On yesterday’s episode of “Savage Lovecast,” a straight listener called in with a question for host Dan Savage about etiquette for straight people attending Pride.
“Don’t eat the pussy at Pride, it’s not for you,” Savage dryly offered, “…unless it’s bi pussy, in which case, go crazy.”
Then in his Savage-ian way, Dan inexplicably went from sharp-tongued one-liner to gay preacher-man.
“Pride is in many ways a manifestation of queer people in the streets making themselves visible not to each other, but to straight people, straight culture and a straight world that for most of recorded history wanted to pretend that we did not exist.”
He went on to tell the caller that being a straight person attending Pride is not an intrusion, not a violation, but rather partly (and largely) the point of Pride.
When we are in the streets and we are the majority we don’t start straight-bashing people; we don’t get all our revenge on the gay-bashers. You are not going to be bashed. You may even get laid because bisexual ladies are a big part of pride.
The only thing you really don’t have to do is walk up to everyone you meet and announce loudly that you’re straight. If you are straight and you are at Pride, someone may assume that you are gay.
If that makes you uncomfortable–so uncomfortable that you have to wear a great big ’straight but not narrow’ t-shirt to make sure everybody knows that you’re not one of ’them’–maybe you should stay home. But if you’re just there to have fun and to see it and participate in that queer visibility thing by looking at us then you’re golden.
Savage then articulately summarized what Pride is all about.
When you go to Pride you see dykes on bikes, you see the queer christian organizations, you see the leather guys, you see the drag queens, you see the twinks shaking it on flatbed trucks blasting dance music, you see the middle-aged regular roly-poly queers, you see the gay dads and lesbian moms and their families.
What you see is a million different ways to be queer.
I think the message in Pride for straight people–and why I think straight people should go–is that there should be more than one way to be a straight person too. That there is a script written for straight people about how you’re supposed to live your life and who you’re supposed to be and that script is confining and stultifying and restricting and straight people to need to break out of that. I think what a lot of straight people leave with is ’Wow, there’s so many ways to be queer maybe I can conceive of perhaps a different way to be straight.’