In the post, Wedding Protest in Florida, I asked whether a heterosexual boycott of marriage would help bring about equal marriage for all.
Reader Laura left an interesting comment that I wanted to highlight. She wrote:
I actually get really annoyed (sometimes even angry) when straight people decide to boycott marriage because same sex couples can't get married.It got me thinking more about heterosexual privilege. A quick search revealed Queers United, which featured an interesting checklist of all the subtle privileges that are bestowed upon heterosexual people on a daily basis.
Even if you choose not to get married, people will still afford you the same social privileges. They're not going to stare if you're holding hands in the street. They're not going to heckle if you kiss. They're not going to ask if your nearest and dearest is just your friend. They're not going to apologise for the "mistake" when they realise you booked a hotel room with a double bed.
These are just simple everyday privileges. Legal privileges are far more complex. I had to fill out a form for an American visitor visa the other day (my girlfriend is Canadian) and one of the questions asked about marital status. I was so upset and angry that if my girlfriend and I get married, I have to put down that I'm single. I can't imagine how horrific it must be when dealing with hospital visitation or wills or adoption. Grr.
Here are a few:
- If I pick up a magazine, watch TV, or play music, I can be certain my sexual orientation will be represented.
- 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 (i.e., fag tag or smear the queer).
- My sexual orientation was never associated with a closet.
- I am not identified by my sexual orientation.
- I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double-take or stare.
- People can use terms that describe my sexual orientation and mean positive things (i.e., "straight as an arrow", "standing up straight" or "straightened out" ) instead of demeaning terms (i.e., "ewww, that's gay" or being "queer" ).
- I can be open about my sexual orientation without worrying about my job.