chapter  10
18 Pages

Are We Queer Yet? Addressing Heterosexual and Gender-Conforming Privilege

Members of many contemporary societies continue to live in a world that privileges heterosexuality and gender conformity. Heterosexual privilege includes unearned benefi ts afforded to those with a heterosexual orientation and defi nes the sexual orientation norm (Griffi n, D’Errico, Harro, & Schiff, 2007). Genderconforming privilege “refers to unearned benefi ts awarded to those whose internal gender identity, perceived gender, and/or expressed gender matches cultural gender expectations for their [assigned] biological sex” (Case, Kanenberg, Erich, & Tittsworth, 2012, p. 147). Dominant groups maintain power through the mechanism of hegemony. Hegemony persuades subordinate groups that the privileges of the ruling group are natural (Gramsci, 1971). A “mythical norm” (Lorde, 1984) results and generates the bulk of intentional and unintentional antigay and anti-trans practices that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals, couples, and families experience.