My lifelong struggle? I am a straight white man
Seán Moncrieff: Gays, Muslims, feminists, people of colour, students ... The world is run by everyone but us
Milo Yiannopoulos: “Like Jesus, he is suffering on my behalf.” Photograph: Sam Hodgson/The New York Times
I am a white straight man. This has been my struggle.
When I was young, I had to cope with years of self-loathing, mostly due to the unabashed disgust of my parents when I revealed to them that I liked girls. They tried to convince themselves, and me, that it was a phase, that I could receive electric-shock treatment or perhaps an exorcism to rid me of my perversion: and when none of that worked, all they could do was plead with me not to act on my unnatural urges. And never, ever, tell anyone.
One could argue that we now live in more enlightened times. In many parts of the world, mixed gender unions are legal and at least I can be open about my sexuality. But don’t confuse that with it being easy. Heterophobic commentary may be increasingly unacceptable, but my sense is that this simply drives it underground. The LGBTQ+ hegemony is far from over: homosexuality is still regarded as the ‘norm’, making the rest of us ‘abnormal’. Just look at all the letters they use. Soon, there will be none left for anyone else.
But those self-proclaimed ‘normal’ people are angry now. Infuriated by the mere notion of having to make room for others not the same as them, of having to show those others some respect, they take to anonymous online abuse, even violence. According to figures from last June, hate-crimes against the hetero community have more than doubled over the last five years in the UK. And much of the motivation for this is that they feel they can’t openly express their hatred anymore; that this makes them, the majority, an oppressed minority, robbed of their right to free speech.
Yet every summer I and other members of my community have to make ourselves scarce while so-called Pride events take over our cities and towns. Politicians, businesses, even the gardaí, drape themselves in the rainbow colours. No one dares speak out against it. No one dares say they’d rather not be gay, thank you very much.
Compare all that to the brave souls who ventured out during the summer to take part in Straight Pride marches in the US. Organised by a group called Super Fun Happy America – a deliberately non-antagonistic title – the marchers were met with vats of bile and revulsion.
Admittedly, the turnout for the Straight Pride marches was small, and some claimed this was due to a lack of interest, even embarrassment at the ridiculousness of the event. But far more likely is that this was proof – if proof were needed – of how fearful a place this world still is for the straight community. Who could blame us for wanting to remain hidden?
Others claimed the events were little more than provocation, another example of childish and pointless 21st-century protest, where to offend is registered as some sort of victory.
But all these claims are nothing but pathetic attempts at character assassination against the organisers of such events, particularly Milo Yiannopoulos (born Milo Hanrahan – we can claim him!) who, despite being a member of the ruling gay elite, risked it all by agreeing to be Grand Marshall of the Boston Straight Pride parade.
Depressingly, people like Milo are all too rare: willing to endure opprobrium and abuse for taking a moral stance. Certainly, there’s no benefit in it for him: no book deals or speaking tours or bogus college grant schemes. Like Jesus, he is suffering on my behalf; and not just on this issue. Time and again, Milo has valiantly pointed out what we straight white men have known for some time: that the world is run not just by the gays, but also by Muslims, feminists, people of colour, leftists, college students, George Soros, Hollywood, and the European Union. The world is run by everyone but us.