Educate Yourself, Educate Others: Heterosexual Privilege

If you are heterosexual (or in some cases, perceived to be), you can live without ever having to think twice, face, confront, engage, or cope with anything printed below. Heterosexuals can address these phenomena but social/political forces do not require them to do so.

  • Public recognition and support for an intimate relationship (e.g. receiving cards and phone calls celebrating your commitments to another person).
  • Having role models of your "gender" and sexual orientation.
  • Living with your partner and doing so openly.
  • Joint child custody.
  • Learning about romance and relationships from fiction movies and television.
  • Talking about your relationship, or what projects, vacations, and family planning you and your lover/partner are creating.
  • Expressing pain when a relationship ends from death or separation, and having other people notice and tend to your pain.
  • Paid leave from employment when grieving the death of your spouse.
  • Sharing health, auto and homeowners' insurance policies at reduced rates.
  • Having positive media images of people with whom you can identify.
  • Receiving social acceptance by neighbors, colleagues, and good friends.
  • Property laws, filing joint tax returns, inheriting from your spouse automatically under probate laws.
  • Not having to hide or lie about women/men only social activities.
  • Immediate access to your loved one in case of accident or emergency.
  • Going wherever you wish and know that you will not be harassed, beaten, or killed because of your sexuality.
  • Not worrying about being mistreated by the police or victimized by the criminal justice system because of your sexuality.
  • Expressing affection in most social situations and not expecting hostile or violent reactions from others.
  • Legal marriage to the person you love.
  • Knowing that your basic civil rights will not be denied or outlawed because some people disapprove of your sexuality.
  • Join the military and be open about your sexuality.
  • Expect that your children will be given texts in school that support your kind of family unit and they will not be taught that your sexuality is a "perversion."
  • Freedom of sexual expression without fear of being prosecuted for breaking the law.
  • Raise, adopt, and teach children without people believing that you will molest them or force them into your sexuality.
  • Belonging to the religious denomination of your choice and know that your sexuality will not be denounced by its religious leaders.
  • Easily finding a neighborhood in which residents will accept how you have constituted your household.
  • Knowing that you will not be fired from a job or denied a promotion based on your sexuality.
  • Working in traditionally male or female dominated jobs without it being considered "natural" for someone of your sexuality.
  • Expecting to be around others of your sexuality most of the time. Not worrying about being the only one of your sexuality in a class, on a job, or in a social situation.
  • Acting, dressing, or talking as you choose without it being a reflection on people of your sexuality.
  • The ability to teach about lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals without being seen as having a bias because of your sexuality or forcing a "homosexual agenda" on students.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center
354 Baker University Center
T: (740) 593-0239
E: lgbt@ohio.edu

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