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Letters to the Editor 11/16
Published 11/16/2011
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Straight pride is already the norm

Editor:

Walking through the CUB on Monday, I noticed a student organization table selling T-shirts with the phrase “Straight Pride.” This campaign made its debut last year. It is disheartening to feel like no progress toward social acceptance has been made since then.

LGBT pride exists for a reason. When groups of people are marginalized for their sexuality or gender identity – or disability, ethnicity or anything else – a serious need arises for community. Pride is a way of reclaiming an identity that has been ignored, distorted and disrespected by the culture in power. Pride gives an affirmative voice to those individuals who have been made to feel inferior.

Straight people already have a voice. Mainstream media, government entities and modern religion all seem to agree: heterosexuality is normal, wholesome and ideal. The straight experience is not one of difference, which is why it goes unnoticed as an experience. The queer experience, on the other hand, is ripe with difference and a corresponding sense of negativity.

The phrase “gay pride” refers to an actual cultural structure aiming to promote acceptance, whereas the words “straight pride” in no way parallels such a system. They refer only to power and marginalization, doing nothing to promote understanding.

Straight pride does not exist because it does not need to. Advertising a non-existent cultural phenomenon by appropriating a symbol directly associated with the LGBT community is a petty form of mockery and degradation. Ultimately, I find this campaign an utterly homophobic act of disrespect, which should not be tolerated at WSU.

Brett Lysne
graduate student, fine arts

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