BY MATT TRACY
Community News Group
It’s like “All Lives Matter” but for straight people.
Some folks in Boston are laying the groundwork for a “Straight Pride” parade at the end of the summer — and they’re even planning to have floats!
One of the event’s organizers, former Republican congressional candidate John Hugo, told Gay City News in a phone interview on June 7 that the parade is intended to “be a fun way to get together with straight friends and gay allies.”
Unlike existing LGBTQ Pride Marches, though, this one was not sparked by the longtime marginalization of a group of people or the anniversary of a historic rebellion involving police raids of straight bars.
Still, Hugo insisted on describing the plans for the parade, which he says is slated for August 31, as “a revolutionary idea.”
“Gay rights are okay but straight rights aren’t?” Hugo asked, despite the fact that LGBTQ people in the United States do not have basic nondiscrimination protections.
The organizers launched a website for the parade — superhappyfunamerica.com — and the “About” section says “Super Happy Fun America advocates on behalf of the straight community…”
Hugo is quoted on the site’s home page saying, “Straight people are an oppressed majority. We will fight for the right of straights everywhere to express pride in themselves without fear of judgement [sic] and hate. The day will come when straights will finally be included as equals among all of the other orientations.”
The website also describes “Straight Pride” as an “important civil rights movement” and features posters with phrases like, “Don’t Hate the Straight” and “Just Because I’m Straight Does Not Entitle You to Discriminate.” Another poster reads, “Straight Pride — It’s natural, it’s worked since the beginning of humanity and you can make babies.”
Boston Mayor Marty Walsh confirmed on June 6 that the organizers of the “Straight Pride” parade do not yet have a permit but are “working to amend their application for permits to host a public event.”
“Whatever outside groups may try do, our values won’t change,” Walsh wrote on Twitter regarding his city’s June 8 LGBTQ Pride celebration. “I invite each and every person to stand with us, and show that love will always prevail. Join us in celebration this Saturday for the Boston Pride Parade and in the fight for progress and equality for all.”
Three out of the five people running the straight event, Hugo claimed, are gay, and the infamous out gay journalist Milo Yiannopoulos, who formerly wrote for alt-right site Breitbart — serving as something of its provocateur clown — will march as a grand marshal. The five people listed on the group’s “Our Team” page — all white men — are Hugo along with Yiannopoulos, vice president Mark Sahady, “gay ambassador” Chris Bartley, and Anthony Tamagna, who handles media relations and served as press liaison for Hugo’s failed US House bid in 2018 when he lost to incumbent Democrat Katherine Clark by more than 161,000 votes, garnering less than a quarter of the total in the suburban Boston district.
A review of Sahady’s Facebook page shows him posing in a photo with a man who is making what appears to be a white power gesture with his hand, while Bartley is wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat on his recent Facebook profile photo.
When asked whether the optics of such an event could be similar to creating a “White Pride” parade in response to the Black Lives Matter movement, Hugo immediately started blaming black people for the nation’s racial divide and wound up pushing racist conspiracy theories.
“I think Black Lives Matter is a racist group,” Hugo said. “I’m going to give you an example of their racism. The two things that kill black people: Abortion and black-on-black crime.”
Hugo failed to provide any rational basis for those claims. He then shifted back to the topic of Pride, saying that the organizers’ collective belief in planning a “Straight Pride” parade has even led them to believe that there should be an “S” added to LGBTQ — with that letter standing for “straight.”
“We want to integrate,” Hugo said.
The group tried listing actor Brad Pitt, a longtime ally of the LGBTQ community, on its website as a “mascot,” but the actor quickly distanced himself from it and threatened legal action, prompting organizers to scrub his name from the site.
The Pitt controversy is only the latest twist in the sudden explosion of news coverage surrounding the “Straight Pride” parade, which has emerged in recent days at a time when annual Pride festivities have started heating up nationwide.
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“People always compare it to the LGBT Pride Parade. It’s completely separate,” Hugo said. “We want to have a nice parade and get together with all our friends and our gay allies and have a parade like anyone else.”
Whether a “Straight Pride” parade will move forward as planned is not yet clear, but one thing is certain: Boston’s annual LGBTQ Pride March will take place June 8.
And rest assured, no matter how large the turnout, straight rights will still be in place when it’s all over.