Heterosexual Privlidge

7 May
  • I can be pretty sure that my roommates. hall-mates and classmates will be comfortable with my sexual orientation.
  • If I pick up a magazine, watch TV, or play music, I can be certain my sexual orientation will be represented.
  • When I talk about my heterosexuality (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I will not be accused of pushing my sexual orientation onto others.
  • I do not have to fear that if my family or friends find out my sexual orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical, or psychological consequences.
  • I did not grow up with games that attack my sexual orientation (like fag tag or smear the queer)
  • I am not accused of being abused, warped, or psychologically confused because of my sexual orientation.
  • I can go home from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped or feared because of my sexual orientation.
  • I am never asked to speak for everyone who is heterosexual.
  • I can be sure that my classes will require materials that testify to the existence of people of my sexual orientation.
  • People don’t ask why I made my choice of sexual orientation.
  • People don’t ask when I made my choice of sexual orientation
  • People don’t ask why I made my choice to be public about my sexual orientation.
  • I do not have to fear revealing my sexual orientation to friends or family.  It’s assumed.
  • My sexual orientation was never associated with a closet.
  • People of my gender do not try to convince me to change my sexual orientation.
  • I don’t have to defend my heterosexuality.
  • I can easily find a religious community that will not exclude me for being heterosexual.
  • I can count on finding a doctor or therapist willing and able to talk about my sexuality.
  • I am guaranteed to find sex education literature for couples with my sexual orientation.
  • Because of my sexual orientation, I do not need to worry that people will harass me.
  • I have no need to qualify my straight identity.
  • My masculinity/femininity is not challenged because of my sexual orientation.
  • I am not identified by my sexual orientation.
  • I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my sexual orientation will not work against me.
  • If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has sexual orientation overtones.
  • When I rent or go to a movie theater, I can be sure I will not have trouble finding my sexual orientation represented.
  • I am guaranteed to find people of my sexual orientation in my classes/work, professors/supervisors, administration/corporate.
  • I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people do a double take or stare.
  • I can chose to not think politically about my sexual orientation.
  • I do not have to worry about telling my roommate about my sexuality.  It is assumed I am a heterosexual.
  • I can remain oblivious to the language and culture of LGBT folk without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
  • I can go for months without being called straight.
  • I’m not grouped because of my sexual orientation.
  • My individual behavior does not reflect on people who identify as heterosexual.
  • People do not assume I am experienced in sex or that I even have it merely based on my sexual orientation.
  • I can kiss a person of the opposite gender without being watched or stared at.
  • Nobody calls me straight with maliciousness
  • People can use terms that describe my sexual orientation and mean positive things (straight as an arrow, standing up straight, straightened out) instead of demeaning terms (that’s gay, queer)
  • I am not asked to think about why I’m straight
  • I can be open about my sexual orientation without worrying about my job.

We spent less than a day talking about sexual orientation in my human sexuality class.  We did a group exercise where we were asked to discuss and agree on a persons homosexuality to heterosexuality on a 7 point spectrum.  Awkward, felt attacked, scared.  Then we get this sheet on heterosexual privileged and one on a homo-normative approach.  We don’t even need to read it or answer questions, just attach it to our portfolio to prove we were there that day.  And to think my teacher is involved with our college LGBT group.

Lately I’ve been feeling a lot of strange things regarding my orientation.  I joined a craft group om Facebook and part of it is writing a little information about us.  I get things like I’m married with two kids….  but I’m hesitant to put I’m gay on there, they don’t know me and how will they react.  I didn’t speak up in class when we did the exercise and said I was gay.  In fact once their prejudices started showing I shut down.  The one’s in blue are one’s I have related to before, some extremely so.

11 Responses to “Heterosexual Privlidge”

  1. Becky Bee May 8, 2015 at 4:30 AM #

    Brilliant post and so true. I still hesitate to mention my sexuality sometimes in situations like in the craft group you described. It’s not right that we should have to feel as though we need to hesitate. Good luck on your journey.

    • mm172001 May 10, 2015 at 9:19 PM #

      Thanks, yes I’m surprised how often I pause and chose to say nothing.

  2. wildero64 May 8, 2015 at 8:00 AM #

    Yeah, it sucks to be treated like that. It’s really not fair but we can work on changing it gradually by being outspoken about it. Thank you for the post.

  3. prideinmadness May 8, 2015 at 9:13 AM #

    I can think of a few people who could benefit from this post! Thanks for writing it.

  4. Ziya Tamesis May 8, 2015 at 9:36 AM #


  5. manyofus1980 May 18, 2015 at 5:17 PM #

    So going to reblog this! X

  6. manyofus1980 May 18, 2015 at 5:18 PM #

    Reblogged this on A day in the life of an irish woman who is blind and commented:
    All these points are so true. As someone who is gay, I found this post to be a great read.

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