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Straight Pride, White Pride

- Friday, June 10, 2016

I have long expounded the point that pride in something that is an accident of birth (nation, state, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, hair color, anatomical attributes, and so on) is ridiculous. I love that I am a straight white cis-male American from the northeast and I love my anatomy, my ethnic heritage, and myself, but I don’t take pride in any of those things. I take pride in my accomplishments, the struggles I’ve overcome, things I’ve created, skills I’ve developed, and knowledge I’ve acquired.

So why do I think gay pride, black pride, and the like, are acceptable slogans while straight pride and white pride become subject to my pride=accomplishment criticism? To sum it up: the accomplishment of self-love. There should be some leeway given to marginalized populations using the word pride for something they didn’t accomplish, because sometimes just getting by as a member of a marginalized population is an accomplishment. Black pride? Society assumes you’re a criminal but you manage to love yourself despite that pressure? Black pride. Gay pride? Huge swaths of the population think you’re an abomination and deserve damnation and want to deny you basic rights, but you still manage to love yourself despite that pressure. Gay pride.

Wave your flags. I’m not going to spit straight pride or white pride back at you, no matter how much I love myself. I’m going to say black pride and gay pride along with you because I am proud of you for surviving and for pushing back at the current flowing against you to love yourself.

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