The Benefits of Being a Heterosexual

The structure of U.S. society provides plenty of "hidden" benefits to heterosexuals that are not accorded to members of the GLBTIQ community. These advantages are so embedded into all dimensions of society that they are taken for granted and practically unrecognizable to heterosexuals. In fact, remaining unaware of heterosexual privilege is in and of itself a privilege. Consequently, unawareness prevents heterosexuals from acknowledging the benefits derived from membership in that group and, conversely, the harm that the disadvantages wreak on GLBTIQ members. Below are a few of the benefits derived from being a heterosexual.

  • Expressing affection (kissing, hugging, and holding hands) in social situations is considered normal for heterosexuals and does not elicit hostile or violent reactions from others.
  • As a heterosexual college student, you are not subjected to microaggressions (i.e., insults, negative slights, pejorative comments), harassment, or acts of insensitivity related to your sexual orientation.
  • As a heterosexual, you can be sure that you will not be harassed, assaulted, or murdered because of your sexual orientation.
  • The police will not harass you or you will not be victimized by the criminal justice system just because you are a heterosexual.
  • As a heterosexual, you have the choice of belonging to a church that will not debase or criticize your sexual orientation.
  • Heterosexuals are the recipients of tax breaks, health insurance coverage, and other rights as a result of being in legally sanctioned heterosexual relationships.
  • Heterosexuals can overtly celebrate and acknowledge their relationships in public without the fear that people will automatically disapprove.
  • Having "heterosexual sex" is not against the law and safe from legal prosecution.
  • The children of heterosexuals are provided teaching materials supporting heterosexual model of a family as normal, good and positive.
  • Television shows and movies show heterosexuality positively and in affirming, healthy, and multidimensional ways.
  • Adoption of children by heterosexuals will not carry the belief that the children will be raised in an environment where they might be sexually molested.
  • Heterosexuals can be sure that they will not be fired from a position because of their sexual orientation.

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