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Sao Paulo’s legislation: Straight Pride or Hate Pride?

Timothy Kincaid

August 4th, 2011

I support straight pride.

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 São 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.

Comments

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Priya Lynn
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

I’d really like to see what they’re going to come up with to parade that’s going to have any entertainment value. That and how they’re going to try and walk the non-existant line between “not being anti-gay but protesting against the privileges the gay community enjoys.”

Matt
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

Nice last line!

Pacal
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

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.”

What “priviledges”? THe comment amounts to I am not homophobic, but I am.

TampaZeke
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

The great thing about Straight Pride Day is, if you miss it don’t worry, there will be another one the next day, and another one the next day and another one the next day 365 days a year rain or shine, EXCEPT for leap year when there’s 366 Straight Pride days.

Kelly
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

Yeah, you know, as a straight woman, all those privileges the gay community enjoys really get to me. The privilege to be bullied at a higher rate, the privilege to, until September 20, keep who you are hidden if you want to serve in the armed forces, the privilege to be denied the legal protections and rights of civil marriage in most states and at a federal level. Yeah, it must be nice to be so privileged while us straight folks have to suffer acceptance for who we are without even trying.

Cory Sampson
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

“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.”

You know, I was about to get all indignant about the dismissive tone with which you talk about a “March for Jesus” – but then I realized that most organizers of a March for Jesus would make it into (at least partially) and anti-gay event – and the corollary is that if someone DID organize a gay-friendly March for Jesus, nobody would go to it.

That said, who here wants to organize a gay-friendly March for Jesus?

DN
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

“Because the thing about events is that it can be fun to join someone in celebrating their uniqueness and love for their community”

Couldn’t agree more. When I lived in Chicago, I randomly ended up in the middle of the (I don’t know what it’s really called) Puerto Rican Pride parade. I don’t give a crap about Puerto Rico and I’d never really thought about their culutre as an XYZ entity. But dammit, if I didn’t have fun that day.

Christopher
August 4th, 2011 | LINK

What colour will their flag be? Brown?

Beasil
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

I’ve figured that “pride” in the LGBTetc context is just a euphemism for not being ashamed to be gender atypical like people have implied one should be for centuries. This is why the idea of a straight pride parade is asinine.

james
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

Every time an opposite gender couple gets married, it’s a celebration of “straight pride.” Fancy costumes. A parade down the aisle of the church. Special music. A big meal. Lots of people there to watch. They even throw “confetti” of one kind or another. All that time and money just to give the bride and groom religious, legal, and societal approval to go have sex and make babies. Yes, ever since the gays took over the main street, straight people have had nothing to be proud of.

jpeckjr
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

@Christopher: Not brown.

Beige.

Priya Lynn
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

Beasil said “I’ve figured that “pride” in the LGBTetc context is just a euphemism for not being ashamed to be gender atypical like people have implied one should be for centuries.”.

That’s the response I give to bigots when they say “Gay pride march, what are you so proud of?”.

cowboy
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

Why do we have parades anyway? All parades have a “pride” component/aspect to them.

We’re just a bunch of people with a need for some level of exhibitionism or “pride” in who we are.

Though, some of the outfits the baton twirlers wear…(cough cough)…are exhibiting more than their pride.

And that parade-hand-waving motion is only to draw attention and to say: “Look at me!”

Parades are silly. But I go to them.

Timothy Kincaid
August 5th, 2011 | LINK

Cory,

I think an inclusive March for Jesus could be a fun thing if well organized. Maybe floats with various churches singing their favorite hymns, and you know that when the AME float went by everyone would be smiling and moving their feet.

And maybe that could have happened up through the 70’s.

But while I know nothing about Brazil’s March for Jesus, I suspect that any March for Jesus in the US today would be focused on who they were marching against and the “for Jesus” part would be an afterthought.

Well… okay, maybe if the Lutherans planned a March for Jesus in Minnesota it would not have any anti-anybody elements… (I’m picturing Fracis McDormand in Fargo and Kirsty Alley in Drop Dead Gorgeous)

thor ribeiro
August 9th, 2011 | LINK

I´m actualy from São Paulo, and a bit embarassed about this new law.

It was passed by legislative manouvering of the vilest sort. Now its fate is uncertain because the mayor has to sign off on it. He´s a closeted homossexual in the conservative party, who tried to look modern, so it can go either way.

The timing is terrible. The civil unions recognition sparked a series of nasty homophobic attacks, with more than one fatal victim. The notoriety of the gay movement is growing, for better and for worse: there is a lot of resentment in the air.

The growing pentecostal movement is troubling, though not as it is in the US: the March for Jesus is indeed (a bit) inclusive and welcomes gay friendly churches (the Metropolitana church, for an example)

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