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'Straight Pride' T-Shirts on Sale at Michigan Tea Party Rally


The Michigan Messenger happened upon a vendor selling "Straight Pride" T-shirts at a rally of the Tea Party Express in Lansing, Michigan:

Straightpride2  "The person selling the t-shirts told the Michigan Messenger that his company — the name of the company could not be made out on the tape due to a loud blast of noise, but it ended in 'free media' — was an official sponsor and financial supporter of the Tea Party Express, saying that they typically give 10-15 percent of their sales to the organization. He wore a button saying 'official sponsor.' ... Gay advocacy groups say the shirts are reminiscent of the 'white pride' slogan adopted by racist groups who oppose equality. 'It’s like white supremacy,' says Penny Gardner, president of the Lansing Association for Human Rights, a Lansing area lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights group. 'It’s as if they are saying the idea of supremacy is some how the American way. The American way is about equality, and equality is all we’re looking for.'" 

Said Marilyn Vogler, spokesperson for the Democratic Party’s LGBTA Caucus: “It is clear from events at the April 10 Tea Party Express rally on our capitol steps in Lansing that homophobia and racism are alive and well in Michigan. The day was hi-lighted by stark black and white ’straight pride’ shirts, calls to impeach Obama, a poster with a black hand holding a knife stabbing the Statue of Liberty. Certainly, Tea Party folk have a right to express their opinions, but homophobia and racism should not be tolerated, least of all by our elected officials.”

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  1. Hmmm, slippery slope. If we can say Gay Pride, why shouldn't they be able to say Straight Pride or White Power, etc.?

    My larger question is why any Gay people (Right Pride) would want to be associated with the people?

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 12, 2010 2:37:59 PM

  2. Learn to pick your battles people. It might make you uncomfortable to see "straight pride" or even "white power" but they have every right to say it or put in on a t-shirt.

    Put on a "Gay Pride" t-shirt if you want to fight back and keep it moving...

    Posted by: Marty | Apr 12, 2010 2:46:04 PM

  3. I would wear that shirt in a second for the irony factor.

    Posted by: Marcus | Apr 12, 2010 2:47:24 PM

  4. " If we can say Gay Pride, why shouldn't they be able to say Straight Pride or White Power, etc.?"

    Have white/straight people ever been oppressed in the United States, to the point where they have to look for ways to champion themselves?

    I dislike the term 'pride.' But it states that we are unapologetic about who we are, that we are a part of society and that would-be oppressors have to take notice. So until gays have equal rights everywhere, and until people stop thinking of homosexuality as an abomination, gay pride continues.

    Posted by: Zach | Apr 12, 2010 2:47:33 PM

  5. THEY have "every right"?

    WE HAVE NONE, KAPO!!!!!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | Apr 12, 2010 2:50:22 PM

  6. Because of the context, Derek. I believe that gay pride stems from the ongoing struggle to become accepted -- despite the obstacles, you're still proud of who you are. The "Straight Pride" slogan comes off as a statement of supremacy and total intolerance.

    Posted by: Andres | Apr 12, 2010 2:52:38 PM

  7. "Learn to pick your battles people. It might make you uncomfortable to see "straight pride" or even "white power" but they have every right to say it or put in on a t-shirt. "

    The right to be a bigot doesn't preclude being called on it.

    Posted by: Zach | Apr 12, 2010 2:52:38 PM

  8. There would be no "straight pride" merchandise if not to specifically mock or counter gay pride. This should be obvious.

    Posted by: Wes | Apr 12, 2010 2:56:15 PM

  9. I agree with Marcus. I want one just to wear around town while holding my boyfriend's hand.

    Posted by: MT | Apr 12, 2010 3:02:43 PM

  10. They're welcome to their T-shirts as far as I'm concerned. Nothing brands you as an insecure loser more than feeling the need to wear a shirt declaring that you're in the majority.

    Posted by: Ernie | Apr 12, 2010 3:03:07 PM

  11. Hmph.

    Guess they didn't think they would get away with "white pride" tee-shirts (though you KNOW they wanted to go there).

    And no, I actually have no problem with wearing this T-shirt or one saying "White Pride" for that matter but I would reserve every right to call them out for the homophobes and racists that they are.

    Posted by: Chitown Kev | Apr 12, 2010 3:03:09 PM

  12. If you saw one of these in the East Village, you wouldn't think twice about it as an ironic or humorous statement.

    On a table of other hateful and ignorant-themed paraphernalia, it just looks ridiculous. Could you imagine a person wearing this in all seriousness?

    Posted by: Gregoire | Apr 12, 2010 3:10:09 PM

  13. This all goes back to the fact that it is still somewhat socially acceptable to bash gay people. The major news organizations basically treat it as a valid difference of opinion rather than the obvious ridiculous bigotry it represents. Along the same lines is the talk about how we push homosexually by wanting to show same sex couples on TV, yet flip the channel and you see all kinds of hetero-sex EVERYWHERE. It is clearly a double standard. Can you imagine what would have happened if they came out with a T-shirt showing support only for intra-race marriage? The news networks would be all over that.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 12, 2010 3:17:09 PM

  14. Sounds to me like the Democratic Party is trying to use scare tactics. If they think this country is free of racism and homophobia then they're being ignorant. If they're offended by it then why don't they come out in favor for equal gay rights and pass ENDA DADT and gay marriage. They just using it as a tool to keep favor with gays and lesbians. Why haven't the "elected democratic officials" done something? Neither party is going help the gay and lesbian community, neither.

    Posted by: Name: | Apr 12, 2010 3:18:42 PM

  15. "Privileged Pride" just doesn't have the same ring to it, I guess.

    Posted by: Jesus | Apr 12, 2010 3:27:27 PM

  16. I, too, would wear the shirt for the irony. Or, even better, get some for my hetero friends to wear and I can wear a gay pride shirt and we could all go out dancing. :)

    Posted by: kybarsfang | Apr 12, 2010 3:36:41 PM

  17. Ah, irony. But it wouldn't be that funny unless you're a flaming queen. The irony needs to be dramatic. And reclaiming is the dumbest meme on the planet touted to justify internalized homophobia, or just defended by people too stupid to grasp that the only thing you're reclaiming is homophobia...which, doesn't need to be helped.

    but each time this comes up, clueless gays are found wondering why "pride" matters...well, ask a homophobe why sexuality matters, and you'll have your answer.

    Posted by: TANK | Apr 12, 2010 3:47:29 PM

  18. Wes, you are the most correct.

    Also this site used to have some of the best shirts, My favorite was a man and a woman like on the shirt above but embedded into a "one way" sign. Hahaha, I wonder if I still have that shirt, we drew a penis on the lady, my mom might have thrown it away.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Apr 12, 2010 3:49:04 PM

  19. I would wager that the majority of you who would wear such a t-shirt, however ironically, are under the age of 40. And Derek, I'm really surprised at you defending such a thing - you certainly know the value of context. This is really disgusting. But with the current surge in conservatism in the country, hardly surprising. Get ready for much more of this fuckery.

    Posted by: wtf | Apr 12, 2010 3:52:52 PM

  20. If someone would wear this shirt, I'd rather they go ahead and wear it. At least I'll know where their head's at.

    Posted by: Sean Mac | Apr 12, 2010 4:06:07 PM

  21. I've never really understood the term Pride, but I guess it has a better ring than "Gay Lack of Shame." So if these people lack shame in being straight, good for them.

    Because they obviously also lack shame in being morons. You know whoever thought this up was so proud of themselves, yet I've seen plenty of variations on this over the years (it's really not too far a cry from "Adam + Eve, not Adam + Steve"). Frankly I don't care how a bunch of teabaggers in Michigan are spending their money, and I hope the shirts cost $50 apiece.

    Posted by: Paul R | Apr 12, 2010 4:06:58 PM

  22. Gosh life must be hard when you're 90% of the population, eh?

    Posted by: Gridlock | Apr 12, 2010 4:13:41 PM

  23. Not all conservatives are hateful bigots. Just like not all Liberals are. Please don't judge all those who want Conservative politics (less government interference in our lives and pocketbooks) by the behavior of a few. For me personally Conservative means wanting freedom, true freedom, for people to lives their lives as they chose. Without government interference. Being Conservative, to me, is not about being the morality police. It's about protecting each others rights to be who we chose, live how we want and pursue happiness without imposing the cost of our choices on others. It's one thing to take pride in yourself or something..it's another to use that pride to humiliate or limit the lives of others.

    Posted by: Knottie | Apr 12, 2010 4:14:06 PM

  24. It is simply free speech and somewhat amusing. I think we should all buy one.

    Posted by: Jon | Apr 12, 2010 4:42:59 PM

  25. "The right to be a bigot doesn't preclude being called on it." I an certainly agree with you on that.

    @WTF: I don't think I made my point clear if anyone thought I was defending this shirt (or, the message behind it).

    I'm simply saying that living in America means we have the right to freedom of speech. Sometimes, it sucks. I honestly don't know what to think when hate speech is brought into the mix (which I don't think this qualifies as). It highly offends me, but, I've been known to say some things that I'm sure someone who doesn't agree with me would call hate speech, so...

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Apr 12, 2010 4:56:46 PM

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