Heterophobe is the New Homophobe?

With all this talk of marriage equality for homosexuals in light of public opinion, states’ rights, and soon-to-be Supreme Court rulings, it’s easy to understand why the heterosexual community is feeling under attack.

Luckily, there’s a new Facebook group calling for the annual observance of Heterosexual Awareness Month (HAM) each July. Participants are encouraged to wear black on July 6, the official Straight Pride Day, to show their support of the straight lifestyle.

The necessity of this group is obvious, but if you’re confused, you’ll find its purpose clearly outlined on the HAM Facebook About Page: “To stop heterophobia-” a new term defined as intolerance of those who oppose gay rights- “to protect marriage and promote heterosexual lifestyle, tradition and culture.”

Apparently, we need to call the pursuit of marriage equality for the LGBT community what it really is- an assault on heterosexuality.

Should a politician equate the morality of homosexuality with that of incest or murder, he or she is labeled as a homophobe or a hate-monger, just for having an opinion. We need to protect these politicians, as well as everyday Americans, to promote discriminatory laws and above all, celebrate their straightness.

So naturally, the site features lovely little graphics about straight pride and hotlines for suicidal straight people who find the attack on traditional marriage to be too much to bare.

Of course, we must be proud of who we are no matter our skin color, our gender, or our sexual orientation. The transgender woman should stand up and be proud, and so should the heterosexual man, but I get the feeling some of these HAM participants might be missing the point of Gay Pride.

Gay Pride as a movement arose as a reaction to the hate crimes, discrimination in the workplace, demonization during the U.S. AIDS outbreak, marriage inequality, and the general scorn that tends to come along with being a minority in the world.

Gay Pride is community when LGBT individuals thought they had none, it’s self-affirmation of dignity and self-worth, it’s the sentiment of normalcy and the absence of shame in a predominantly heterosexual world that challenges all the aforementioned to be false.

The fact that the gay community is just beginning to claim small victories across the nation is not an attack on the heterosexual lifestyle; it is, however, an attack on the vitriolic, bigoted speech that informs legislation promoting the oppression of a minority group. While everyone is free to decide for themselves if gay marriage, rooted in love, honor and respect is moral or not, those views should not be used to perpetuate inequality.

I know it’s tragic and painful for those who are out there sticking up for straight rights that currently no one is trying to repeal, reppin’ HAM all day, every day, but take comfort in the fact that you are not alone. Surely in 1865, slaveholders throughout the nation were feeling very much under siege as the world began to open up for the so-called lesser, second-class citizens with their dark skin, and I imagine even more so in 1968 when the Civil Rights Act was passed.

I’m sure men were furiously shaking their pretty little heads, fearing what would become of them after giving women the right to vote in 1920, or appointing Sandra Day O’Conner in 1981 as Supreme Court Justice, worried and wondering, “What’s next? A woman president?” Oh, the horror.

I think it’s safe to say that as long as heterosexuals maintain their place as the majority of the sexually oriented, their right to be straight is safe and sound. On the other hand, there have been some whispers going around that homosexuals have been recruiting, so maybe it’d be safer if the HAM guys and gals just stayed indoors.

Disclaimer: This post was written by a Feministing Community user and does not necessarily reflect the views of any Feministing columnist, editor, or executive director.

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