The other day I was in the company of a man I barely knew. I can count the number of times we have met on one hand and barely need two for the number of hours we have spent together. Our relationship is most aptly categorized as “professional.” The environment we were in was the same, albeit quite casual. He said to me, “I might not be around in February, I will have to let you know. The boyfriend and I are traveling to…”
I bet I flinched. But why? I have not problem with non-hetero sexuality, and I consider myself a supporter (I cannot claim Ally status, as I believe that is reserved for those actively engaged in forwarding the rights of the LGBTQ community). So I should have no reaction, right?
Wrong. I flinched (or at least fear I might have), because where I am from it is unheard of for non heterosexual people to so openly and offhandedly disclose their sexuality. It just does not happen. Where I am from homosexuality is not normal. Or so our society makes it seem. What is normal anyways?
I believe homosexuality is normal. Gay is normal. I flinched not because I cared about his sexuality either way, but because heteronormativity told me his action was abnormal. Take a moment to think about how heteronormative our culture is. When we ask someone if they are seeing someone, we assume that person to be of the opposite sex. When we go to a singles event, it is by default a heterosexual event unless specifically labeled LGBTQ. We talk of marriage as if it is part of the normal progression of life, but for many it is a legal impossibility unless extra steps are taken.
Face it, gay is normal – whether our heteronormative recognize it or not. When we fail to accept this fact we make ourselves look ignorant and foolish. And we hurt good people in the process. Right now there is a “debate” about gay rights, but in reality it is more like a “denial.”