Heteronormativity/ Heteronormative society

Heteronormativity/ Heteronormative society

The assumption that everyone is heterosexual unless they specify otherwise. Heteronormativity contributes to the harmful perception that being heterosexual is “normal” or “neutral”, and any other sexual identity is a deviation from that. In some cases it can involve the incorrect view that heterosexuality or being heterosexual is superior or somehow preferable to any other sexuality.

We currently live in a heteronormative society, in which it is assumed that someone is heterosexual unless they state otherwise. Here’s a scenario to illustrate: a lesbian woman has not yet disclosed her sexual orientation to her healthcare provider, but they are aware that she is married. When she is preparing to come in for surgery, the provider might ask “would you like your husband to accompany you to the ward?” In this instance, they have seen that a woman is married, and assumed that it is to a man. 

This systematic prejudice is not necessarily as actively harmful as, say, a homophobic verbal assault, but it still has a very real, widespread and complex impact on people who identify as LGBTQ+. 

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