Sexual Orientation And Gender Identity

1496 Words6 Pages
What would you think if you knew that throughout your whole life, an untrue assumption had been made about you? How would you feel about total strangers believing that the assumption was reality, the media advertising products and marketing movies to you based on this assumption, and even your family supporting it? If the assumption was about a personal issue, this would be hurtful, confusing, and maybe even psychologically damaging. This hypothetical situation comes alive when examining the problem of heteronormativity: defined as believing that everyone is heterosexual, thus ignoring the LGBT population. To someone who is heterosexual, it might not seem like a big deal for straightness to be the “norm.” However, the more than 8 million LGBT people in America are affected by heteronormativity everywhere they turn. It is true that civil rights for LGBT people have progressed enormously. As of January 2, 2015, 35 states have legalized same-sex marriage, 18 states have workplace discrimination laws that cover both sexual orientation and gender identity, and the majority of public schools must have bullying policies that protect LGBT students. Despite how far we have come, there is still a lot of work to do in the area of acceptance. The only way homophobia will be diminished on a large scale is through education. This education can be spurred by eradicating heteronormative standards in the media, in the sales market, and most importantly in institutional settings, namely,
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