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An Open Letter to Straight People

STRAIGHT PRIDE

Let's break down why Straight Pride is not only unnecessary, but offensive.

I know that you think you have had a hard life. I know that you feel the need to celebrate your heterosexuality with Straight Pride parades, from Massachusetts to California. That is your right as an American citizen. But before you do, consider this:

* You have likely never been told that your "heterosexuality" was a mental illness.

* You have likely never experienced a childhood terrified and confused by being born different.

* You have never been constantly bullied, harassed, and threatened in school just because you were born straight.

* You never had to hide your "straightness," terrified that people would find out.

* You have never been denied housing, or a promotion, or even a job, because you were straight.

* You never had your family turn their backs on you because you were straight.

*You never attempted (or committed) suicide, because of constant bullying, due to your straightness.

* You never had to deal with a horrific plague in your community and hear people say it was God's judgement on you for being straight.

* You've never had to bury dozens of friends and loved ones because you were straight. Yes, I, too lost a partner of six years. I lost count of all of the funerals I went to in the '90s.

* You don't need to march and crusade for "straight rights;" you already have them.

* LGBTQ people aren't trying to get "special rights." We just want equal rights. The right to simply exist.

* You haven't had to spend the last 50 years fighting for the right to marry the person that you love, or just simply to be a person, and be treated like one.

Our only "agenda" is simply to have what you have always had, and have taken for granted. While it's your freedom as an American citizen to have your own beliefs, we ask you to just think before you speak. Your Straight Pride "celebrations" are extremely hurtful to a community that has experienced much hurt, struggle, and pain. Be kind. You don't have to agree with us. You don't even have to like us. What you do have to do is simply leave us alone.

Don Wallstedt is an artist, writer, and freelance florist, who lives in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with his husband, along with five cats and a dog. Find Wallstedt on Instagram @Don_Wallstedt.

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

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