BY ROB SALERNO: It took a lot of courage, but Sao Paulo’s city council has finally taken
steps to acknowledge an often overlooked, powerless minority group: Straight People.
A simple majority of Sao Paulo’s city legislators voted to declare the
third Sunday of December “Heterosexual Pride Day.” It must be
approved by the city’s mayor before it becomes law.
According to the Associated Press, legislators said Heterosexual Pride
Day is needed because gay people enjoy special rights that straight people in
Brazil don’t. Like the right to have a gay pride parade on the city’s main
thoroughfare. The sponsor of the bill told AP that he has “no trouble
coexisting with gays as long as their behaviour is normal.” Which is
reassuring, because otherwise this would sound pretty homophobic.
No wait — it still sounds pretty homophobic.
And for that matter, what is “normal” behaviour? Especially
during a parade? If the heteros march for Straight Pride, I suppose it will be
a bunch of men and women holding hands while pushing strollers?
Unfortunately, this kind of thinking is not confined to Brazil.
In Toronto, we have a parade in early December that may as
well be called “Heterosexual Pride Day” — the Santa Claus Parade.
And it has always featured people in outlandish, spectacular costumes behaving
abnormally. Some of the clowns even walk the entire parade route on their
hands! That’s pretty abnormal to me.
The same could be said for Caribana (no, I will not use the new name),
for that matter. None of the Trinidadians I know wear peacock tails and headdresses
in their everyday lives. That’s what makes the parade special.