Adam Polaski

Largest Brazilian City May Host 'Straight Pride' Day

Filed By Adam Polaski | August 03, 2011 4:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living, Politics
Tags: Brazil, Carlos Apolinario, Gilberto Kassab, LGBT parade, Pride parade, Sao Paulo, Straight Pride

BrazilFlag.jpgIn São Paulo, Brazil, the city's municipality has advanced a measure that would establish a "Straight Pride" Day. Now, the bill is awaiting the approval from Gilberto Kassab, the city's mayor - if he signs it into law, the celebration will occur the third Sunday of every December. São Paulo is Brazil's largest city and is the eighth most populous city in the world.

The bill would result in "Straight Pride Day" being officially listed on the city's municipal calendar, and the city would be expected to make the public aware and excited about the event.

Councilperson Carlos Apolinario drafted the bill, and he has said that it's not intended as an anti-LGBT move.

According to an article on globo.com (translated from Portuguese):

Apolinario discussed that the project was just a way to speak out against the "excesses and privileges" afforded to the gay community. He confirmed that one of these privileges was that the LGBT Parade was held on Paulista Avenue while the March for Jesus was relocated to the Northern zone of the city.

São Paulo features one of the largest LGBT populations in Latin America, and its annual LGBT Pride parade is one of the largest in the world. The crowd this year neared four million people. Brazil is relatively advanced on LGBT rights, with regard to its Latin American neighbors.

This measure reminds me of the "Global Straight Pride Day" that was supposed to take off a few years ago - straight people, the logic went, often feel overlooked during LGBT pride events, as if their own sexuality was not something to be celebrated. According to the "Global Straight Pride Day" Facebook group:

Straight pride has a place in our world, just as much as Black pride, gay pride, white pride and any other pride-for-being-alive day. To claim GSP as a social anti 'ISM' is only showing that the meaning of freedom is no longer understood.

But, of course, one of the key goals of LGBT Pride events is to demonstrate to other, closeted LGBT people and to the broader community that LGBT people exist and refuse to keep their identities or relationships hidden because of discrimination or bigotry. They're exhibitions of widespread support for equality - LGBT people and their allies standing together to explain that institutionalized intolerance is not acceptable. Straight Pride days do little more than mock this goal, as heterosexuals are not institutionally discriminated against because of their sexuality.

If the São Paulo mayor approves the municipality-wide "Straight Pride" Day, he'll be supporting that mockery and inserting an unnecessary wedge into a country that has seen such progress surrounding sexual minority discrimination.

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Hey, let them have Straight Pride Day if the straights feel left out. (As I have said before, I sometime feel left out during Black History Month -- but that does not mean that the Black community is doing anything wrong, except maybe they could talk up a bit more the part of the memo that says awareness of Black History is for white people, too.)

I think we are being over-sensitive if we insist that Straight Pride Day is a mockery of Gay Pride events. And let's admit that some folks just want an excuse to party, and that's OK if they don't cause trouble.

In America, we have special days when heterosexuality is celebrated.

One of them is called "Friday night".

The other one is called "Saturday night".

Then, a special one is called Valentine's Day.

We also have Male Pride Day -- It's called Monday Night Football.

P.S. I hope I can someday go to New Zealand to celebrate National Penis Day. Japan also has a National Penis day (Google it).

Really, left out? I'm pretty white and I never feel left out. Actually there are some moments when I feel awkwardly included. And rightly so, a lot of people who look like me perpetrated dastardly crimes against humanity.My entire public school (k-12) career was in effect white history month. The shame of it is that "black history" is relegated to one month of the year. If straight people need a day to feel special or good about themselves, it is because they're not paying attention the rest of the year.

OK, I'll come out and say it, if people understand I'm not criticizing black people: I get the non-verbal message from a lot of blacks that Black History Month is mainly for black children, so that black youngsters can know their heritage and important roles in the unfolding of America. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I think blacks who organize Black History events might target white awareness of black history more -- but unfortunately, too many whites don't even have black history on their radar screens, and I don't want to be telling black folks how to run their own events. Or maybe whites ought to organize some "Black History for White Folks" events. Just sayin', and YMMV (your mileage may vary).

And regarding straights, like I said -- being heterosexual is celebrated every Friday and Saturday night. So sounds like we're on the same page there, Greg.

I'm sorry that has been your experience, AJ. I'm fortunate that mine has been different. I'm pretty sure we're on the same page about a lot of things.