View Full Version : Heterosexual Privilege
04-30-2006, 10:49 AM
Yesterday was my love's senior guitar recital - a big deal for her and those of us close to her. She got up on that stage and played so well that I was filled with pride and love and joy :love: and I wanted to hug her and tell her how wonderful she was and how much I loved her... but I couldn't because a lot of people there don't know about us yet and it's dangerous if some of them find out.
It seems pretty insignificant that I had to pretend to be straight for only one day, but it was hard. I couldn't hug her or put my arm around her. I couldn't touch her arm in that loving way. When her family members said "You're such a nice friend to her" I had to smile and thank them. I couldn't tell them how much I really love her - NOT just as a friend. I couldn't answer them when they asked if I either of us had boyfriend - just shrugged as if we didn't understand why we didn't have them.
It was a very short time, but it made me really understand heterosexual privileges - things I could have done with pride if I was a boy in the relationship with her. Sometimes I debate whether or not I should dress up as a man when we go out together just so I can be openly loving of her without drawing glances.
04-30-2006, 11:27 AM
Heterosexual privliege is a lot like the white privilege of fifty years ago when whites in the South believed that the natural place for African Americans was at the back of the bus. Whites believed it was unatural for blacks to use the same restrooms as them, eat at the same lunch counters as them, and go to the same schools.
In 2006 when we look back at that time in history, we find it comical that white Americans ever held on to such ridiculous beliefs. Someday Americans will see the homophobia of 2006 just as ridiculous.
The simple fact that more and more brave young people such as yourself are coming out of the closet means one thing. Change is coming.
04-30-2006, 12:21 PM
I can imagine! Mia, your girlfriend's senior recital is a VERY big deal, and you are justifiably so proud of her! I wish you could have done all the things you wanted to do without worrying about weird reactions from others. I'm sorry that you could not. I remember looking over my shoulder when on dates with women, before kissing them or letting them kiss me, for similar reasons. It's a very unpleasant feeling.
Sorry. I agree with Rick though, change IS coming. Wish it would come sooner.
04-30-2006, 02:45 PM
I agree that I think it will eventually change - hopefully in my lifetime. It seems like each new generation is more open to change.
We hold an Ally Training workshop at my local college to train people to be better friends and advocates for GLBT people. One of the things that always surprises people is when we talk about heterosexual privilege and all the little things that gay people have to think about.
05-01-2006, 07:24 PM
I completely understand what you are saying. At my girlfriend's going away party,I pretty much had to sit there and act like we had just a friendship. I had to hold in some many emotions when her coach was talking and I barely talked to her. Only 1 person there knew we were together.Everyone else thinks I'm straight and if they found out I wasn't there would be some major issues. Its hard, but sometimes you have to do it. Maybe eventually it will change. I hope.
05-01-2006, 10:45 PM
Um hi- I TOTALLY KNOW HOW YOU FEEL!!
I had the EXACT same expirence a month ago....
let me know if you need anything....including a hug!!
05-01-2006, 11:05 PM
Thanks, truly, I know you must have experienced the same. Hugs are always welcome and it feels better knowing that there are others, like you, who have felt similar emotions.
It's not that I have to be loud about my sexuality - as some have accused. It's not that I'm trying to impose it on others or make people uncomfortable.
It's just that anything that doesn't let me love her feels unnatural, cold, and very very wrong.
A gay woman is who I am and being anything but, even just pretending for the sake of the closed-minded, makes me feel fake and cheap.
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