Straight Pride: finally, someone is standing up for the oppressed heterosexual majority

"Coming out as heterosexual in today's politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience," claims a new lobbying group. Perhaps it is . . . in Opposite Land.

I remember quite distinctly coming out to my family, as I am sure every gay man does. Not wishing to bore you with the details, let me condense the experience. My sisters responded with “yeah, and?” My mother went around the house for a month hunched in the approximate shape of a question mark, muttering “what did I do? what did I say to make you like this?”

My father was more enterprising; he chased me around the house with a pair of scissors in order to cut my hair, presumably believing my long locks to be the source of my desire for other men, as if I were some sort of Gay Samson. An aunt, a woman built like a filing cabinet and with about as much compassion, sat me down and tried to convince me to find a nice girl, have a family and engage in my “hobby” discreetly. Ironically, some years later I discovered that her husband had similar hobbies.

I have a less clear memory of my sisters coming out as straight. Perhaps because it never happened. Some of their boyfriends were introduced, some were not, some were liked, some were not, weddings happened, grandchildren, the odd divorce. So, when I read on Straight Pride UK's Facebook page that, apparently, “coming out as heterosexual in today's politically correct world is an extremely challenging experience” which is “often distressing and evokes emotions of fear, relief, pride and embarrassment”, I was left a little baffled.

Maybe I came from a really modern family. Maybe in other families when a son tells his father he likes girls, the father chases him around the house trying to effect an impromptu effete coiffure to turn him gay. Maybe Straight Pride UK are utterly deluded. Or maybe it is all a massive wind-up. I am still holding some hope it is just that - an elaborate prank, but it is looking increasingly elaborate and so increasingly unlikely. So, I read on.

“Homosexuals have more rights than any sector of society.” That's right, privileged black lesbian on minimum wage. Stop grumbling, transsexual teacher hounded by tabloid papers. And you too, slightly delicate kid, leaving school before last period under some pretext to avoid another beating - quit your kvetching. You all have more rights than, say – ooh – a white, straight rich man. Want to know why? Because you have “the right to take over city streets, dress ridiculously, and parade with danger and contempt”.

Blogger Oliver Hotham tried to elucidate some of these matters, with the good folks at Straight Pride UK. The result was a press release which was then retracted and Hotham threatened with legal action. You can read it here, if you can bear truly, mind-numbingly awful grammar. “Straight Pride admire President Vladimir Putin of Russia for his stance and support of his country’s traditional values”, they explain in said release. “Straight Pride support what Russia and Africa is doing, these country have morals and are listening to their majorities.” (Surely, that should be Russia and Bongobongoland.)

A screenshot from the Straight Pride website.

 

So, there you have it, in a nutshell. Apparently, people being beaten, tortured and murdered, for no reason other than their sexual orientation, is this group's idea of "pride" in being straight. Obliquely, they also assert their inalienable right to use no punctuation whatsoever and capitalise things like The Homosexual Agenda, the Pink Mafia, and Anything Else That Might Sound Dramatic. 

They are recruiting, if you are interested “and are a straight, married, single heterosexual”. Consider their invitation carefully. “Being heterosexual is the 'default setting' for the human race and the only moral and natural way that the human race can continue to grow and evolve.” What we, the Pink Mafia, must not do, is respond to this as if it somehow represents the feelings of some community. Other than a community of people used as extras in the film Deliverance, it really does not.

We will evolve, with the help and solidarity of our enlightened straight brothers and sisters. But we will continue to do so in the opposable thumb direction, if that's okay with you, Straight Pride UK.

"The Pink Mafia", otherwise known as a gay pride march. Photo: Getty

Greek-born, Alex Andreou has a background in law and economics. He runs the Sturdy Beggars Theatre Company and blogs here You can find him on twitter @sturdyalex

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The Brexit select committee walkout is an ominous sign of things to come

Leavers walked out of a meeting of Hilary Benn's "gloomy" committee yesterday. Their inability to accept criticism could have disastrous consequences

“Hilary Benn isn’t managing a select committee. He’s managing an ecosystem.” That was the stark verdict of one member of the Commons' Brexit committee on its fitness for purpose yesterday. If its meeting on the eve of Article 50 is anything to go by, then Benn’s fragile biome might already be damaged beyond repair.

Unhappy with the content of its “gloomy” provisional 155-page report into the government’s Brexit white paper, leavers on the committee walked out of its meeting yesterday. The committee is a necessarily unwieldy creation and it would probably be unreasonable to expect it to agree unanimously on anything: it has 21 members where others have 11, so as to adequately represent Leavers, Remainers and the nations.

Disagreements are one thing. Debate and scrutiny, after all, are why select committees exist. But the Brexiteers’ ceremonial exodus augurs terribly for the already grim-looking trajectory of the negotiations to come. “As I understand it, they don’t like analysing the evidence that they have,” another pro-Remain member of the committee told me.

Therein lies the fundamental weakness of the Brexiteers’ position: they cannot change the evidence. As was the case with the 70 MPs who wrote to Lord Hall last week to accuse the BBC of anti-Brexit bias, they assume a pernicious selectivity on the part of Remainers and their approach to the inconvenient facts at hand. None exists.

On the contrary, there is a sense of resignation among some Remainers on the Brexit committee that their reports will turn out to be pretty weak beer as a consequence of the accommodations made by Benn to their Eurosceptic colleagues. Some grumble that high-profile Brexiteers lack detailed understanding of the grittier issues at play – such as the Good Friday Agreement – and only value the committee insofar as it gives them the opportunity to grandstand to big audiences.

The Tory awkward squad’s inability to accept anything less than the studied neutrality that plagued the Brexit discourse in the run-up to the referendum – or, indeed, any critical analysis whatsoever – could yet make an already inauspicious scenario unsalvageable. If they cannot accept even a watered-down assessment of the risks ahead, then what happens when those risks are made real? Will they ever accept the possibility that it could be reality, and not the Remain heretics, doing Britain down? How bad will things have to get before saving face isn’t their primary imperative?

Yesterday's pantomime exit might have been, as one committee member told me, “hysterically funny”. What’s less amusing is that these are the only people the prime minister deigns to listen to.

Patrick Maguire writes about politics and is the 2016 winner of the Anthony Howard Award.