‘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.”


  1. says

    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?

  2. Marty says

    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…

  3. Zach says

    ” 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.

  4. says

    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.

  5. Zach says

    “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.

  6. says

    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.

  7. Chitown Kev says


    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.

  8. Gregoire says

    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?

  9. Mike says

    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.

  10. Name: says

    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.

  11. kybarsfang says

    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. :)

  12. TANK says

    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.

  13. Fenrox says

    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.

  14. wtf says

    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.

  15. Paul R says

    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.

  16. says

    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.

  17. says

    “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…

  18. wtf says

    how nice that you can live in your own world where conservatism means all those things, knottie. Welcome to reality, where conservative means less government regulation of big business and more government condemnation of those who exist outside the majority of white christian societal ‘norms’. Get real.

  19. Zach says

    “Please don’t judge all those who want Conservative politics (less government interference in our lives and pocketbooks) by the behavior of a few.”

    I didn’t see too many conservatives out protesting the massive (and ongoing) military expenditures of America’s foreign adventures. Nor have I seen them protesting the enclave mentality and blatant corruption of the Pentagon.

    When conservatives talk about wanting “less government”, they’re actually talking about “less government that we don’t like.”

    “For me personally Conservative means wanting freedom, true freedom, for people to lives their lives as they chose. ”

    That is not possible. Society is forced to slap any number of restraints on personal behaviour in order to ensure its functioning. Even the most extreme of wilderness libertarians only lives by virtue of hundreds of others who don’t choose his lifestyle. But it’s a hallmark of conservatism to focus on buzzwords: “freedom” “taxes” “government” without ever really considering implications and denying everyday complexities.

  20. Zach says

    And WTF is right. American conservatism has been so thoroughly subsumed by the Moral Majority crowd that only a generation of religious zealots dying off will produce a legitimate strain of ‘less government’ conservatism. Every moderate conservative suddenly becomes an ardent theist the moment they want the national spotlight. And no national conservative figure has tried to advance gay rights further than the most conservative Dem.

  21. Matt McD says

    This is so frustrating because I want to hate it, but I know if I do all those people are going to cry foul and jump on the whole “elitist gay agenda” wagon. The issue is that there are those who are ashamed to be gay, gay pride is a way of saying, “I don’t care if society disapproves I’m not going to be ashamed of who I am anymore!” I haven’t met or heard of a single straight person who is ashamed of being straight, so I really don’t see the need for them to reaffirm themselves. The only reason for wearing this shirt is to mock us. Instead of saying “We aren’t ashamed anymore.” They are saying, “We are superior.”

  22. says

    I was manning a booth at a gay pride festival in Tulsa, Oklahoma when a man who was clutching his wife a little too closely, says, “how come there aren’t any straight pride days?”

    His obviously gay friend replied, “because for you people, EVERY day is a straight pride day.”

  23. says

    Let them have their stupid little T-Shirts, but if I ever see someone wearing one I will probably hurl something at said shirt. Preferably a thick, tasty, strawberry shake that leaves a nice stain.

  24. Karen says

    Sadly, these have been around for YEARS… I’ve seen them all over knuckleheads here in San Diego. I have a love hate relationship with them. I hate the the sad bigoted message they portray, but I love that the wearer lets me know right away that I am dealing with a horrible asshole and I should stay far FAR away.

  25. Sam says

    It seem like some people find it impossible to accept the fact that everyone has the same rights (or at least that’s what the whole community supposedly fights for, right?).

    It’s easy to call anyone elses but yours efforts “bigotry” (and you’re Lilly white. of course), but it doesn’t change the fact in itself.

  26. Kyle says

    The homosexuals (yes, it homosexual, not gay. Gay means happy) needs to stop having the “woe is me” attitude. Christians and Jews have had it way worse than the homosexuals. I know some had died, but haven’t seen homosexuals lined up in a Coloseum to be killed just because of their belief, or even out in gas chambers. Homosexuals! Stop acting like you have it so bad.

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