By Heather McNamara
Since the dawn of pride parades, homophobes have been demanding to know “why isn’t there a STRAIGHT pride parade, huh?” Many patient queers have articulated far better answers to that question than I ever could. Personally, I prefer just to respond with “Fuck off.” At least as far as I have always been concerned, it isn’t important how we respond anyway. The question has always been a mixture of an empty threat and a poorly laid trap intended to make some kind of point about how they, too, experience discrimination from queer people and we should all just “be equal” (read: shut up and get back in the closet so they would no longer have to acknowledge our presence). And for a long time anyway, it was an empty threat. At least until John Hugo, Mark Sahady, and Chris Bartley set out this past June to make all of our nightmares come true.
The three apparently became enraged about LGBT pride parades back in May when a Maine library held an event in which drag queens read books to children. It is unclear whether they were more offended by the books or the fashion, but one thing is clear: to them, it was a bridge too far! As we all know, conservatives prefer children to consume all of their written media in the form of obnoxious t-shirts worn by red-faced white men with bad haircuts, jean shorts, and MAGA hats. The men got together and decided something must be done and by their powers combined, SuperHappyFunAmerica.com was born.
Nobody took these dunderheads especially seriously until, to everyone’s surprise, they actually managed to acquire a permit for their shenanigans. They chose August, a month of sweaty and uncomfortable weather as the perfect metaphor for heterosexual intercourse. They made flags of atrocious blue and pink triangles with intertwined male and female symbols. They asked Milo Yiannopolous, a gay man, to be their grand marshal. Oh and did I mention? One of the founders – Chris Bartley – is also gay. Why so many gay men? Because as we learned about five seconds after they got their permit, this is less about being straight or enjoying their own heterosexuality (LOL who would enjoy heterosexuality?) than it is about subjugating women, people of color, immigrants, and LGBT people who don’t conform to their ideals of a white, patriarchal America wherein thinking, compassion, equality, and flattering clothes are banned.
Finally, on Saturday August 31st, the big event arrived. The combined efforts of the brain trust at SHFA culminated in a teeming crowd of the maybe four dozen bigoted Bostonians who were willing to get photographed, doxxed, and hopefully fired. To the embarrassment of heterosexual kind everywhere, it actually fucking happened.
But do not despair, dear queers, because it is our turn now. See, I realized that in all the decades of straight people asking “but what about OUR pride parade?” we failed to ask “but what about OUR opportunity to take creep shots of YOUR parade and post them on OUR fringe political websites mocking YOUR garish outfits and clutching OUR pearls at YOUR insidious agenda?” And good news, because guess what? I have JUST the right fringe political website on which to do this and a video courtesy of Kelly Sullivan from which to mine. Let’s begin, shall we?
At the front of the parade, we have this jackass in a blowup dinosaur costume. You know these, right? The ones that were funny about five years ago for a few minutes because they were new and unexpected but then they were overplayed and now they’re a stale old joke? Conservatives love stale old things – especially when it makes them difficult to photograph and dox. He’s carrying a Trump flag because this parade is definitely just about being straight, right? He stands in front of a person who is carrying a poster that reads “Straight Lives Matter” and looks like it was written by a five year old with a broken wrist. I’m struck by fantasies of a world wherein LGBT cops roam the streets, randomly stopping and frisking and shooting the cishets and this poster makes sense.
Surrounding the walkers is an unreasonably huge team of reporters following them around because bigots can’t walk two steps without sympathetic media surrounding them and writing puff pieces about how they lost their jobs in coal mines and can’t help but watch Fox and hate immigrants now.
Next up a whole lot of incoherent posters on a Trump float. Zero mention of being straight in sight. Okay! That poster on the right is my favorite. It reads:
“ALL LIVES MATTER
2ND AMMENDMENT [sic]
And then underneath that there’s an about section. On a poster.
Listen, conservatives… I know you don’t like drag queen story hour but maybe consider reading something anyway, eh? Anything. Literally anything that isn’t a Trump tweet. You’re just embarrassing yourselves at this point.
Now we have a few of these posters which I actually agree with. Hear me out. Remember when we didn’t have daily mass shootings because there was an assault weapons ban? That was a good normal. How about when we had presidents that didn’t embarrass themselves and the rest of the western world on twitter daily? That was an awesome normal. Remember when straight pride parades were relegated to the wet dreams of disgruntled heteros who wanted to feel special and oppressed? That was a good normal, too. Bring back that normal! I am on board.
An Israeli flag! Conservatives love Israel because they think that once all the Jewish people get out of Christian America and go to Israel then maybe God will decide they all get to go to heaven and us heathens have to stay behind and deal with the Antichrist. Of course if it were me reading the signs, I’d have guessed that all those nice celebs dying in 2016 (RIP Prince) was the actual rapture and Trump is the Antichrist and the rivers of lava and death are global warming slowly coming to claim us all but nobody asked me I guess.
My parents, I guess? Am I supposed to have an epiphany here about how my parents are straight and therefore I should be straight? Am I supposed to honor straights for giving life?I have given birth and I’m not straight. I wonder what she would think of my kids’ answer to this question: “A big gay.” I don’t know if this is quite as much of a gotcha as this sign-holder thinks it is, although I have to give her credit for her adequate penmanship and ability to string together a simple sentence. She’s certainly ahead of her peers on those metrics.
In your wildest dreams pre-2016 did you ever think there would be a poster like this that would inspire Americans to vote for the person depicted? This is another case for making normalcy normal again, honestly.
Oh hey, somebody actually decided to wear their ugly flag! Like a cape! I think we found a couple of straights who were genuinely just maybe feeling a little left out of LGBT pride? Poor babies. Behind them another Israeli flag and another normalcy sign. Not a lot of diversity in this parade celebrating conformity.
Hmm, no thanks. I prefer my ill-fitting t-shirts to be shot at me from hand-held cannons at the cool pride parade.
Aww, I think we have another who just felt left out of the cool parade. Somebody tell these straights that they’re totally allowed to come to our parade, too! They just have to be okay with not everything being about them for a few hours. It’s a lot to ask, I know.
I have literally no idea what TAKE RAINBOW guy is trying to communicate. Please somebody teach the conservatives how to read and write. Please.
And that’s it! It’s not quite the San Francisco parade with their 10 grand marshals, 3 days and nights of debauchery, or hours and miles of ornate, colorful floats with booming party music but they tried and finally, we have an answer. Where’s your straight pride parade? It’s right there in Boston! Go walk in it, straight folks! We promise we’ll only laugh a whole lot. ■