Dec 8, 2014

25 Examples of Heterosexual Privilege


Race has always been a hot topic here in the United States. But with recent events such as Ferguson, the film Dear White People, and John Stewart’s viral showdown with Bill O’Riley, talk is hotter than ever. Numerous think-pieces and social commentary have invaded media outlets, particularly on the subject of white privilege. Just in case you've been living under a rock, let me explain the concept. White privilege is the notion that certain advantages and/or immunities have been granted to and enjoyed by white people beyond those extended to all others. Some whites, e.g. Bill O’Riley, dispute the validity of white privilege. Others are, or have been until now, simply unaware. However, if anyone was to take an objective look at the issue, they would have a
difficult time disproving its reality. Supporting evidence is ever present and can be seen in the day-to-day interactions of the general public. As a person of color I’m glad this is getting the national attention it deserves. One can only hope that positive change will result from all the dialogue taking place. But if nothing else is gained, at least people are now cognizant of the matter. I wish an equal movement existed on the topic of heterosexual privilege. 

Now before you start with the bullshit, I assure you this is a real thing, and just as prevalent as white privilege. For many, including members of the LGBT community, heterosexual privilege is probably an unfamiliar term. There’s been some mention here and there, but not to the extent of white privilege. But regardless, heterosexual privilege takes on a similar premise. It’s the idea that there are certain societal benefits afforded to those who identify as “straight". If you're a heterosexual I would imagine it to be fairly easy to unconsciously enjoy these benefits. However, any gay man or woman can readily point out the advantages typically withheld from them as SGL (same gender loving) individuals.

The following is just a short list of those privileges:
  • Never being taught that who you are is perverse and an abomination 
  • Being bestowed automatic and general social acceptance
  • Being part of a majority (sexuality)
  • Never worrying about being the only heterosexual in a group/social setting (work, class, etc.)
  • Not having to perpetually “come out”
  • Forgoing the concern of being treated differently based upon your sexuality
  • Never having people change their views about you once they learn of your sexuality 
  • Never facing family rejection and ostracism because of your sexuality
  • Never being subjected to reparative or conversion therapy
  • Going to and fro without the concern of harassment, physical harm or death because of your sexuality 
  • Not having to consider moving to a different part of the country were heterosexuals exist in greater numbers, are more accepted, and have a better standard of living
  • Having a healthy amount of positive, accurate, and VARIED media representation/portrayals
  • Having larger dating pools
  • Marrying legally and in your state of choice
  • Publicly kissing, hugging, holding  hands, and caressing your spouse without the threat of negative backlash from bystanders 
  • Not being asked about your sexual position, or other personal questions about your sex life
  • Having an abundant supply of positive examples when it comes to romantic relationships
  • Learning about your type of romance and future family unit as child from Disney movies and other children programming 
  • Adopting, raising and working with children free from the speculation of inappropriate behavior, or the belief that you will force your sexuality on them
  • Being deemed suitable parents regardless of your preparation and ability to provide
  • Practicing your faith/religion without significant condemnation and judgment based upon who you love and want to build a life with.
  • Never being accused of forcing an “agenda” or “lifestyle” on others when simply being who you are; or when lobbying for fair treatment, representation, and equal rights/protections under the law
  • Playing organized sports without having your sexuality eclipse your talent and ability 
  • Talking, acting and dressing as you choose without being a reflection of all heterosexuals
  • Not being fired, denied a promotion, or working in a hostile environment because of your sexuality
This is a list of twenty five, but I know for sure there’s more. If you're a gay brother or sister reading right now, go to the comment section and add any privileges left out. And then share this with a heterosexual counterpart to enlist their thoughts. Do you think there will ever come a time when these things will no longer ring true? Do they warrant mainstream attention and the effort for change? Or should gays suck it up and accept that we all face struggles based upon our race, gender, sexuality, class, religion, etc. Give us your take below!
Post a Comment