A Straight Pride flag? Chipman, ya gotta be kidding me.

A Straight Pride flag? Chipman, ya gotta be kidding me.

When I was a child, I remember asking my mother – “How come there is Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but no Kid’s Day?” She responded, “Every day is kid’s day”.

Flash ahead a whole bunch of years and my daughter, when she was younger, asked me a similar question – How come they talk about Black Lives Matter? Don’t all lives matter? A perfectly logical question, but it gave me the opportunity to get into that conversation, explaining that Black Lives Matter is a reaction to the difficulty and danger that goes with growing up black in America. To minimize that by countering with All Lives Matter simply shows either an ignorance of white privilege or a purposeful indifference.

And now we have Chipman. Who even knew there is a Straight Pride flag? Who, on God’s green earth decided we need that?

A lot of people have registered their disgust, and apparently the Chipman Village Council either saw where they were wrong to fly the damned thing, or the pressure got to them. Either way they took it down.

 Photo: straight.com

Photo: straight.com

But while there has been a groundswell of opposition on social media and elsewhere, there are also a lot of voices, echoing my innocent childhood question and my daughter’s (I hasten to add when she was younger) wondering where the acknowledgement for our pride was. In this case, if there’s a gay pride flag, why not a straight pride flag?

 Ronin Shinizu was bullied so much for joining his school’s cheerleader squad that he committed suicide. He was 12. Photo: newnownext.com

Ronin Shinizu was bullied so much for joining his school’s cheerleader squad that he committed suicide. He was 12. Photo: newnownext.com

The answer of course, is that we don’t need one. For gays, it is an acknowledgement of what they had to go through to gain some basic rights, rights that the rest of us take for granted. But it’s even more basic than that. When I think back to my school days and how tough life was for the few gay people we were aware of, it’s pretty understandable they would feel a need to recognize the bullying and persecution they went through. It’s not about celebrating being gay, it’s about acknowledging the achievement of some hard earned rights. And it is about telling especially young gay people that they should not be ashamed of their sexuality. Gay pride is a way to send a message that they are not alone, that gays are here, that they plan to stay here, and there is nothing wrong with that. I say power to them.

 Fredericton Pride Parade 2018 Photo: mynewbrunwick.com

Fredericton Pride Parade 2018 Photo: mynewbrunwick.com

I don’t want to pile on to the condemnation of Chipman Council or the Chipman Mayor, or even the man and his friends who convinced the council to fly the straight pride flag. I expect the mayor and council, and maybe even those who hatched the flag idea, simply didn’t think it through. That’s the benefit of the doubt. The other possible conclusions are less kind.

As I saw in one of those memes, if you are straight you shouldn’t be put out because you don’t have the equivalent of a gay pride parade or flag, you should simply be grateful you don’t need them.

Or as my mother would probably say if she were still with us “Every day is straight pride day. Now stop being so stupid.”

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