Someone posted this very clever little meme: Straight Pride. See what they did there?
Here’s the thing: Straight Pride is superfluous. Straight is the dominant narrative. Straight people as a class have never been persecuted. Straight people take being straight for granted.
Why would we need to express a special pride to be straight when straight people have never been persecuted because they’re straight?
Can you just imagine the outcry that would ensue if straight people were subjected to the same vicious discrimination and vilification poured onto LGBTQ? No. Anybody who could imagine it would never have anything to do with Straight Pride.
Here’s the truth:
Gay Pride was not born of a need to celebrate being gay, but our right to exist without persecution. So instead of wondering why there isn’t a straight pride movement, be thankful you don’t need one.
To claim Straight Pride is to be oblivious to what LGBTQ people have suffered because they have pushed to the margins.
After a series of racially motivated shootings blacks arose the cry “Black Lives Matter.” Then came “White Lives Matter,” which really missed the point.
White lives matter of course, but white lives have always mattered. Black Lives Matter is a counterbalance to the white lives that have always mattered.
Mike Huckabee said that to compare same-sex marriage with Civil Rights is an insult to African-Americans, “who were hosed in the streets, who were beaten, who were truly discriminated against…”
Seriously? He’s just not paying attention.
There is a long, horrible, tragic and mostly ignored history of brutal violence against gays in this country.And anti-LGBTQ hate crimes are a problem around the world.
This really isn’t rocket science. But it does require people to empathize with those who have been oppressed and marginalized.
Get to know people who are LGBTQ. If you don’t think you know any – look around. They are right their… in your family, your friends, your church. Ask them to tell you their story and just listen.
Listen to the experiences of those who have been there. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t guess about their experience because you will probably miss something significant.
Ask. Listen. Befriend.
A very close friend of mine who is black just texted this: “White guy with full on tattoos gets on plane with a bald head. A month ago I would have studied his tattoos because I love tattoo art. Today I prayed he didn’t sit next to me because I thought he may be some sort of white supremacist. See how this oppressive sh*t screws with your brain???”
Until we understand each other’s experience, how will we relate? How will we love?
And this is not new.
Jewish people. Women. Blacks. Gays. They all have been labeled by the oppressive self-righteous religious system as “the others.” And that system used the name of God to justify horrible abuse.
Who is next? A group of people to whom you are part?
This is a core issue and we must look deep within to find empathy, to find the beginning of a solution.
We must seek first to understand before we seek to be understood. You know, that log and splinter thing.
We must lay down our own privilege so we can love even those who are different from us, even those we might consider, those we might have been taught are… dare we say it… our enemies.
You remember what Jesus said about enemies: love them. I’m pretty sure he meant it.
I’m pretty sure it’s our only hope for reconciliation. It is a deep issue, and we must be willing to go deep into our heart and soul to begin to heal.