Heterosexual Privilege

30 Sep

Chantell Walton, Diana Situ,  John DiChiaro, Angie Rubino, Nicholas Sanchez, Tanish Sethi, Dakshina Sabhnani

(The Advantages of being Straight in American Society)

Social Heterosexual Privileges include:

  • You can walk in public with your significant other and show affection in public (kiss, hold hands) without people staring, harassment or fear for your safety.
  • You are not questioned about your sexual orientation or asked to explain or defend your  sexuality (Heterosexuality is not something to be defended).
  • You can act, dress and talk as you choose without it being considered a reflection of your sexuality.
  • You can expect to be around others of your sexuality most of the time.  You do not have to worry about being the only non-heterosexual at school, work, or a social situation.
  • The ability to live with your partner openly and without fear, (i.e. talking about your relationship, vacations, family planning or traveling without fear of being harmed because of your sexual orientation)
  • You have the ability to adopt without your sexuality being an obstacle or raise children without the fear of having  them taken away from you because of your sexual orientation.
  • You have the ability to date in your teenage years without being confused or fear of social acceptance.
  • As a child not questioning your normalcy or assumed that you will grow up to be heterosexual (Homosexuals must “become” gay and “come out of the closet”).
  • Sexual promiscuity is not assumed. Nor are there any assumptions are made simply due to sexual orientation.
  • You will not be fired from your job or denied a promotion because of your sexual preference.
  • You are never asked to speak for or be the voice of everyone that is heterosexual.
  • You can approach the legal system, social service organizations and government agencies without fear of discrimination because of your sexuality.
  • The word “straight” is not used in a demeaning manner unlike the word “gay” which is used negatively in everyday communication. You can joke about your heterosexuality without being accused of pushing your sexual orientation on others.
  • You have the support & validation from your religious/spiritual community. Receiving social acceptance from neighbors, colleagues, etc…You do not have to fear about family or friends finding out about your sexual orientation.
  • You can easily move into a neighborhood where the residents will accept you. Or have to worry about finding an apartment owned by individuals & certain landlords who are reluctant to lease their property to homosexuals.
  • Your sexual orientation is represented in the media in a non stereotypical way. Heterosexuality is portrayed in the media more often; i.e. in Television, Movies, Magazines, Newspapers, etc.
  • Being employed as a pre-school teacher through high school without fear of being fired because it is assumed you will cause harm or corrupt children.
  • You do not have to worry that your sexual orienation will be a factor in finding a jobs primarily associated with spesific a gender (i.e. contsruction workers, flight attandants, etc…)
  • You have the ability to join & serve the military and be open about your sexuality without fear of being harrased or discriminated against. (i.e. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: which is the common term for the policy restricting the US military from efforts to discover or reveal closeted gay, lesbian, and bisexual service members or applicants, while barring those who are openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual from military service.)
  • You have the right to a Legal Marriage, which allows the following:
  1. Inheriting from your spouse automatically under probate laws.
  2. Public recognition and support for an intimate relationship (receiving cards or phone calls celebrating your commitments to a person; supporting activities and social expectations of longevity and stability for your committed relationships)
  3. Sharing health, auto and homeowners’ insurance policies.
  4. Immediate access to your loved ones in case of accident or emergency.
  5. Automatically owning property and other assets jointly.
  6. Joint taxes- filing, rates, tax laws that favor married people.
  7. Paid leave from your employment and condolences on grieving the death of your partner/lover and other members of your “family”

5 Responses to “Heterosexual Privilege”

  1. monicagarber1989 October 2, 2010 at 3:49 am #

    Heterosexuals in high school definitely have a lot easier time surviving coming to school every day as opposed to homosexuals. Most teenagers are very judgmental of how other teens behave, speak and dress themselves. Not many teenagers come out of the closet about being gay at that age, where as they usually reveal it later on in life due to the fear of how others will react. Very recently, a freshman at Rutgers University killed himself after his roommate, according to prosecutors, secretly streamed over the Internet his intimate encounter with another man. He was so embarrassed that other people saw his sexuality that he ended his life. Sadly, heterosexuals are a lot more comfortable in their own skin than homosexuals. I pray that this will end soon and everyone can feel equal no matter what sex they are attracted to. Tragedies like this can be easily prevented.

  2. ysamar October 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm #

    I can definitely agree that being a heterosexual is a lot easier to be in our society opposed to being a homosexual. I see nothing wrong with being homosexual but heterosexual has many privileges that heterosexuals themselves don’t appreciate.

    This list makes great points and I can agree with almost all of them. I can appreciate the point of being able to express your opinions towards the opposite sex and have a family openly without judgement. I never thought to think of that as a privilege but when you look at a homosexuals point of view and see that they are always judged and criticized when they express their feelings toward the same sex or when they want to adopt, it is definitely a precious privilege that shouldn’t be taken advantage of.

  3. em33962n October 6, 2010 at 3:59 am #

    “◦You can act, dress and talk as you choose without it being considered a reflection of your sexuality.”
    I think that this was a very interesting point because it is very true. People usually focus on how a non-heterosexual person dresses, talks and acts because it is not appropriate to their gender. Unfortunately people judge these aspects that differentiate them from the rest.

  4. cwalton13 October 7, 2010 at 2:53 am #

    Doing this project, I really started to realize how much I take for granted as a straight person this day & age. Especially due to recent suicides & hate crime due to homosexuality. It’s really sad that how prevalent the bias is towards gays in this country.

    • cwalton13 December 19, 2010 at 3:24 pm #

      Thank Goodness we have won this victory for the homosexual community! RIP “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” 1993-2010

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