First of all, I am going to define heterosexism. Heterosexism is a system of advantage which favors heterosexuals. Institutionalized homophobia, the assumption that being heterosexual is inherently better, more moral, or more natural than being gay, bi, lesbian, pansexual, etc. Like racism, sexism, and other forms of oppression, heterosexism awards power to members of the dominant group (straight people/heterosexuals) and denies privileges to members of the subordinate group. (LGBTQQA community).
At the camp I went to, CLI, we discussed how heterosexism plays out in different enviorments in our lives. This is what we came up with:
How Heterosexism Plays Out At School
- Health classes directing sex education towards a heterosexual audience
- PDA from heterosexual couples and little to none from queer couples
- The basic assumption that everyone is straight
- Asking “Do you have a girlfriend?” (to a guy) or “Do you have a boyfriend?” (to a girl), rather than, “Are you with anyone?” or “Do you have a partner?”.
How Heterosexism Plays Out in the Community
- Assumptions from people in general that everyone is straight
- Queer couples being treated differently, shunned, or looked down upon