An Aimless Agenda: Reflections on Super Happy Fun America and Straight Pride
As with my Totally F***ed Up review, I was meaning to write this sooner than anticipated. I planned to respond a mere three or four months after the Boston Straight Pride Parade last August. Everyone, give it up for Arthur’s Procrastination.
There’s more to it than that. Contrary to my impassioned post last week, I tend to be generally calm and mellow. I reckoned my brash voice would merely fan the flames of the opposing side’s victim complex ideology, which I will elaborate later. “Better to be silent and deemed a fool than to speak and remove all doubt.” I adhere to that and do what I can to be poised and placid about something so unbelievably misguided and spiteful.
Or maybe not so misguided and spiteful? It’s difficult to say with these people. And oh man, these people…
The mere fact an organization would devote itself for a cause that is unfounded and shoddy is infuriating in its own right. But here we are. Super Happy Fun America exists.
Thanks, I hate it.
I suppose I should clarify the motions I experienced with this debacle. Naturally, I wanted to wait for this click-bait crapfest to taper off, and since I have more time on my hands due to the quarantine, now’s a good time as any to reflect on the crapfest itself and its click-bait controversy. Speaking for myself, someone who is gay, this was another example of the antipathy and unabashed disdain anti-gay individuals reserve for the GSM community. If I were to speak for you, the presumably straight reader, this was another target for your disgust and fodder for humiliating and reputation-tarnishing memes. In my ideal world, I hoped it would be an opportunity for you, allies and comrades, to support your fellow queer friends and relatives and examine the microaggressions of anti-gay rhetoric behavior. It’s simple to recognize queer bashings, hate crimes, and discriminatory legislation. Bigotry, racism, and homophobia isn’t proudly declared anymore. The heartless forerunners are becoming more crafty. “Straight rights”, for me, is a specific argument that personally infuriates me for plenty of reasons. As evidence, this long-winded intro is my attempt to constrain the immense irritation I reserve for this “victim complex”.
First of all, it may be shocking to some of you this isn’t the first case of straight people stamping their feet about the unfairness of Gay Pride. Sorry to break it to you, but yeah, the GSM community has tolerated bigotry and malarkey like this for years. Get used to it. I’m not furious at the system (the city/state government) that granted Super Happy Fun America its permit for the Straight Pride Parade. Should I be? Perhaps. However, in this case, that might be the wrong target for our ire. To place the entire blame on the system is to overlook the individual’s personal responsibility to distinguish what is unjust and what is petty. It also shifts the blame to an inherently neutral philosophy instead of the individuals who exploit the philosophy’s principles for their own gain. On paper, of course, everyone, every group, despite their insidious motivations and agenda has an inherent right to exist. As long as freedoms of speech, press, and assembly reign o’er this country I call home, it wouldn’t be right for me to take away these jackasses’ right to hold a Straight Pride Parade.
Now, hold on. Don’t get up in my face and scream “Rabble rabble rabble!” Here me out. Stay with me. I’m not finished.
Everyone has rights, or nobody does. That’s my stance. For further debate over the interpretation of John Locke’s naturals rights and a group’s potential complicity in hate crimes, feel free to meet me at Fair State Brewing Cooperative when this pandemic runs its course. We’ll discuss it over a handful of Party Forwards and Pahlays (shout-out to Max Elliott and Amber Jaeger, miss you both). That’s for a later date. For the sake of this post, let’s agree to disagree that every group has the right to exist. In the case of discrimination, I assume the existence of an anti-discrimination coalition/organization implies an inherent shortcoming of the “order”, if you will. An uneven scale of legislation, bills, and packages, and endorsements, that favor one cause over another. As we’ve seen proven time after time, some political figures, coalitions, and committees have manipulated this system to— good God, I hate this phrase — promoting their agenda. Cliched, certainly, but cliched for a reason. Promoting their agendas, deluding themselves with the notion of being a voice for the voiceless. Furthermore, said politicians, organizations, and committees utilize dog-whistling prose and rhetoric (double-meaning) to both attract their supports and deflect criticism from their opponents. “I’m didn’t say I was anti-gay. I said I support family values. I care for the traditional structure of the family.” They can’t outright say they hate gay people, black people, trans people or Somali people; they have to devise dual tactics and double meanings to win their supporters and slip under the radar of those nagging left-wing social justice snowflakes.
The point of my long-winded rant is to highlight the possible intentions behind movements and sociopolitical upheaval.
I don’t have a degree in political science. Furthermore, I’m ashamed to admit I had to, and still have to, research extensively on the more complicated semantics of coalitions, organizations, rhetorical strategies, and politics in general. However, it only takes basic common sense to see past the cloying pettiness of contrived movements or conniving political figures begging people for sympathy.
In the case of Super Happy Fun America, their organization’s cause was the victimization of straight people, I assume. The atrocity of denying heterosexuals their humanity and discriminating against their kind. The need to address these injustices and recognize heterosexuals as human beings and fight for their right to claim the humanity the bigoted GSM community has revoked from them.
And…yeah, isn’t this beginning to sound like a South Park episode?
So that’s it, then? Super Happy Fun America is a bunch of senile frat boys who can’t stand GSM individuals treated equally? An exemplification of the pathetic insecurity of their homophobia, right? Eh, there might be more to it than that.
A year prior to this debacle, writer Barry Purcell penned an article to Arc Digital titled “Is Punching Nazis Impolite?” The catalyst in Purcell’s article is the viral Washington interview of white supremacist Richard Spencer. In mid-questioning, a random passerby assaulting Spencer in retaliation to his alt-right views and dishonesty when asked if he was a Neo-Nazi. Purcell questions the validity of violent retaliation against white supremacist, fascist, and nationalist indoctrination, or as the article’s title suggests “punching Nazis”. Additionally, Purcell raises doubt over the validity of politeness, “taking the high road”, or ignoring the alt-right’s antagonistic mockery. Near the middle of his argument, he explores the cognition and process of fascism’s victim-complex ideology. Purcell purports the strength of the fascists’ resolve feeds off the leftists’ volatile reactions:
Any ideology which is dependent on a victim-complex narrative will be validated, emboldened, and enabled by violent resistance. The more you punch them, they [sic] better it goes for them. They’re so desperate for this validation that they will specifically engineer public demonstrations to provoke as much hostility as possible.
It’s a very real possibility that, as with the Westboro Baptist Church’s despicable funeral demonstrations, the only reason they have these rallies is to attract violence. If that’s true, forcing them off the streets with violence is not a victory of any kind; actually it empowers them.
Purcell observes and deduces an obvious truth that greatly irritates me. Some individuals or groups, like SHFA, want to get a rise out of me. They will use every trick in the book to evoke an emotional response so they can point at me and say, “See? Gay people are just as capable of being bigoted. They can’t tolerate my straightness. What a bunch of hypocrites.”
But taking a closer look at SHFA’s mission statement, the crux of its movement, if you can call it that, doesn’t seem consistent with a “straight” agenda or any form of manifesto or proclamation. The organization’s website lists five…gay?…sexually-fluid?…“allies” of the cause, and it’s painfully telling how desperate they are, scrambling to grasp straws, any form of solidarity for their objective.
Here are their “allies”:
- Dr. Felecia Nace — an education advocate who wrote Top-Down Confusion: Is Grey the New Pink in Education?, a book which criticizes the “over-exposure” of LBGTQIA+ issues in schools
- Camp Constitution — a non-profit camp that strives to examine and celebrate “the “Judeo-Christian heritage” of the foundation of the United States, particularly the Founding Fathers and their implementation of free enterprise as a building block of the nation.
- Women of Eve —an online gathering of straight women petitioning to add straight people into the GSM community. Specifically, the “S” in the community’s acronym. Yeah, let that sink in a bit.
- Trump Unity Bridge — a decorative float, driven by Michigan resident Rob Curtis, making appearances in alt-right protests and movements such as Operation Gridlock, Mother of All Rallies, President Trump’s inauguration, and a couple of American Patriot rallies.
- Moms For America — a non-profit organization banding women and mothers across the nation to educate them on the United States of America’s “principles of liberty and virtue” and promote “these principles, values, and virtues in home and family.”
Taking a step back and examining these “allies” and their support for SHFA, how many are truly concerned and dedicated to combating against the GSM community, dedicated to fight for heterosexuals? Or as SHFA’s website coined, “the oppressed majority.”
The only one remotely striving for heterosexual rights is the Women of Eve’s petition, and even then it’s accusing the GSM community of identity exclusivity, not a denial of rights. Dr. Felecia Nace’s advocacy challenges the inclusion of LBGTQIA+ topics in national school curricula, but Nace doesn’t outright claim it’s an affront to straight society. It’s more of a critique on liberal politics and incompetent, untrained superintendents and commissioners whom she doubts can properly uphold balanced teaching environments. And the rest, well, their concerns conveniently align with the average conservative Republican: limited government, individual liberty, traditional Christian values and their correlations with our country’s foundation, free market system, and the sustaining of the traditional American family: a man, a woman, and children.
Which are all fair individual theses. The advantages and disadvantages of limited government, public vs. charter schooling, capitalism, formation of unions, these are excellent for discussion on their own. But I must ask, in what manner do any of these organizations’ ideals relate to the straight man’s struggle against the GSM community? This isn’t to imply they can’t be connected with the grand debate of gay vs. straight, but as they are, like untethered boats drifting from the dock, they don’t add up. There doesn’t seem to be an effort to converge these concerns into a greater movement, which again I think in this case, SHFA should have an agenda, a manifesto, or some, any, statement of belief. All this political dissonance damages the organization’s reputation. Furthermore, it supports the theory of SHFA’s dog-whistling mainly to the white nationalist movement, intertwining traditional values and white supremacy views until the heterosexual plight has little to nothing to do with SHFA’s core advocacy.
Sorry, SHFA, your “oppressed majority” claim isn’t cutting it. You need more evidence of the GSM community quashing your rights, as they are. Specific ones, too.
Which, okay fine, let’s indulge SHFA. They are an oppressed majority, the conglomeration of straight victims of a government that willfully neglects them. God, just think of the numerous instances of queer folk slandering the straight community. Countless queer-owned bars, restaurants, pubs, markets, bakeries, and venues have unjustly denied straight patrons and clientele. Schools and libraries have shirked any attempt to establish understanding and reconciliation with the horrors the GSM community inflicted upon the straight community, and the ones that do are probably scoffed and scorned by them filthy queers, am I right? No straight fiction sections here! Heck, library readings by straight people have been protested and canceled left and right. Lord, it’s sickening to consider all the straight-bashing incidents dating back for centuries, bludgeoning their victims with concrete dildos, throwing buckets of tepid lubricant in their faces, and strangling them with Andrew Christian designer underwear. And how about the gall of the adoption agencies, refusing straight couples sons and daughters who deserve love from any two loving parents regardless of gender? And hey, those queer landlords are also real bastards, delighting in turning away straight tenants; and because of this impending eviction, the skyrocketing statistics of straight white homeless people is harrowing. Therefore, straight people throughout the nation have to remain in the closet, robbed of their dreams to play football without ridicule or embarrassment. My heart breaks for my fellow straight friends forced to hide who they are, forced to go to gay bars — I mean, I have nothing against straight people. They can sleep with anyone they want. I just don’t want them flaunting their lifestyle. I mean, think of the children, exposed to those degenerate heteros —
Okay, I’m done. I can’t keep a straight face. No pun intended.
Our inherent, natural rights are the exact reason why this entire ordeal is ludicrous and reveals the true lack of interest in fighting for a straight man/woman’s rights. It’s as simple as that adage: just because you can doesn’t mean you should. It’s not enough to do something, it’s not even about passion, really, but intent. Pride, to me, is a lively reminder of heritage, a proud history of how the GSM community, despite the hateful efforts of the conservative straight community, survived and fought for their right to humanity, that this rainbow folk can band together as one minority and fight for equality and justice. And while this annual celebration isn’t shared with the entire GSM community, I imagine the GSM individuals who stay home at least respect the festivities and understand why these festivities are upheld.
So, I posit, what heritage does Straight Pride celebrate? What injustices have they suffered at the hands of the GSM community? As far as I know, no single straight, cisgender couple has been bashed by the dominant gay population just for holding hands (I’ll save the bi-erasure issue for another day). There’s no straight panic defense, no discrimination of housing rights, adoption, legal fees, loan approvals, workplace, and honey don’t get me started on the stigma surrounding gay Christians.
Taking this into account, it’s apparent how flimsy this foundation is. SHFA’s use of the Bill of Rights is unfounded. Fair use of their freedom of speech? Yes. Absolutely unnecessary? Hell yes. Their adamant aspiration to preserve “straight rights” against “straight discrimination” speaks volumes about their indifference to the true injustice of this stupid fiasco. Once again, the dominant heterosexual hierarchy has appropriated the transformative victory and strife of the GSM community and used it as a means to diminish the said community. Their focus is on the victim complex and not the systemic discrimination that has been weaponized against the GSM community for centuries.
It’s not heroic. It’s not noble. It’s shameful. It’s something Peter Griffin would do.
All I can say to you, Super Happy Fun America, is fine. There’s your parade. As aforementioned, this is America. We still have our rights, collective and individual. You’re free to exercise yours to celebrate heterosexuality and spotlight egregious discrimination against the straight community. Let the world indulge in your idiocy. We see through this thin-veiled facade of liberty and human rights. It’s vindictive and petty. It reveals how much you don’t care about actual marginalized groups, how this list of unjust transgressions and scapegoating has left you unmoved to make a better world for struggling GSM adolescents.
Instead of reconciling a past hierarchy that violently and cruelly abused a system to oppress the GSM community and stripped them of their humanity, instead of accepting the fact the straight majority had genuinely fucked them over, instead of striving to make amends and work to ensure the same rights for future queer generations, what do you know, you don’t. You find some way to absolve any wrongdoing and discomfort by whining, “But what about us straight folk? We’re victims, too.” It worked for Mark Cohen and Lelana Pierce, but it’s not gonna work for you.
So I hope you enjoyed your parade. May you revel in your aimless cause. Marvel at your meaningless proclamation. Have your equally special birthday cake. Perhaps then you’d get down to the real work of fighting for the rights you lack.
And for your sake, I hope you find enough people who care about your heteronormative enterprise.
Good God, where’s Santana Lopez when you need her to go all Lima Heights Adjacent on some dumbasses?
Hell, she’d tag along with that Nazi-punching passerby to make a badass ass-kicking duo. Ryan Murphy, hop on that s***.
And with that, I quote Lindsay Ellis to conclude my thoughts on this exhausting travesty:
“I give up on this subplot.”
Thanks for reading. Stay safe and take care of yourselves and each other.