On Sunday, as I hunker down with family and friends for the Super Bowl, I can rest easy knowing that CBS is working hard to defend my heterosexual sensitivities. On the surface, heterosexuality doesn’t seem like a particularly distinctive trait or one in need of broad institutional protections, but many seem to believe that we heterosexuals are delicate souls.
The media, the government, the military — all are ready to head off potential sightings of gay people.
In the case of the Super Bowl, CBS has refused to broadcast an ad by the gay dating Web site ManCrunch.
Sometime soon I’m going to have to write a post about “privilege,” which while technically accurate as it gets, and also glaringly obvious to those who don’t have it, is also nearly-by-definition, completely invisible to those who have it. That said, I like the way Huffman’s point illustrates a really huge problem with the invisibility of being the “normal” against which all else is “other.”
What I really wish people would get is that heterosexuality is as real and durable an orientation as homosexuality. I mean, it’s a peculiar condition of imagining one’s self “the norm” that it’s hard to understand you’re the way you are for exactly the same reasons others aren’t. You’re that way by accident of birth a.k.a. nature.
And by not getting that you’re also going to miss that you’re not “normal” temporarily, you’re not “normal” by whim, you’re not “normal” because you were exposed to the “right” or “wrong” social influence, and you’re definitely not “normal” by choice.
Any more than any given sexual “the other” is.
And that’s the thing. Being gay isn’t a choice! And one of the coolest things about getting that is that if you just thought about it you’d get that your heterosexuality wasn’t a choice either.
And if more people got that they’d get that they really don’t need the media, the government, the clergy, U.S. Marines and the Canadian Mounties, and, especially, various posses of gay-panic-stricken vigilantes to protect their heterosexuality. Or anyone else’s.