The Heterosexual Privilege Checklist, below, is a list that appeared a month or so ago on a blog entitled “Break the Illusion.” At the invitation of Davey Wavey to share this list with others, I wrote about this on another blog, explaining to heteros that the list is intended to help them obtain a better understanding of what it’s like to be gay in a very heterosexual world, to put themselves in the shoes of their gay friends and family.
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 f*g 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
41. I don’t have to worry about some politicians trying to pass a law which tells me who I can and can’t marry, including at the national, Constitutional, level;
42. I know I won’t have any problems marrying the person I love;
43. I know that there will be no problems, as far as my orientation is concerned, in adopting a child;
44. I know that I will not be targeted by law enforcement for harassment due to my orientation;
45. I can be open about my orientation without worrying about being denied housing;
46. I can walk down the street with my partner and hold hands and kiss without fear that I or my partner will be attacked and beaten, possibly even killed, because of our orientation;
47. I know that when I refer to my bf/gf/spouse, people will assume we aren’t together just for sex, but for love , and that our love is as real and legitimate as theirs for their significant others;
48. People do not automatically assume that I am shallow, weak, silly, on drugs or promiscuous because of my orientation;
49. People will not mentally assign me a career (e.g., the str8 versions of florist, party planner, interior decorator, hair dresser, etc., etc.) because of my orientation;
50. People (advertisers and marketers aside) will not assume I am like everyone else of my orientation and will treat me like an individual human being.