Sao Paulo’s legislation: Straight Pride or Hate Pride?
August 4th, 2011
Heterosexuals have made many contributions to society, have unique attributes that deserve acknowledgement, and should never be made to feel shame for their orientation. If straight folk feel insignificant or have experienced discrimination, then by all means celebrate and find pride in your identity. Set up panels to discuss opposite-sex attractions and explore them and think about what it means to be straight. Embrace your heterosexuality.
And there’s even a benefit for non-straight people: people who are truly comfortable with their sexuality tend to be tolerant of those with different sexuality. Those who are brave enough and curious enough to try and understand what motivates their desire and to truly understand their attractions seem to develop a respect and even advocacy for others in the process.
But, of course, that it not what those who say that they want Straight Pride mean at all. They don’t want a festivity of heterosexuality or a discovery of its meaning and celebration of its culture. It isn’t Straight Pride that they are seeking, but Anti-Gay Pride. It’s not love for heterosexuals that they seek to express, but hatred and contempt for gay people.
As is evident in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (AP)
The city council of South America’s biggest city has adopted legislation calling for a Heterosexual Pride Day to be celebrated on the third Sunday of each December.
Are they seeking to celebrate straight conformity with signs extolling family dinner or straight abandon like a second Carnival? No. Their reasons don’t even mention heterosexuality.
The legislation’s author, Carlos Apolinario, said the idea for a Heterosexual Pride Day is “not anti-gay but a protest against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”
As an example, he mentioned how Sao Paulo’s huge gay pride day parade is held every year on Paulista Avenue, one of the main thoroughfares in this city of 20 million people, while the March for Jesus organized by evangelical groups is not allowed on the same avenue.
Oh… so this isn’t about straight pride at all, just anti-gay resentment.
This legislation must be signed by the Mayor to go into effect. But I don’t much care if they get their Straight Pride day. They can even close Paulista Avenue and make it theirs for the day.
Obviously it isn’t a good thing when the city council of the largest city in South America endorsed homophobia. But I have no fear about comparing Gay Pride to Anti-Gay Pride in Sao Paolo. Show the world which parade that city’s residents endorse.
Because the thing about events is that it can be fun to join someone in celebrating their uniqueness and love for their community – be it St. Patrick’s Day or the Lotus Festival or MLK Day or Gay Pride or even a March for Jesus, I suppose. And in Sao Paulo about three million people show up at Gay Pride to watch the floats, dancers, and marchers and to enjoy the fun and celebration.
But days to celebrate hate just don’t put a smile on your face. An Anti-Irish Day Parade would not be much fun at all and I doubt that a Stomp on Lotus Festival would get beyond the planning phase.
Sure some Eastern European cities have had anti-gay marches and there are always those donkey people in Jerusalem, but the Anti-Gay Pride Parade just doesn’t seem to promise the sparkle and flash that Parada do Orgulho LGBT de SÃ£o Paulo brings. Besides, what would they do for floats? Straight go-go dancers often aren’t and the straight version of drag tends to be pro-gay anyway.