I recently viewed one of my acquaintance’s Instagram stories and saw pictures of her at Pittsburgh Pride. I was very taken aback as I could never have imagined her being the type of person to go to pride. She was straight– but I never really thought that straight people couldn’t go to pride entirely, because allies are a big part of many queer people’s lives. They are able to provide a queer person the comfort in knowing that someone who is different than them still loves them for who they are. I realized that my issue with her decision of attending pride was not that she was straight, but that I had never seen her express any sort of support for the LGBTQ+ community in the past. She never seemed to be an ally.
To me, this is the one and only problem with straight people attending pride. I don’t believe in the idea that “straight pride is every day why do they need to take over our one day.” Yes, to some degree it’s true, but I think that straight people who have truly been allies of the community and have actively tried to help and advocate for their queer peers do belong at pride. However, when I see girls on Instagram using pride to post cute pics and do drugs– using pride for their own personal gain, instead of as a celebration of love and queerness– I get angry. You should only attend pride if you are an active ally for the community yearlong, not just for one day when they’re promised a good time. Pride isn’t just about putting fun rainbow glitter on your face, wearing skimpy outfits, and getting high. It is the one day in a year where a queer person can genuinely be themselves and be wholeheartedly accepted for it. It’s the day where queer people come together and celebrate love and living life without boundaries and binaries.
Straight people can belong at pride, but only if not for their own personal gain. Start supporting the community you are benefiting from.
Post written by guest writer Riya Gupta