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LETTER: The LGBTQ2 community needs to be visible to protect rights, itself

<p>Roller derby skaters carry the rainbow flag during the annual Pride Parade in Charlottetown in this July 2015 file photo.</p>
<p>Roller derby skaters carry the rainbow flag during the annual Pride Parade in Charlottetown in this July 2015 file photo.</p>

Guest columnist Matthew MacInnis strongly answers oft heard question, “Why not a straight parade?”

“Why don’t we have a straight parade?" In response to Beverely Riggs of Stratford, and all others who may have the same questions that Beverely does, this letter is for you.

I am gay. I am very proud of myself. Not just because I’m gay, but also because I am able to live my life answering to me and only me. I don’t have to answer to you or anyone about my life.

I am very lucky to live in Canada, where I have legal rights as a gay person, where I can get married to a man, where I can be free to my own gender identity. Some people in other countries are not as lucky as me. They don’t have those rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, Beverely, neither myself nor the LGBTQ2 people around the world are as lucky as you.

As a straight person, you are the top of the “normal” ladder in society. What you don’t have to worry about is your life being affected by your sexuality. You don’t worry or care what people think if you hold your husband’s hand walking down the street. You don’t have to come out of the closet as straight and worry your family and friends won’t accept you.

You don’t have to consider where are safe places for you to be just because of your sexuality. Imagine being persecuted, bashed, hated, yelled at and ultimately afraid just for being who you are? Straight people are the “normal” in society and we all trickle down from there. Gay people are expected to fit into your heteronormative world. The world caters to you by default. The world is your straight parade.

I don’t want to be offensive, or rude. I really don’t. The LGBTQ2 community needs to be visible. It starts with someone like you opening up your arms and your mind to the world and saying “yes” instead of “why.” Beverely, I challenge you to be the ally that we need in this community.

Before you publicly denounce or question why, type your question into Google and see what comes up. I’m sure you could get quite an education on pride and why it is still happening and why it happened in the first place.

All the best and happy reading.

Matthew MacInnis of Charlottetown is formerly from Stellarton, N.S. He is the production stage manager of the Charlottetown Festival.

“Why don’t we have a straight parade?" In response to Beverely Riggs of Stratford, and all others who may have the same questions that Beverely does, this letter is for you.

I am gay. I am very proud of myself. Not just because I’m gay, but also because I am able to live my life answering to me and only me. I don’t have to answer to you or anyone about my life.

I am very lucky to live in Canada, where I have legal rights as a gay person, where I can get married to a man, where I can be free to my own gender identity. Some people in other countries are not as lucky as me. They don’t have those rights and freedoms. Unfortunately, Beverely, neither myself nor the LGBTQ2 people around the world are as lucky as you.

As a straight person, you are the top of the “normal” ladder in society. What you don’t have to worry about is your life being affected by your sexuality. You don’t worry or care what people think if you hold your husband’s hand walking down the street. You don’t have to come out of the closet as straight and worry your family and friends won’t accept you.

You don’t have to consider where are safe places for you to be just because of your sexuality. Imagine being persecuted, bashed, hated, yelled at and ultimately afraid just for being who you are? Straight people are the “normal” in society and we all trickle down from there. Gay people are expected to fit into your heteronormative world. The world caters to you by default. The world is your straight parade.

I don’t want to be offensive, or rude. I really don’t. The LGBTQ2 community needs to be visible. It starts with someone like you opening up your arms and your mind to the world and saying “yes” instead of “why.” Beverely, I challenge you to be the ally that we need in this community.

Before you publicly denounce or question why, type your question into Google and see what comes up. I’m sure you could get quite an education on pride and why it is still happening and why it happened in the first place.

All the best and happy reading.

Matthew MacInnis of Charlottetown is formerly from Stellarton, N.S. He is the production stage manager of the Charlottetown Festival.

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