From the Telluride Daily Planet:
Down main street they came, wearing Brooks Brothers and waving signs that declared “Straight is Great,” and “Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.” They were the Straight Pride brigade, and they high-stepped through Telluride’s Fourth of July parade like the Republican National Dance Troupe.
The Straight Priders say it was all a joke, and indeed, they won second place in the parade’s humor category. But some people aren’t laughing, saying they sniffed a whiff of anti-gay sentiment in the group’s shtick.
A whiff? The stench is a bit stronger than that.
You can head on over to the link above to read the overwhelming response of the citizens of Telluride to the homophobic act. Here's a bit:
In letters to the editor, residents called the skit “highly offensive and completely inappropriate,” a “hate group,” a “hate float,” and asked the marchers to apologize. In the Straight Pride baseball caps and pro-heterosexual signs, they didn’t see a joke, but something darker.
“They were clearly nothing more than an anti-gay hate group,” wrote Gretchen Norham, a Boulder resident who watched the parade. “Shame on this group. Shame on the judges. I expected better from people in Telluride.”
This kind of humor is always messy, and it seems like some people think they can get away with saying anything as long as it's funny. If you point out that something is homophobic, these sorts will say it's just a joke as if you're the one with the problem, and that for some reason not being able to find the humor in parroting homophobia is some sort of deficiency in the listener.
“I thought it was going to be a funny idea, so I was up for it,” [one marcher] said. “A lot of people are misconstruing it. It was, first and foremost, a joke. It was not homophobic.”
Why can't it be both? There are homophobic jokes. Of course, he feels that he's able to monopolize interpretation of this act (we misconstrue; he properly construes) without taking into consideration the history of violent heterosexual supremacy. The signs that they were carrying, which said things like "Not in my backdoor" or "Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve", aren't new messages at all. There a context to this, and just because the marchers didn't realize it, chose to ignore it, or embraced it, doesn't mean that it doesn't exist and that it doesn't have power to those trying to enjoy the parade.
But Ethan Hale, who marched with the Straight Priders, said there was nothing malicious behind the skit, and that it was a satire of the over-the-top gay pride parades in cities like New York or San Francisco.[...]
On July 4, a dozen Telluride residents suffered into polyester pants and scratchy sweaters, combed their hair flat and slipped on loafers and pumps to become the Straight Pride marchers. They whooped and waved and kissed in the middle of main street (girls kissing boys, naturally).
Kissing the same sex in the street is an act of defiance against often violent compulsory heterosexuality. Mocking that gesture erases that history of violence and makes fun of actions that challenge conformity and heteropatriarchy (you know, the good parts of Pride that are often forgotten even by our own). It might be all a part of their ironic stance, but when you ironically present something that's important to people or something that hurts people, it only compounds the rhetorical violence.
But maybe it is about humor. Said one marcher:
Our entry number in the parade was four — funny. Four. Funny.
With a sense of humor like that, I can't imagine why these people failed to impress the locals!