That's right, folks, the parade honoring the struggles for equality and acceptance that the straight community has endured went ahead last weekend.
I feel as though bigots act a lot like children that don't know any better.
Kids demand attention like oxygen - what's the point of jumping in the pool if no one's watching, right? Only as adults, we grow to accept that the world doesn't revolve around us - we're not in our own version of The Truman Show.
As adults, we understand that there are parties that we're not invited to, that there are songs that aren't written for us, that there are protests that aren't fighting for us. As adults, we accept the noise of our neighbor's party - they will do the same for us - we support movies that are not about us, we want to learn about other people, other cultures. As adults, we fight for the voiceless, we stand in solidarity with those suffering injustice, we check and we acknowledge our privilege, we try our best.
But, like I say, bigots are stuck in a perpetual childhood poolside, their voices hoarse from screaming, demanding to be seen, demanding to be heard. Maybe their parents indulged them too much, perhaps they were spoilt and didn't get used to jumping in without anyone watching...
Whatever it was that made bigots the way they are led to a straight pride parade in Boston this weekend - and it failed as hard as a red-raw belly flop.
Scroll on to see pictures from this year's Boston Straight Parade and to find out what went down.
As a gay person myself, I'm not even sure that I'm offended by this "event." After seeing the pictures and reading the live commentaries on Twitter, I'm just confused. I'm confused as to why straight, white men have such a bee in their bonnet about being the center of attention. We hear you! We've heard you.
I mean, come on... do you always have to be the one to carve the turkey? For god's sake, let someone else have the leg for once, there's plenty to go around.
Gay Pride is a time to march and fight for LGBTQ rights.
via: Getty Images.Not only to advocate for equal rights, but also to celebrate the lives of those lost to hatred and bigotry.
But a select few Bostonians had other ideas.And the city of Boston was actually willing to go along with their crazy ideologies.
Recently, news spread across social media that some folks in Boston were planning a Straight Pride Parade.Why? Just why, Boston? Why do you have to be like this?
The parade was organized by the Super Happy Fun America group.
via: FacebookI know, just the name sounds like a troll, doesn't it? But, sadly, this is a genuine and legitimate group.
The group is led by John Hugo, who was a Republican candidate for Massachusetts' 5th Congressional District in 2018.
via: John HugoHe didn't win his election because Massachusets is traditionally a pretty liberal state.
In fact, Massachusets was the first state to legalize gay marriage back in 2004.So it's no surprise that Hugo lost his race to Democrat, Katherine Clark.
But that didn't slow him down.He and vice president, Mark Sahady, claim to advocate “on behalf of the straight community". Because, you know, straight people have had it so bad.
They filed a discrimination complaint against the city.Apparently, the city of Boston originally declined the request.
But Super Happy Fun America said that Boston was discriminating against straight people by allowing a Gay Pride Parade, but not allowing a Straight Pride Parade.Because if there's one thing that straight people have to face every day, it's discrimination concerning their sexual preferences...
And the city caved.To everyone's disbelief, talks of actually making this parade happen began.
Mark Sahady left this message on Facebook.
“Straight Pride” parade planned in Boston. With floats. https://t.co/JcTsGRjNPn— carolynryan (@carolynryan)1559657956.0
Because, apparently, being queer is unpatriotic.
via: GettyAlthough what says freedom more than, you know, being okay with who you are and being able to be that person 100%?
A lot of people insisted that this was all a hoax.Let's face it, it should have been fake news.
Especially because of some of the things that the Super Happy Fun America members posted online.They're pretty extreme, and, also, pretty damn funny.
They are currently trying to get the city to fly their "straight flag" at City Hall.
And here's a full, freaking insane quote from John Hugo taken directly from their website.
via: John Hugo"Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement (sic) and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations>"
He has to be a troll, right?Sadly, it doesn't look that way. But even if he was, all of this would still be pretty damaging. There are people out there who take his rhetoric seriously, which could lead to even more consequences for the LGBTQ community.
And it even doesn't matter whether or not Super Happy Fun America is legit.People take them seriously, solely because it's what they believe. And this "parade" is giving legitimacy to a group of people whose opinions are filled with hate and disgust. Whether John Hugo believes his words or not is irrelevant.
And, sadly, they have most certainly been taken seriously.In June this year, Boston officials officially approved the application for the Straight Pride parade.
And it took place on August 31st.John Hugo made his grand announcement a press conference in front of Boston City Hall Plaza: “We just had a great meeting at City Hall with a bunch of wonderful professionals who have assured us our date of Aug. 31," Hugo said. “We will have the parade, and it’s going to be a great time. We invite anyone who wants to come, as long as they respect each other."
There would be floats...It's making me cringe just thinking about it. The parade was planned to start at Copley Square and conclude at the Boston City Hall. Hugo added that there would even be some celebrity appearances, "...we will have speeches and some more celebrities, and just have a super happy fun time." A super happy fun time...
Though Hugo insists the parade isn't anti-gay.The group's slogan is "It's great to be straight," for goodness sake! “We’re not anti-gay, we’re pro-straight . . . we’re a sexual orientation advocacy group, and we’re a young civil rights movement," Hugo insisted (a little desperately...) at the press conference. "We don’t hate anyone. And we just want to have our own celebration just like everybody else has a right to. All people from all communities are welcome, so long as they show mutual respect."
The group also want an "S" to be added to the acronym, LGBTQ.In one of their many blog entries, they stated that “until an 'S’ is added, LGBTQ pride will continue to be a system of oppression designed to systematically erase straight people from existence."
Yep, they think that the LGBTQ community is trying to banish all straight people.Sorry, trying not to burst out laughing at this one. Why can't they accept that, while celebrating Gay Pride, the LGBTQ community isn't taking a dig at all the heterosexual people out there? Straight people are more than welcome to join in with the festivities of Gay Pride, which, remember, celebrates and remembers all those who have died in the fight for equal rights.
The internet was in full backlash mode at the announcement that the parade was actually happening...
The Straight Pride Parade exists for the same reason as Men’s Rights and White Pride: to denigrate and belittle the… https://t.co/CRKjFxpkCd— Kyle Kallgren is Always Antifascist (@Kyle Kallgren is Always Antifascist)1559682177.0
Like it always does in these situations, the internet responded fantastically.
boston straight pride parade u have to come in costume as your favorite mark wahlberg character everyone walks arou… https://t.co/OJD6MlwEO0— hunter harris (@hunter harris)1559661709.0
I couldn't agree with this tweet more.I guess this was the straight guy's walk of shame...
Even Smash Mouth got angry!
Straight Pride Parade????? FUCK OFF!!!!!!!!— Smash Mouth (@Smash Mouth)1559672286.0
It was always going to be a sausage fest.
The straight pride parade will be mostly men because very few women will get to come.— The Volatile Mermaid (@The Volatile Mermaid)1559664253.0
Whoever made this graphic is touched by God.
Found this in a fb thread where some guy is talking about organizing a straight pride parade. Hilarious and accurat… https://t.co/A1527yNdYQ— Mx.💖Jessie💛Bee💙 (@Mx.💖Jessie💛Bee💙)1559666541.0
Says it all really, doesn't it?As the parade got into full swing, it became clear that this "celebration of Straight Pride" was not a welcome insert into the public life of most Boston-residents. With over a thousand protestors taking the streets to denounce the parade, the whole thing was deservedly undermined.
Most of the Straight Pride participants were (surprise, surprise)...Straight, Trump-supporting, white supremacist types.
Boston made it clear that most people, at least, have no time for white supremacist parades in their city.Speaking to a Guardian reporter, one protestor made it clear that, although the parade was supposedly celebrating being straight," people sensed a much more sinister undertone to the white men's march. Rachel, a black activist, explained: "We know the organizers of the so-called Straight Pride parade do not limit their bigotry to heterosexuality."
The organizers of Boston's straight parade have been linked to far-right white supremacist groups.Mark Sahady (the guy in the white tee) was one of the three men to organize the event and, as his last name almost spells, he is what you should consider to be a shady guy.
What do the New Hampshire American Guard, the Massachusetts Patriot Front, and the Proud Boys all have in common?Well, for starters, they are all considered to be white supremacist groups by the America Defamation League. All three groups are also groups that Mark Sahady is involved with. His co-host, John Hugo (the guy in the unflattering Captain America tee), is also involved with alt-right groups. When he ran (unsuccessfully) for Massachusetts’ Fifth Congressional District last year, he was backed by none other than far-right, supremacist group, "Resist Marxism." So, just some nice, harmless, straight guys wanting to celebrate their sexual orientation, right?
Funny how being a racist seems to go hand in hand with being a homophobe...The white supremacist organization, "Proud Boys" might ring a bell to you if you heard the story about how they were found to be responsible for the violent attack on a man who stole one of their Maga hats in October 2018. They beat up the man to a horrendous state on the streets of New York City, kicking him and calling him a "faggot." I wonder if they know how gay their name, "Proud Boys" sounds?
After a recent backlash, the far-right groups want to exploit the LGBTQ celebration for their own agendaTerry Roethlein, one of the lead organizers of New York City’s Queer Liberation March, spoke to Vox about why he thought that Straight Pride was happening: "They’re grasping at straws,they’re using any available platform to create waves because either way they’re going to get some people that agree with them or will nod in agreement. It’s totally out of the Donald Trump playbook — someone who rules by the dark side of Twitter. It’s just anything that will generate some electricity, some sparks, and some negativity."
Far-right, fascist groups are still reeling from the backlash of the Unite the Right rally and the death of Heather Heyer at Charlottesville, Virginia, two years ago.Heyer was killed along with nineteen others when a car plowed into a group of activists who were preparing to march in opposition of a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. With events like these still fresh in people's minds, it's easier for white supremacist groups to hold rallies under the guise of something else...
Behold: "Straight Pride!"LGBTQ activist, Yasmin Nair, explained to Vox that "Straight Pride is a weird form of nationalist masculinity burying itself under rainbow-colored blankets."
And it gave the police an excuse to employ unnecessary force.The brutality of the police at Boston Straight Pride was abhorrent. Accounts flooding onto Twitter demonstrated that the police took full advantage of employing force whenever they liked. As the image demonstrates, protestors were doused in pepper spray, even when they weren't obstructing the parade.
Protestors stayed behind the picket fence.Using only creative signage and unison chants, the protestors at the parade were unashamedly victimized by the police when they were quite clearly the following protocol and using their freedom of speech to protest against the parade.
Arrested for carrying a water bottle...
this man was holding a WATER BOTTLE and they said he had weapons and swarmed him https://t.co/yCoSSjUscK— ross (@ross)1567278306.0
"Make no mistake, Straight Pride is hate pride and cops are here to protect and uphold white supremacy."
Shameful Display by the @bostonpolice at #StraightPride Charging into protestors who were protesting peacefully o… https://t.co/3hC2UxQCjV— glup shitto (@glup shitto)1567273371.0
Brave Boston locals made sure to undermine the parade.With about 200 in attendance for the straight parade, there were over a thousand people on the picket, protesting against it.
"Bring: American flags, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and your Super Happy Fun self!"On the Super Happy Fun America website, set up to promote and arrange the event, participants were encouraged to bring their "super happy fun [selves]." If that is code for dumbass intolerant bullies, then, and only then, it makes sense.
"Finally, straight people will have their voices heard."An extract taken from the parade's site reads: "The Straight Pride Event will be held to achieve inclusivity and spread awareness of issues impacting straights in Greater Boston and beyond."
"We will continue to educate the Mayor and the public.""In anticipation that one-day straights will be able to celebrate their lifestyle like everyone else. What better way to educate and foster unity than by having a parade!"
Gee, I bet it sure was difficult for all the closeted hetero kids in my high school...I would have thought that the fact that marriage rights were always a given to you, the fact that you never got picked on for your sexual preferences in school, the fact that you were never made to feel perverted or strange, the fact that you didn't have to come out to your family, and, then, by extension, everyone you ever come to meet, would make you feel pretty comfortable with being straight... Well, I guess, apparently not.
The voice of reason in modern politics, of course, was on the side of the minority.
One way to support the local LGBTQ community impacted by Boston’s white supremacist parade? Contribute to the Bail… https://t.co/XqCDgA70IR— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567296297.0
"Seems more like a 'I-Struggle-With-Masculinity' parade to me."
For men who are allegedly so “proud” of being straight, they seem to show real incompetence at attracting women to… https://t.co/AS5k4s1YxF— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1567293754.0
People were not buying the whole "straight march" baloney.
To all my white LGBT friends, I need you to be clear that the straight pride parade isn't *just* a homophobic/trans… https://t.co/1GGYX8gsbo— where the vaccine reside (@where the vaccine reside)1567328092.0
Even straight people weren't buying into the parade...I appreciated this guy's self-reflection that he could have been "more productive" in his first twenty-eight-years of being straight, but I'm sure glad that he's made up for it now... But, more importantly, as he says: Is there anything more stupid than a Straight pride?
It was basically a Trump rally.
The "Straight Pride Parade" - unsurprisingly -was just a pro-Trump rally. He has inspired anti-LGBT activists and… https://t.co/udFZhGZJO7— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah))))1567361308.0
Ladies, all the bad men have been rounded up!
Ladies, don’t be mad there’s a Straight Pride Parade, just enjoy the four hours you can jog through the rest of Bos… https://t.co/2I088Zr8c5— Dave Sirus (Brick) (@Dave Sirus (Brick))1567279500.0
Speaking of flags...
This "straight pride" flag looks BISEXUAL AF 💁♀️ https://t.co/qRrY8ahUaz— Nati Casanova Ⓥ they/them (@Nati Casanova Ⓥ they/them)1567360134.0
"Why can't everything go back to normal? Wah wah."
You just know these are two guys who can't eat mayonnaise because it's too spicy. #StraightPride https://t.co/tzPcSeUEBc— Chris Cracknell (@Chris Cracknell)1567325780.0
Seriously though, how can being straight be made more socially acceptable?
so is the straight pride parade just people walking around and celebrating being socially accepted always 💀— yasmin (@yasmin)1567320620.0
Pass me the unicorn, glittery sick bucket...
I heard it was straight pride today so I had a meaningful sexual encounter w/my husband and then we drove our Toyot… https://t.co/VcZsgnaCB4— Jessica Zender (@Jessica Zender)1567280916.0
In all seriousness though, this event was a display of peak heteronormativity and hate.
What a sad day for us all. Heteronormativity and hate at its peak. #Pride parade gives the LGTBQ+ community the abi… https://t.co/c4ZP5ViaZ5— Anya Packer (@Anya Packer)1567288487.0
Heterophobia isn't a thing.
THE PERSON I WAS ARGUING WITH ABOUT STRAIGHT PRIDE JUST CALLED ME A HETEROPHOBE I CANYWJDJDNDKENKDNEJDLDLELDKDNW https://t.co/673VMPpcXs— gloomylittlerainclouds (@gloomylittlerainclouds)1567375361.0
One good thing that came out of this dumb parade...
Snow me your Straight Pride memes https://t.co/mmYGjjjhVD— 𝔹𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕍𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕄𝕒𝕟 (@𝔹𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕍𝕚𝕜𝕚𝕟𝕘𝕄𝕒𝕟)1567374098.0