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Attending Pride as a Straight Ally: Dos and Don'ts!
Allies should feel welcome to attend pride, so long as they are respectful and are okay with keeping in the background. You're here, you’re not queer, so sit in the back and cheer us on!
DO: clap, cheer, and smile!
Wave your rainbow paraphernalia around! Go nuts! Pride is a celebration!
DO: wear rainbow colours if you want.
Everyone can be as colourful and exuberant as they want at pride! Woo!
DO: wear shirts/pins/buttons/etc. that proclaim your support or identify yourself as an ally.
Some perennial faves include “straight but not narrow,” “heteroflexible,” or quite simply, “straight ally.”
DON'T: get up on the floats.
The floats are one of the main attractions of the parade, so if you’re straight, GET OFF THE DAMN FLOAT. This isn’t about you!
DON’T shout out homophobic slurs.
This should go without saying, but I thought I’d mention it, just in case. If you’re homophobic, why the hell are you at pride? Go home and never speak again, like you’re supposed to. Thanks.
DON’T touch people without their consent!
It's true that gay men have a rep of touching women’s bodies inappropriately without their consent, but straight men are THE ABSOLUTE WORST for this, so let’s keep it simple: ASK a stranger if it’s okay to hold their hand, hug them, etc. BEFORE you do it. Otherwise, keep your hands to yourself!
DON’T hit on lesbians/queer girls! (If you're straight)
Sure, there are straight girls who attend pride, but for the most part, almost every woman you’ll see at pride is queer or lesbian, and they DO NOT want to be approached or hit on by men. This also goes for bisexual guys – DON’T hit on women at pride; that is so hetero of you. C’mon now.
And I KNOW there are at least a couple straight girls out there who get some weird thrill from trying to pick up lesbians, and I see you. Stop right now (thank you very much).
DON’T pretend to be gay/queer if you’re not.
Don’t dress up as a stud lesbian or a twink if you’re actually a straight girl or guy. “Dressing up” as gay people perpetuates (often offensive) stereotypes, so it’s not a gag, plus you're essentially mocking the very group of people you are alleging to support.
DON’T go to gay clubs during pride.
This is more an annoyance than anything else, but when you think about it, it's also lowkey disrespectful. Gay clubs are already full of straight people (mainly straight girls), so on pride it’s extra frustrating to see so many heteros in a GAY CLUB. For GAYS. Do you see what I'm getting at here?
It's like going to a week-long bridal festival, then showing up at the bridal-themed events and seeing them full of divorce lawyers... awkward. So please keep your hetero self out of gay clubs during pride, since you can go to literally ANY OTHER CLUB and be openly straight without facing scorn or ridicule.