Allies & Advocates

Heterosexual Privilege

Heterosexuals have the privilege of...

  • Living without ever having to think twice, face, confront, engage, or cope with anything on this page. Heterosexuals can address these phenomena but social/political forces do not require you do so.
  • Marrying...which includes the following privileges:
  • Public recognition and support for an intimate relationship.
  • Receiving cards or phone calls celebrating your commitment to another person.
  • Supporting activities and social expectations of longevity and stability for your committed relationships.
  • Paid leave from employment and condolences when grieving the death of your partner/lover (i.e. legal members designed by marriage and descendants from marriages).
  • Inheriting from your partner/lover/companion automatically under probate laws.
  • Sharing health, auto, and homeowners' insurance policies at reduced rates.
  • Immediate access to your loved ones in cases of accident or emergency.
  • Family-of-origin support for a life partner/lover/companion.
  • Increased possibilities for getting a job, receiving on the job training, and promotion.
  • Kissing, hugging, and being affectionate in public without treat or punishment.
  • Talking about your relationship or what projects, vacations, family planning you and your partner/lover/companion are creating.
  • Not questioning your normalcy, sexually and culturally.
  • Expressing pain when a relationship ends and having other people notice and attend to your pain.
  • Adopting children, foster-parenting children.
  • Being employed as a teacher in a pre-school through high school without fear of being fired any day because you are assumed to corrupt children.
  • Raising children without threats of state intervention, without children having to be worried which of their friends might reject them because of their parent's sexuality and culture.
  • Dating the person of your desire in your teen years.
  • Living with your partner and doing so openly to all.
  • Receiving validation from your religious community.
  • Receiving social acceptance by neighbors, colleagues, and new friends.
  • Not having to hide and lie about same-sex social events.

Source: 365-Day Odyssey through Sexual Orientation handbook.

Page last modified December 22, 2010