Blogging Against Heteronormativity Day

Nubian created blogging against heteronormativity. Surf over to her site. She has a great post up, as well as a round-up of who’s participating.

I’ve debated and debated about what to write for this post. I was going to go with an analysis of heteronormativity: the assumptions, the privilege, and the consequences of this worldview. But I’m pissed, so I’ve decided to go with a rant instead.

Full disclosure: I have straight privilege. I hate privilege, but I can’t get rid of it. But you know what? The fact that some straight people can work through the concept of privilege and fight to get rid of it shows that everyone can do it.

One of my role models in college was giving a lecture on sexuality. A student asked what she thought about sexual orientation-was it inborn or learned? S snarled “Who cares whether it’s genetic or learned? People are people, they love who the love, and they are sexually attracted to whomever they find attractive. Who cares?

That moment was 13 years ago, and it gave me the perfect framework for understanding sexuality*. We don’t need research supporting that sexual orientation is inborn, because it shouldn’t matter. Research on the nature of sexual orientation should be of academic interest only, it should not be what determines if we accept anyone who violates the standard of heteronormativity.

The only time someone’s sexuality should matter to you is if you want to have sex with that person. Otherwise, mind your business. Stop trying to control eveyone. Get over yourself. This human need to control others is the real sickness in our society.

Who cares?

*I am discussing sex that occurs between consenting adults.

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7 responses to “Blogging Against Heteronormativity Day

  1. wow, no comments?
    I love what you wrote not just because I’m one of the homosexual unprivileged but because I too believe why we feel the way we feel doesn’t f-ing matter. Whether I choose this or just am this isn’t what ought to determine whether I deserve to be a proper citizen with proper rights. I am a human being just like the rest of you. So naa naa naa. boop oop ee doop. <-----not directed at spotted elephants.

  2. spotted elephant

    I cringed a littled when I posted this because I didn’t want to offend people. I don’t care if straight people are offended, because, hello? Way past time to wake up.

    But I know some people in the LGBTQ community are invested in whether orientation/identiy is genetic or learned. And it’s not my place to say if that should matter. But I think straight people need to get over caring about this.

    I like your gesture, not just naa naa naa, but also boop oop ee doop!

  3. I identify as queer, and although I was not offended per se, when I read your entry, my reaction was yes, but…

    Yes, but the comments,

    “People are people, they love who the love… Who cares?”

    and

    “We don’t need research supporting that sexual orientation is inborn, because it shouldn’t matter.”

    can both, I feel, be extremely heteronormative. Saying ‘who cares?’ and ‘it doesn’t matter’, when spoken queer-to-queer, can be empowering.

    Saying ‘who cares?’ and ‘it doesn’t matter’, on the other hand, when spoken by someone straight, can be painful to hear. It can be painful in spite of the fact that they might be trying to be an ally. It can be painful because it can mean “get over yourself, I face no difficulties in how my sexuality/gender identity (doesn’t) interact with my life at large, so you shouldn’t face any difficulties either, nobody cares, it’s not a real problem, what’s the big deal?”

    And I know they don’t mean it always, I know that my friends haven’t always meant to be callous when they say no big deal, but this can be a big deal and this is a part a me that means something rather than nothing.

    In other words, heteronormatively, who you love doesn’t matter because everyone (assumed to be straight) can pair up with anyone (assumed also to be straight) and it’s no big deal (assuming that holding hands in public won’t get your ass thrown in jail or your car tires slashed or your children taken away from you even though you are there for them and your partner is too).

    As an aside, let’s not forget, too, that queers can be hella heteronormative.

    ~L

  4. The tricky part about sexuality is that it is so hard to imagine what flips somebody else’s switch. You know what flips YOUR switch and it may seem all normal and good or it may seem dark and shameful, but you know you need it to be sexually satisfied.

    But you hear about other modes, other attractions, other needs, and you go “What the hell? Why would someone need to do that to get off?”

  5. spotted elephant

    L-Point taken.

    I was trying to convey the idea that “Who cares” = it’s not anyone’s place to decide what’s acceptable. I was trying to tell straight people to get over themselves.

    Since I have privilege, it’s easy for me to say something, and be blind to the effects. The last thing I want to do is say sexual orientation/identity doesn’t matter in our hateful society. As you said, it matters in the worst way possible.

    I’m going to have to work on finding a way to say people don’t get to decide whats “acceptable” without ignoring the consequences. I’m really sorry for doing that.

  6. No need to be sorry 🙂

    I just wanted to raise the general consciousness of how complex heteronormativity can be…

    I suppose when I think about it now, perhaps the difference is that some people say “I don’t care” and then take the differences and similarities into account, and then some others say “I don’t care” and then treat you as if you were heteronormatively straight but totally ignore and subtract the homonormative or non-heteronormative parts of who you are and how that intersects with your life, your family, and society at large, not challenging their own heteronormativity along the way.

    So, I felt you wrote with respect (yay!) and not with ignorance, but just wanted to point out how I have seen a small number of my friends act with seemingly purpose-driven ignorance.

  7. spotted elephant

    Sue-I think we posted at the same time-I missed your comment.

    I think we are centered/cemented in our own way of viewing things. And that wouldn’t be such a bad thing if we were willing to respect other choices, even if we didn’t “get” them. It just seems we don’t take that next step very often. And worse, go on the attack.

    l. wu-It’s extremely complex, and by focusing on one part, you can completely miss the rest of the picture. Sigh. Privilige is such a bear. Even when you think you’re dealing with it, you may be just dancing around the issues.

    I wasn’t even thinking about people who just force you into their little box. So we go from outright hatred and violence from one extreme, to people who supposedly care, but won’t accept that their worldview is the standard.

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