Why NYC's Gay Pride Parade Is Letting This Guy March Under a "Straight Is Great" Banner

Why NYC's Gay Pride Parade Is Letting This Guy March Under a "Straight Is Great" Banner

As the dominant culture, it would seem like there's plenty of evidence that "straight is great." But according to Catholic League President Bill Donohue, society is lacking somewhat in straight pride, which is why he has asked to march in this year's New York City Gay Pride Parade under the banner "Straight is Great."

Donohue's sentiments are a reaction to the recent withdrawal of corporate and political sponsors of both the NYC and Boston St. Patrick's Day Parades because of their bans on LGBT groups participating in those parades. In a guest appearance on conservative host Steve Malzberg's show on Wednesday, Donohue explained why he was planning on filling out an application to march in this year's celebration of LGBT equality.

This reactionary mentality, born primarily out of fear of loss of power by a majoritarian identity or community, is the same one represented by the recent White Man March. No one turned up to the White Man March last weekend, and it is doubtful that Donohue's statement will amount to anything more than empty rhetoric.  

Donohue's anti-gay bigotry has been well documented in social media, which he blames for refusing to "tell the truth about the gay death style." If, as he has been quoted as saying, "[T]he gay community has yet to apologize to straight people for all the damage that they have done," then the modus operandi of his "Straight is Great" agenda is glaringly apparent.


His fear, symptomatic of the majority's fear, furthermore, also manifests in the misperception of the power differential between majority and minority communities, whereby the majority over-inflates and exaggerates the size of a minority group in order to justify the false notion of that group being a "threat." In Donohue's skewed worldview, the gay agenda has taken over, so his politics call for explicit discriminatory practices against gay and lesbian couples, in order to keep the majority as the majority and in power.

What Donohue seems to not comprehend is that this parade is a gay pride parade, a single, annual event in which a specific space and time are allocated to a minority community to celebrate their existence. The gay pride parade is not retaliatory or reactionary, especially as it has been corporatized in recent years. Indeed, it is quite assimilationist. 

This is why parade organizers announced today that the Catholic leader is certainly welcome to stride alongside the rainbow crew. In a press release, David Studinski, the March Director of NYC Pride welcomed Donohue, states he "and his group are free to participate in the 2014 March. His group’s presence affirms the need for this year’s Pride theme, 'We Have Won When We're One.' Straight is great — as long as there's no hate." 

Doublind down, GLAAD President Sarah Kate Ellis said she wanted to personally invite Bill Donohue to march alongside of her during the march.


"As a fellow Irish New Yorker, I'm hoping Bill will march with me at NYC Pride," Ellis said in a statement. "I look forward to the day when I can march openly with Bill in the NYC St. Patrick's Day Parade, and not be turned away because of who I am."

Your move, Donohue.



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Marcie Bianco

Dr. Marcie Bianco is a Staff Writer at Mic, a Contributing Editor at Curve Magazine, and an adjunct associate professor at Hunter College. She has contributed to AfterEllen, Feministing, The Feminist Wire, The Huffington Post, Lambda Literary, XO Jane, and The Women’s Review of Books. She writes and lectures about ethics, from feminism to race relations. Her current writing projects include a manuscript about lesbian academic affairs and a collection of feminist essays.

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