Str(hate) Pride: An Open Letter to the Mayor of Boston

In response to Boston’s recent ‘straight pride’ parade, Caleb Evans explains why the need for ‘straight pride’ is, and always will be, nonexistent.

Dear Mr. Marty Walsh (Mayor of Boston, USA),

Respectfully, I must address the issue of the August 31st straight “pride” parade. It has come to my attention that the handling of the event was an abject failure on your part. Allow me to explain, in the following letter, how your mismanagement of the controversial matter derailed decades of progress towards equal LGBTQ+ rights, and how the resulting mess has left millions of people across the world reeling, hurt, and disappointed.

The policing of the event was evidently prejudiced in favour of the organisers, as during the parade police arrested and brutalised peaceful anti-fascist protesters at the site of a Holocaust memorial. This unprecedented attack was a direct result of your leadership, or lack thereof. Police should be in place at such events to protect the public, to keep the peace, and to ensure nobody is hurt. Citizens of Boston – including LGBTQ+ citizens – pay tax to fund the police force; in this instance, their tax dollars were funding a violent attack on peaceful minorities protesting a discriminatory and wholly fascist event.

‘Straight Pride’ underway in Boston on Saturday

This “pride” parade was a mockery to your city and directly wounds the LGBTQ+ members of the public that voted you into position as their leader. The ‘straight pride’ movement is not affirmative of a straight identity. It exists entirely in the negative as a reaction against the struggle for equality, and to maintain cis-het supremacy over the LGBTQ+ community. Participants of the parade carried hateful signs reading “make normalcy normal again” (thinly disguised Trump propaganda). One woman declared: “it’s not okay to be gay and if someone told you otherwise they lied to you.”

These are not simply arguments put forth in protest, these are discriminatory comments against a passive minority of people. This Straight Pride event was nothing more than a gathering of white supremacists and homophobes, too stubborn in their beliefs to allow progression towards an equal future for everyone. Despite what the people involved in Straight Pride’s organisation may believe, Gay Pride parades do not discriminate. Gay Pride is a protest against the historical ill-treatment of the LGBTQ+ community, and in pursuit of equality. Equal treatment of LGBTQ+ peoples does not devalue the rights of straight cis people.

My argument to you, Mr Walsh, is not about hating straight, cis people, or silencing someone’s right to free speech. In fact I invite my straight, cisgender brothers and sisters to celebrate real Pride with a community that knows how to throw a parade. Pride is about celebrating a facet of humanity that is so often mistreated and abused. In allowing Boston’s disgraceful Straight Pride to happen, you have belittled our community, caused damage to the ongoing fight, and opened the door for bigotry and oppression. This parade of deplorables is one more example of a police state which continues to devalue the rights of LGBT+ people and which specifically singles out and targets peaceful counter protesters. Ask yourself: is this truly the way you wish your city to be known? As a backwards, closed-minded place to live, that encourages hatred, and discriminates against its citizens simply for being who they are?

The “Straight Pride” parade gets underway from Copley Sq.

I admit I have a unique fondness for your city and it’s history, particularly it’s impact on early America. I’m reminded of the 1770 Boston massacre, often called the first battle of the Revolutionary War. British “peace keeping” soldiers opened fire on a crowd of colonialists, leaving five dead and several others injured. The Boston police of today acted much more like the British Redcoats than patriotic American colonists. I wonder then how history will look upon you? Certainly we do not look favourably on those who use militant police force to suppress dissent.

Boston Massacre, 1770

Your voters demand a full account. There must be an investigation in to the use of force by police. You must disclose the cost to your constituency and release a statement strongly condemning these hate groups. This will not be the last time homophobes and white supremacists take to your streets. The city of Boston must look at how police manage these events and their counter protests. I understand that in a healthy democracy the right to peacefully assemble belongs to everyone. That said the rise of the alt-right and apparent sympathy from within police and local governments effectively limits the rights of already marginalised minorities. Transparency and accountability are imperative if we are to move forward.

Thank you for your consideration,

Caleb Evans

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