAIGHT PRIDE” on the front and “If a man lay with a male as those who lay with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination and shall surely be put to DEATH,” a Bible verse from Leviticus 20:13.

I guess that they put “death” in capitals for some purpose and I can’t imagine that it was charitable. Taken in the context of the week, I guess they were trying to say, “No, gay students shouldn’t be defended from bullying, they should be killed instead.”

The school handled the situation intelligently.

St. Charles Community Unit School District 303 spokesman Jim Blaney said once the building administrators became aware of the shirts, the three students wearing them were called into the deans’ office to discuss the matter. They were sent back to class and later were called back for a second discussion.

Blaney said the administration wanted to explain to students that they have a right to express their point of view, but they also wanted to make the students aware that their message could be seen as hurtful by other students.

The kids agreed to cover up the death threat and not to wear the shirts again. They said that they didn’t really mean to harm anyone. Which, of course, isn’t true.

They probably didn’t mean for physical harm to come to any specific person, but they fully intended to harm what their parents (“good Christians”, no doubt) would call “the radical militant homosexual agenda” but which is, in reality, the message that gay kids should not be bullied.

But they did make a good illustration to prove the point of the gay-straight alliance, so it wasn’t all bad.

Comments

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rlk
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

That’s not good enough. They should have been expelled. This is not freedom of speech which these homophobes hide behind (but we mean no harm to gay folk). They should have expelled for hate speech. It is obvious the school administrators are weak.

Chris McCoy
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

If their shirts proclaimed messages that Jews or Blacks are abominations and should be put to death, with or without biblical quotes, the students would have been expelled immediately.

High School Web Site, including contact phone numbers and email.

Main Office: 630-443-5700
Principal: Kim Zupec – 630-443-2751
Assistant Principal: Kevin Scotellaro – 630-443-5668
Assistant Principal: Michael Backer – 630-587-7133

Amicus
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

Indeed, their version of “straight pride” appears more like “Levite Straight Supremacy”, a conflation of “straight” with theist, at a minimum.

KZ
November 10th, 2010 | LINK

I am sick and tired of Leviticus.

There is good stuff in the Bible and then there are all these archaic laws that most Christians either ignore or have never studied. I cannot believe all the ritualistic cleansing a man must perform should he experience and emission of semen. Does anyone still present to the priest two doves for sacrifice on the eighth day of ceremonial cleansing (Leviticus 15:14-15)?

They wanna kill sexually active gay men cause it says so in the Bible? Then they should obey ALL of God’s laws.

Aeval
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

“The tendency to turn human judgments into divine commands makes religion one of the most dangerous forces in the world.”

-Georgia Harkness

Ryan
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Every day is Straight Pride Day.

Bobbie-Jane
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

The book of Leviticus also requires that all fat must be removed from meat before eating the meat. How many of these legalistic “Christians” Trim all the fat off their meat and avoid fat marbled steak. Do they really avoid eating ham, bacon, and sausage since all pork is also prohibited…

As long as these people pick and choose what parts of the law found in Leviticus they want to keep they are playing the hypocrite and teaching their children to be hypocrites.

We would not need pride days if they taught their children to keep the golden rule… A follower of Christ should follow Jesus’ example of love…

justsearching
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Some Christian circles are homophobic echo chambers where one can say just about anything without anyone questioning you or disagreeing. (WND is such an echo chamber.) These students were undoubtedly in one, but they now have, hopefully, learned how their (or their parents’/church’s) oft-stated and rarely questioned ideas look to the outside world.

I’m not sure if the student’s should have been expelled or not… at the very least they should have been sent home to change shirts the first time around with unexcused absences for any classes missed.

Priya Lynn
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Bobbie-Jane said ” How many of these legalistic “Christians” Trim all the fat off their meat and avoid fat marbled steak.”.

Well, I do, but then I’m not christian.

Regan DuCasse
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Selecting THIS passage and exclusively directing it at gay people and how they should be treated, is the utmost of how cafeteria selective and hypocritically Christian teaching is.

Forgetting the directives from Christ about treating another as you’d be treated, and the moral implications for that.
That is the most important directive and one that a CHRISTIAN has to do to behave like a good Christian.

Children, more than anyone, need to be taught the root of this empathy directive. Instead of a Christian lecturing to gay people about how to behave and treating gay people like a convenient human sacrifice (which is illegal anyway), the message is about how gestures of dignity and empathy achieve the most profound moral result.

We can point to the harm caused by the constant messaging that gay people are inferior and deserve bad treatment.
Rather than allowing children to see just how gay people actually treat others.

If a gay person isn’t assaulting, verbally abusing or doing any harm to someone else, how is it justified THEY are treated that way?

This is why my volunteering with young people at the SWC uses these sorts of questions and exercises.
They fall within the teachings of EVERY religious community, but also are a part of the historical context of human PROGRESS from reactionary and brutal tactics against individuals or groups for being DIFFERENT, not harmful.

I think that such exercises are needed in these schools so that the admins and teachers have the tools needed to actually BE effective.
I agree, this response WAS weak.
The most important message was lost.

Even Christians have more responsibility than they are demonstrating.
All we are seeing are excuses to be nasty to gay people. UNQUESTIONINGLY nasty.
And more and more, questioning what some Christians think is their God given authority OVER gay people makes them resent being challenged at all.

But no human being EVER had the authority over another’s self reliance and self determination.
That is something kids must learn too.

Priya Lynn
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Regan said “And more and more, questioning what some Christians think is their God given authority OVER gay people makes them resent being challenged at all.”.

That really sums it up, doesn’t it? I never thought about it in quite those terms before but you’ve explained a lot of the bizarre behavior of anti-gay christians.

Rob in San Diego
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

I want to wear the shirt with the quote from Mathew chapter 5:
Matthew chapter 5 (NLT)

27 “You have heard that the law of Moses says, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ 28 But I say, anyone who even looks at a woman with lust in his eye has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 So if your eye – even if it is your good eye – causes you to lust, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your hand – even if it is your stronger hand – causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.

These kids would have to be of the Christine O’Donnel following where masturbation is a sin.

homer
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

Students wearing shirts that promote the murder of their fellow students should be immediately expelled from school.

Scooter J
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

When waiting for my flight this past summer in Dulles airport, I watched three thugs walk past me with “Straight Pride” shirts on.

When I considered their agressive look, their loud and cocky demeanor, and the language that was coming out of their mouths, I realized that their shirts would have been more accurate if they read “Hate Pride”.

These were just three grown up class bullies. . . each one dumber and more ignorant than the next, whose anti-social and hateful behavior was obvioulsy permitted or even encouraged when they were younger.

Letting these school kids go back to class with their shirts on is insane. The courts have ruled repeatedly that public schools can enforce dress and uniform codes.

This Dean seems like just another spineless, passive school administrator who, for the ease of keeping things status quo, gives the green light for bullying behaviour to continue.

Easier to make this quietly go away than to confront these three monsters and worse, the parents who created them.

Dan
November 11th, 2010 | LINK

This is one reason why I favor fairness and equality over pride. Once we start talking about LGBT pride, it seems only fair to acknowledge straight pride as well. But in practice, straight pride is conducted by homophobes. It’s the same with black pride, which gave rise to a racist white pride movement that survives to this day. It’s difficult to argue that we should have LGBT pride but not straight pride, and yet it seems to be the only way to avoid ugly consequences. I’ve never seen a majority pride event that wasn’t thinly disguised, or even undisguised, bigotry.

On the other hand, what happens when we advocate for LGBT equality? No one says, “Oh yeah? Two can play at that game. I support straight equality.” On closer observation, straight equality is the same as LGBT equality. It’s LGBT and straight people being treated equally. This is why groups like FOF pretend we’re looking for special rights. They can’t come up with a viable retort to equality, so they try to convince people we’re looking for something else.

In some ways, pride is helpful. Teaching LGBT people to be personally proud of themselves or their identity probably does benefit them. But as a political movement, I think equality is far more promising. That’s why pride has never really made it out of the party and parade circuit. The message of fairness and equality is a much more effective vehicle for social change.

Désirée
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

I am no more “proud to be gay” than I am proud to be brown eyed. Neither are something I had any control over. What I am proud of my choice to live my life a gay person in a culture that actively discourages and even oppresses it. But that’s a mouthful for a parade name.

I hate the idea of “gay pride” for the exact reasons you mention – it means there must be “straight pride.” But standing up as a minority and saying “I am not ashamed to say I am gay despite your condemnation of it” is important and necessary and not something straight people need to do. The pride here isn’t the same as say, pride in an accomplishment, but rather a rejection of the shame that gays have been subjected to in the past. If it helps, don’t think of it as pride, think of it as not ashamed.

Jaime
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

I wonder if their messages were printed on t-shirts that were a cotton/poly blend. That would just be too ironic.

MIhangel apYrs
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

fanned Désirée

we were raised in an environment (even at home sometimes) that said that we were less, something to be ashamed of, feelings to be hidden. Something our parents had done wrong and were ashamed of.

The pride is that of the black person getting off their knees and saying “I am free”, it’s the pride of looking the world in the eye and saying “I’m here, get over it”.

It is not prideful, except in the pride everyone ought to feel about themselves as a unique individual with inaliable rights.

justsearching
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

@Jaime

True, it would be ironic. But chances are if you encountered someone wearing such a shirt you’d have to define the word “ironic” and then explain why this particular situation was ironic before they understood what was going on.

Mitch Beales
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

It would be cool to print a cotton/poly blend t-shirt with “This shirt is an abomination in the eyes of the lord!”

lewlew
November 12th, 2010 | LINK

Old Testament = Sharia Law

Donny D.
November 13th, 2010 | LINK

From the article:

“I’m all for straight pride. I think that straight folk are pretty amazing, over all, and that there’s an awful lot of good that can be celebrated in the history, culture and contributions of straight people.”

A lot of straight people are already too proud of their heterosexuality, and that has meant grief for the rest of us. Pride celebration is for people who have been kicked around, not for people in the group that the kicking comes from. I basically agree with Dan that privileged/advantaged/favored/uber group pride is ALWAYS a way of attacking marginalized groups. (The pushers of favored group pride say, “Look at all WE have accomplished. In fact, we’ve accomplished just about everything worth accomplishing in history. WE are the ones who have created our civilization. What have THEY ever done?” And then they attack the accomplishments (or the supposed lack of accomplishments) of the marginalized group(s). Except when they skip the celebration and go straight to the bigotry as in the article’s and Scooter J’s examples.)

I don’t agree, however, with Dan’s belief in the harmfulness of marginalized group pride celebration. Even when I was a (white) youngster it was obvious to me that black people were justified in celebrating and encouraging pride in themselves due to how they’ve been treated. So I question how readily anyone could push “straight pride” without looking like a bigot to other straight people.

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