Just last week, I had the pleasure of attending Vancouver Pride for a video about drag queens that I’m filming. Next week, I’m off to Montreal Pride where I’ll be interviewing members of the bear community. As such, it only seems fitting to talk about pride.
As someone who has created more than a few LGBT pride-themed videos, I’m always surprised by the number of comments asking for straight pride. “If gay people have pride,” they often write, “then straight people should have a pride, too. After all, equal is equal.” And therein is where these (hopefully) well-intentioned individuals miss the point.
Of course, straight people don’t need pride. When children get bullied for being straight, then we can have a straight pride. When family members get disowned for their straightness, then we can have a straight pride. When people kill themselves for being straight, I will be the first to march in a straight pride parade. Until then, shut up and sit down. Because, as it turns out, every day is straight pride.
In a nutshell, it’s worth honoring and celebrating the victories and histories of marginalized groups like the LGBT community.
And in extending that circle outward (but also inward), our bodies are deserving of celebration, too. Though in a very different way and capacity, our bodies are also often the recipients of shaming, repression and mistreatment. Many of us have wrestled with body image issues and eating disorders; for some the struggle continues. But whether it’s our own personal journey or, in the larger sense, the arc of society in overcoming stigma or stereotyping, every step is worth celebrating.
Our bodies and our sexual orientation are two different things. The history and struggle is different. But regardless of the form it takes, pride is a powerful thing. Celebrating the journey makes the challenges softer and the victories stronger. It creates community. It builds us up. And it pushes us forward, even when the road ahead isn’t easy.
There might not be a pride parade for your body (though maybe there ought to be one). There aren’t flags to wave or parties to attend. But there is a history to honor and victories to celebrate. So in the spirit of pride, happy body pride.