(TMU) — A group calling themselves “Super Happy Fun America” has applied for a permit to host what they’re calling a “straight pride parade” in Boston.
A man going by the name John Hugo, who claims to be the president of the group, says, “Straight people are an oppressed majority.”
“We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgment and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations,” Hugo says on the front page of the group’s website.
The group has a parade planned for August 31, with details including a route on their website. However, since Boston has not approved a permit for the event, the parade will technically be illegal if it happens without one.
However, the organization’s vice president, Mark Sahady, claims that they filed a discrimination lawsuit against the city of Boston, and that local officials will now be forced to “work with them” in hosting the straight pride parade. Sahady said that the city knew that they would “lose in litigation,” so they have no choice but to allow the event to continue.
“If you would like to come as an individual, march as a group, or bring a float or vehicle, then get in touch. This is our chance to have a patriotic parade in Boston as we celebrate straight pride,” Sahady wrote.
“Straight Pride” parade planned in Boston. With floats. pic.twitter.com/JcTsGRjNPn
— carolynryan (@carolynryan) June 4, 2019
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh released a statement to BuzzFeed News encouraging citizens of Boston to support the planned Pride Week events, but declined to comment on the controversial “straight pride parade” specifically.
“Every year Boston hosts our annual Pride Week, where our city comes together to celebrate the diversity, strength and acceptance of our LGBTQ community. This is a special week that represents Boston’s values of love and inclusion, which are unwavering. I encourage everyone to join us in celebration this Saturday for the Pride Parade and in the fight for progress and equality for all,” the mayor said.
It may seem odd to some to suggest that heterosexual people face any kind of discrimination or oppression because of their sexuality when heterosexuals are not forced to keep vital aspects of their personalities secret from family members or friends, and people in straight relationships do not have to fear being attacked for simply holding hands or showing affection in public. Unfortunately, these are the types of things that people from the LGBTQ community struggle with on a regular basis.
The world is slowly becoming more accepting and less dangerous for people who don’t fit into the traditional mold. Pride is a celebration of these ethical advances in society and an opportunity for the culture at large to show support for a community that has been excluded from mainstream culture for generations.
According to the Human Rights Campaign, the largest national LGBTQ civil rights organization, for some Americans, Pride “is the only occasion where they can be out and proud in their community. Pride festivals and parades are a celebration of the progress the LGBT community has made… Also a time to recognize the distance we still have to go to achieve full equality.”
Researchers often track the origins of the Pride tradition back to the Stonewall Riots of June 28, 1969. The riots were a massive turning point in the history of the LGBT movement. The Stonewall Inn was a gay bar in Manhattan that saw frequent harassment from police. On the night of the riots, police attempted to raid the bar, but attendees who were gathered inside fought back.
The event sparked a string of protests and marches that eventually grew into a nationwide—and then worldwide—celebration.
The next year, on Saturday, June 27, 1970, Chicago Gay Liberation organized a march that would inspire many others.
By 1971, Gay Pride marches were taking place in Boston, Dallas, Milwaukee, London, Paris, West Berlin, and Stockholm. Then, by 1972, the marches expanded to Atlanta, Brighton, Buffalo, Detroit, Washington D.C., Miami, Philadelphia, and San Francisco. Over the years, Pride festivals became a global phenomenon.