After the recent announcement that a group of straight men were attempting to host a “Straight Pride” in Boston, people took to social media to discuss the issue. Many took different angles on the issue, focusing on the historical significance of pride to LGBTQ+ members and how Straight Pride disrespects that through ignoring the privilege non-LGBTQ individuals have.
Happy straight pride to you, I guess 🙄 pic.twitter.com/o1D0Omf0RO
— Alfonso Manalastas (@not_alfonso) June 6, 2019
Individuals posted on how Straight Pride is a way for those who don’t identify as LGBTQ+ to avoid talking about their privilege. Historically, LGBTQ+ individuals have suffered more than non-LGBTQ individuals. LGBTQ people have been susceptible more frequently to murder, travel restrictions, unable to marry, jailed, persecuted by religions, underrepresented in society, have uncomfortable work environments, be mis-gendered and be denied medical treatment.
I suppose it is appropriate that the "straight pride" flag is colorless and corpse-dead, a bleak, washed-out old-timey prison-jumpsuit, oppressive and dull, as exciting as a cinderblock, as energizing as an elementary school eye-test. Oh, and homophobic as hell. Burn it. pic.twitter.com/SSWv6AG2PL
— Chuck Wendig (@ChuckWendig) June 6, 2019
Users also commented on how the straight pride flag which is a spin-off of how almost all of the LGBTQ members have pride flags, looks like a prison flag.
However, the comment that garnered most attention was actor Chris Evans’ comments on Straight Pride.
Wow! Cool initiative, fellas!! Just a thought, instead of ‘Straight Pride’ parade, how about this: The ‘desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children’ parade? Whatta ya think? Too on the nose?? https://t.co/gaBWtq2PaL
— Chris Evans (@ChrisEvans) June 5, 2019
Most members of the LGBTQ community applauded Evans for his comments. However, others feel that the comment was less supportive.
One user on Tumblr stated how Evans’ comment itself showed how straight privilege needs to be addressed even by celebrities and influencers who have a large following. His comment that “desperately trying to bury our own gay thoughts by being homophobic because no one taught us how to access our emotions as children” made this user feel compelled to explain that secretly gay people aren’t always outwardly homophobic. It could be a person who is straight simply being being homophobic. With the incident of making a Stright Pride, these individuals don’t need to be secretly gay to want to have a Straight Pride. They could just feel attacked by the LGBTQ+ community having an organized event and want to combat this event with one of their own.
The user had another react to their post. This user stated that people can be homophobic simply because they are scared of something new or different and that the media has spun it into more of a closeted person’s internalized homophobia.
The original user posted back a response, stating that internalized homophobia is a legitimate issue with LGBTQ+ individuals, but being homophobic does not mean that the homophobe is LGBTQ+. The individual could just be homophobic and not be involved in the community. The user again stated how people who are closeted are legitimate for being closeted, and should not be attacked for being so.
Chris Evans has been perceived as an ally for LGBTQ+ people and has been supported by LGBTQ+ fans on his comment, however he has been criticized on his platform of being an LGBTQ ally. Specifically, when the blockbuster films Avengers has done little but queer-bait Evans’ character Captain America and Sebastian Stan’s character Bucky Barnes. In all, the LGBTQ+ community has an ally in Chris Evans, but he may need to take in account his privilege.