Boston Is Hosting a Straight Pride Parade, Which Sounds Like Straight Hell

R. Eric Thomas
Photo credit: Vincent Besnault - Getty Images
Photo credit: Vincent Besnault - Getty Images


A group that must be a real blast at parties has successfully lobbied the city of Boston to give them a permit for a Straight Pride parade. Parade organizer Mark Sahady announced on Facebook that after filing a discrimination complaint the city “understands they would lose in litigation.” More likely, some clerk was just like “Oh, whatever. Here’s your permit. Says people can’t pahk their cahs on the street while you do your little Adam and Eve march.”

It’s interesting that what will be the nation’s first officially sanctioned straight pride parade is taking place in Boston of all places since the city’s most famous resident, the rat from The Departed, is famously bisexual. All rats are queer, as you know. The Departed rat, Mr Ratburn from Arthur, that queen Templeton from Charlotte’s Web. This is canon.

But we’re not here to talk about the many famous rats of queer persuasion. We’re here to talk about how one can properly pay tribute to the many straight people who have gone for millennia with no parades in their honor (unless you count every actual parade except the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade which is pansexual). Some might argue that unless there is a banner with a rhyming slogan like “I’m Straight! I’m Late! I Had Heterosexual Sex and That’s How Pregnancy Happens Sometimes!” it’s not a real Straight Pride parade. But, that argument conveniently forgets that almost everything is coded to straight culture. When a float stops on a parade route and costumed men and women do a little dance in pairs in front of the judging station, that’s Straight Culture. When Mickey and Minnie exchange a chaste kiss in the Electric Light Parade, that’s Straight Culture. When a teenager hands out flyers to the people standing on the street watching a parade and the flyers advertise one of the bath fitter businesses that basically put the skin of a new bathroom over your old, gross bathroom... well, I don’t know what it is but I’m going to give it to the straights. You’re welcome! Straight rights!

When you think of a Straight Pride parade, it’s easy to imagine a sort of hellscape with pleated dockers and Chik-Fil-A smell, miles of missionary position and a chorus of people saying “Clearly I hated it” to a server at a restaurant taking their empty plate. But I can’t say for sure that this is really Straight Culture proper. (Even Chik-Fil-A, which has famously donated to anti-gay causes, is also quite clearly high camp. That cow on the advertisements who can’t spell? Scam queen; camp icon; stuntrix deluxe.) And the other stuff is just human stuff that some straight people like and some don’t. And some queer people like and some don’t. I would bet big money that when a server asks Pete Buttigieg how he enjoyed his meal while clearing and empty plate he is faithful to reply, “Oh! It was awful haha!”

(Two hahas are Straight Culture when used seriously. But they are Gay Culture when used to indicate you are not laughing.)

The lines between the cultures, you see, are often quite thin and frequently transgressed with no problems. For instance, brunch is LGBTQ+ Culture. This is non-negotiable. However, going to a bottomless brunch in Midtown is Straight Culture. Waiting in line at a trendy brunch spot outside in the rain is Straight Culture. Bringing your children to brunch is Straight Culture. And being on time to brunch is Straight Culture.

Having kids, however, is not Straight Culture. As you may be aware, like all rats, many kids are born part of the LGBTQ+ spectrum and therefore having kids has no official culture. That said, if you ask me creating a small avatar of yourself and dressing that avatar in little clothes and tiny shoes and throwing parties for it and letting it drain all of your finances is Very Gay. And being the main thing talked about in someone else's therapy sessions for the rest of that person's life is Max Gay Culture. So, it seems parenting as an endeavor is actually quite queer all around and therefore cannot join the parade of Bostonian's walking down a street refreshing their Christian Mingle profiles.

Let's see, what else? One might think that such quotidian suburban pursuits like Cheesecake Factory or Olive Garden are Straight Culture but, honey, have you seen an Olive Garden? It's like an amusement park dedicated to the fever dreams of Sophia Petrillo from The Golden Girls. QUEER. NEXT!

Kissing in public? Hmm. A little Straight. But also having a tongue is canonically queer and we all know it.

Ideally, a Straight Pride Parade, if it needed to exist, would do so at the intersection of minding one's own business and being true to oneself. But being true to yourself is Trans* Culture and minding your own business is Ace Culture. So.

All moving vehicles are Lesbian Culture, so that includes cars, floats, boats, and airplanes. I don't make the rules. This is just true.

Music is queer culture. All of it. Ask every Straight Person who is currently watching Bohemian Rhapsody on a plane. All musician biopics are queer culture, even Walk the Line. Especially Walk the Line. My lord, Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon in Nashville drag singing about their feelings? Bless my queer heart!

Walking? Swinging your arms back and forth and lifting your knees up and down? Not Straight, my friend. Not Straight at all.

So, unfortunately, I'm a little confused about what is left to do at this Straight Pride Parade. Maybe standing in line outside a closed Chik-Fil-A on a Sunday morning, being heavy in the loafers, and definitely not having children. Perhaps. Still seems a little ::wiggles hands back and forth:: Well, good luck. I'll be there on the sidelines, with all the rats and the cow who cannot spell, cheering you on as allies. Straight rights!

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