Homophobe claimed Pride Month is disrespectful to the military. Then, a veteran shut him down.

We're about halfway through pride month, which means we're also about halfway through every one of the hot takes about why we shouldn't have pride month, why it's too long, and why we don't need it anymore. SPOILER ALERT: WE DO. If only for the fact that there are so many people demanding that the LGBT+ community justify their existence.

Equality didn't happen just because gay people can marry now. And while things are markedly better than they were when I came out in 2002, homophobia and heterosexism still exist and there are still public officials out there (hi Alabama!) demanding that homosexuals be killed.


This year has also seen the added bonus of white supremacists (and those perilously adjacent) creating a "straight pride" parade in order to troll the "privilege" of those who identify as LGBT+. Because nothing says "privilege isn't real," like members of majority groups banding together to take something back from marginalized communities!

Fortunately, people are out here fighting the ignorance with education and support. In Oklahoma, for instance, a straight guy transformed his truck to challenge stereotypes and show love for those who've faced bigotry; on the celebrity front, Taylor Swift released a Pride anthem that you've got to admit (even if you don't like it) will likely change the minds of some of her more socially conservative fans. (That's another thing about Pride: We're going to need it until coming out in support of LGBT+ people isn't seen at all controversial or a "power move" for celebrities.)

Here's one more for the annals of "people correcting those arguing in bad faith." In the tradition of smugly asking when International Men's day is (It's November 19th!) on International Women's Day, a meme's been going around asking why Pride lasts an entire month when veterans get only a day to celebrate what they've done for this country. And a blistering Facebook response from a member of the military, which made the front page of Reddit, has got a lot of people's attention.



Reddit

"The entire month of May is Military Appreciation Month and has been since 1999," wrote the Facebook user.

"I have never once had my life threatened due to being in the military however members of the LGBTQ+ communities are threatened and killed every single day over something they have no control over."

After pointing out that being gay is still illegal in many, many places around the world (even in the US, we're still fighting for federal protection from discrimination in all 50 states), the author closed with this: "This post is incredibly ignorant and if you'd and the others who've shared this post truely [sic] cared about military members then you'd know May was NMAM and not just us as an argument for your homophobia."

The writer's got more than a point. There's no reason to pit communities against each other. And when people do so just for the purpose of denigrating others — a quick google search would have made it clear that NMAM happens every May, so it would have been easy to raise awareness if that was the goal! — they're showing that they don't actually care about the causes they purport to be championing. They're just trying to tear others down.

And that's just another reminder of why we still need Pride.

popular
terimakasih0/Pixabay

When Iowa Valley Junior-Senior High School principal Janet Behrens observed her students in the cafeteria, she was dismayed to see that they spent more time looking down at their phones than they did looking at and interacting with each other. So last year, she implemented a new policy that's having a big impact.

Keep Reading Show less
popular

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

RELATED: This fascinating comic explains why we shouldn't use some Native American designs.

Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

popular
The Guardian / YouTube

Earlier this month, a beluga whale caught the world's attention by playing fetch with a rugby ball thrown by South African researchers off the waters of Norway.

The adorable video has been watched over 20 million times, promoting people across the globe to wonder how the whale became so comfortable around humans.

It's believed that the whale, known as Hvaldimir, was at some point, trained by the Russian military and was either released or escaped.

Keep Reading Show less
popular
Facebook / Maverick Austin

Your first period is always a weird one. You know it's going to happen eventually, but you're not always expecting it. One day, everything is normal, then BAM. Puberty hits you in a way you can't ignore.

One dad is getting attention for the incredibly supportive way he handled his daughter's first period. "So today I got 'The Call,'" Maverick Austin started out a Facebook post that has now gone viral.

The only thing is, Austin didn't know he got "the call." His 13-year-old thought she pooped her pants. At that age, your body makes no sense whatsoever. It's a miracle every time you even think you know what's going on.

Keep Reading Show less
popular