Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Heterosexual Privilege Checklist

Most of you have seen the post about the heterosexual questionnaire.  Well below is the heterosexual privilege checklist.

On a daily basis as a straight person…

  •  I can be pretty sure that my roomate, hallmates 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 about my sexual orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical or psychological consequences.

  •  I did not grow up with games that attack my sexual orientation (IE 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 curricular materials that testify to the existence of people with my sexual orientation.

  •   People don't ask why 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 therapist or doctor 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.

  • Whether I rent or I go to a theater, Blockbuster, an EFS or TOFS movie, I can be sure I will not have trouble finding my sexual orientation represented.

  • I am guaranteed to find people of my sexual orientation represented in my workplace.

  • I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double-take or stare.

  • I can choose 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 of the language and culture of LGBTQ 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 identity as heterosexual.

  • In everyday conversation, the language my friends and I use generally assumes my sexual orientation. For example, sex inappropriately referring to only heterosexual sex or family meaning heterosexual relationships with kids.

  • People do not assume I am experienced in sex (or that I even have it!) merely because of my sexual orientation.

  •  I can kiss a person of the opposite gender on the heart or in the cafeteria without being watched and stared at.

  • Nobody calls me straight with maliciousness.

  • People can use terms that describe my sexual orientation and mean positive things (IE "straight as an arrow", "standing up straight" or "straightened out" ) instead of demeaning terms (IE "ewww, that's gay" or being "queer" ) .

  • I am not asked to think about why I am straight.

  • I can be open about my sexual orientation without worrying about my job.

Crossposted Via The The Painted Turtle.


Renee said...

# I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double-take or stare.

This is false. I am a straight woman in an inter racial relationship and people stare at my unhusband and I constantly. Some people even outright refuse to believe that we are a couple even though we have been together for over 18 years.

I can kiss a person of the opposite gender on the heart or in the cafeteria without being watched and stared at.

Again two people of difference races will at times and in certain locations illicit a very negative response.

I agree for the most part with the rest of the list. I just felt that it was necessary to point out that even with heterosexual relationships not all are considered equal.

Queers United said...

Renee you bring up great points, I def think that interracial heterosexual relationships are still not treated the same by the general public. I have definitely seen people look at interracial couples with shock, anger, and disgust so I think some of this checklist like the ones you mentioned wouldnt apply.

Andy said...

Great issue i must say!!! i was just surfing bout the privileged TV show from google and get into ur interesting blog.I absolutely favour queers..

Anonymous said...

The double-takes and stares in that situation wouldn't really have anything to do with being straight, though, Renee.

Anonymous said...

Here's one to add:

I don't have to worry that my sexual orientation will preclude me from having my wedding ceremony at a location of my choosing in my home state.


I will not have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to secure basic legal rights with regards to my spouse (such as medical care, hospital visitation rights, and inheritance).

Jessica Hart said...

Great sharing. Thanks. I really like your article post.

Anonymous said...

Renee Good points,
But you can still marry your inter-racial partner cant you? you dont have to drive out of state to get a legal ceremony and then drive back home just for it to be invalid do you?
if someone else already said this i am sorry for beating a dead horse...

Anonymous said...

This is great. What I'm wondering though is once you accept and begin to challenge your privilege, how do you become an active ally to the lgbtq community? I am sure that it starts with just learning about the community and being friends with people and that there is no guide. However, there are numerous guides for white people on how to be an ally in the anti-racist movement and I could use some help figuring out how to be an ally. As a straight person of color, I am a part of my school's lgbtq alliance. I feel very strange because I am the only person of color in the room. I adore all of the people as individuals, and as a straight person, feel it is important for me to be an ally. I do feel scared and unsure of how to be though... Any advice or insight?

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