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June 22, 2011
by Davey Wavey

The Heterosexual Privilege.

As I’ve mentioned more than once, I think being gay is pretty awesome – and it comes with a number of benefits, including never having to deal with bloody tampons. But let’s face it: When it comes to privileges, straight people definitely take the cake.

The Heterosexual Privilege Checklist is a list that helps straight people wrap get a better understanding of what it’s like to be gay in a very hetero world. It makes it a little bit easier for straight people to put themselves in the shoes of their gay friends and family. I encourage you to share this article, which I’ve reproduced below, with your nears and dears in the hopes of facilitating some meaningful dialogue.

On a daily basis as a straight person…

  1. I can be pretty sure that my roomate, hallmates and classmates will be comfortable with my sexual orientation.
  2. If I pick up a magazine, watch TV, or play music, I can be certain my sexual orientation will be represented.
  3. When I talk about my heterosexuality (such as in a joke or talking about my relationships), I will not be accused of pushing my sexual orientation onto others.
  4. I do not have to fear that if my family or friends find out about my sexual orientation there will be economic, emotional, physical or psychological consequences.
  5. I did not grow up with games that attack my sexual orientation (IE fag tag or smear the queer).
  6. I am not accused of being abused, warped or psychologically confused because of my sexual orientation.
  7. I can go home from most meetings, classes, and conversations without feeling excluded, fearful, attacked, isolated, outnumbered, unheard, held at a distance, stereotyped or feared because of my sexual orientation.
  8. I am never asked to speak for everyone who is heterosexual.
  9. I can be sure that my classes will require curricular materials that testify to the existence of people with my sexual orientation.
  10. People don’t ask why I made my choice of sexual orientation.
  11. People don’t ask why I made my choice to be public about my sexual orientation.
  12. I do not have to fear revealing my sexual orientation to friends or family. It’s assumed.
  13. My sexual orientation was never associated with a closet.
  14. People of my gender do not try to convince me to change my sexual orientation.
  15. I don’t have to defend my heterosexuality.
  16. I can easily find a religious community that will not exclude me for being heterosexual.
  17. I can count on finding a therapist or doctor willing and able to talk about my sexuality.
  18. I am guaranteed to find sex education literature for couples with my sexual orientation.
  19. Because of my sexual orientation, I do not need to worry that people will harass me.
  20. I have no need to qualify my straight identity.
  21. My masculinity/femininity is not challenged because of my sexual orientation.
  22. I am not identified by my sexual orientation.
  23. I can be sure that if I need legal or medical help my sexual orientation will not work against me.
  24. If my day, week, or year is going badly, I need not ask of each negative episode or situation whether it has sexual orientation overtones.
  25. Whether I rent or I go to a theater, Blockbuster, an EFS or TOFS movie, I can be sure I will not have trouble finding my sexual orientation represented.
  26. I am guaranteed to find people of my sexual orientation represented in my workplace.
  27. I can walk in public with my significant other and not have people double-take or stare.
  28. I can choose to not think politically about my sexual orientation.
  29. I do not have to worry about telling my roommate about my sexuality. It is assumed I am a heterosexual.
  30. I can remain oblivious of the language and culture of LGBTQ folk without feeling in my culture any penalty for such oblivion.
  31. I can go for months without being called straight.
  32. I’m not grouped because of my sexual orientation.
  33. My individual behavior does not reflect on people who identity as heterosexual.
  34. In everyday conversation, the language my friends and I use generally assumes my sexual orientation. For example, sex inappropriately referring to only heterosexual sex or family meaning heterosexual relationships with kids.
  35. People do not assume I am experienced in sex (or that I even have it!) merely because of my sexual orientation.
  36. I can kiss a person of the opposite gender on the heart or in the cafeteria without being watched and stared at.
  37. Nobody calls me straight with maliciousness.
  38. People can use terms that describe my sexual orientation and mean positive things (IE “straight as an arrow”, “standing up straight” or “straightened out” ) instead of demeaning terms (IE “ewww, that’s gay” or being “queer” ) .
  39. I am not asked to think about why I am straight.
  40. I can be open about my sexual orientation without worrying about my job.

All of this isn’t to say that straight people have it easy by virtue of being straight. We all have our challenges and obstacles. But the heterosexual privilege may help some straight people get a better and deeper understanding of what it’s like to be gay in today’s society.


  1. Todd,thanks for all your additions,especially #s 47,48,49,50.

  2. Greg,I sincerely doubt that a tampon,bloody or not,would help with constipation.

  3. Yes,NaLau,the “bloody tampon” comment was inappropriate:BUT DW has apologized,many people have posted their objections:I think we get it & get it & get it:How about we try to GET OVER IT?

  4. You idiot. The natural process for human breeding is between a man and women. Heterosexuals dont have to justify what is natural human behaviour. I dont think 2 men having anal sex is defendable or should be promoted.

    • Actually..homosexual behaviour is perfectly natural too. It has been observed in over 1500 species so far. Observed in nature therefore natural.

      “I dont think 2 men having anal sex is defendable or should be promoted.”


      “The natural process for human breeding is between a man and women”

      But sex isn’t. Everything that a gay couple do in bed, straight people also do in bed. Oral sex, anal sex etc. And gay people can still reproduce. So…what possible problem can you have left that is not born out of ignorance and stupidity?

    • I love comments like this, because the way that this person would have found this blog would to have searched something that invariably was homosexual. Good job, supposed heterosexual.

      Keep kicking ass, Todd.

  5. WAY TOO TRUE,Robert,often in non-porn & surprising,disturbing ways:For example,there’s a gallery show here [Philadelphia] now called “Modern Slave” in which the artist,a photographer shows very erotic pictures of black men in chains,with studs,etc,often with Bibles.His point [and I believe he is sincere]is that religion,specifically Christianity enslaves black men,especially gay black men.The disturbing thing to me is that the combination of “hardware” and erotc nudity is itself fetishistic.

  6. JP(what does the J stand for?_The P must be for Pat,as in Robertson,the great ambassador of love and good will to the victims of Katrina & the earthquake in Haiti).I don’t think anyone has recommended homosexual sexual activity as a “process of human breeding”,to use your words.What You,and apparently many people,including,alas,many gays,don’t know/understand is that one’s sexual orientation is not a choice:I don’t think anyone filled out an application saying “I want to be queer,straight,etc”.Perhaps you are also unaware that sexual activity is a natural human behavior for pleasure,and,with luck,for love.As Gore Vidal wrote,he had no intention of having his behavior dictated by “a bunch of Bronze Age tribesmen”.
    Maybe,JP,you are the idiot?

  7. Couldn’t have said it better if I’d written myself
    [and I did].

  8. Pingback: Om det heteroseksuelle privilegium | Homonytt fra hele verden

  9. #8 is completely hypocritical and slightly offensive to me, and I am queer as you please. You are asking heterosexuals to do just (speak for everyone with their same sexual orientation) that by confronting them with all of these (obviously biased and weighted) ‘privelege’ factors.

    Also, just because you assume most of these little ‘factoids’ are true about heterosexuals, not all of them are. I know very few heteros with this kind of attitude towards their orientation. Most of them don’t even think about it, from what I can tell. Yes, it’s mainstream culture, and LGBTQ is the more ‘oppressed’ of the two sides, but honestly? Priveleges are a very cruel way to go about justifying your own actions and it depresses me to see those whom I identify with using it too. So what if they are straight and saying stupid/untrue BS based off of their lives and experiences? Don’t whine about how they are biased due to ‘hetero privelege’. Prove them wrong! Shove the facts about how awesome you are down their throat, and watch them choke! Otherwise you aren’t doing any more good for your cause than they are for theirs.

    But this is all MY OPINION, so I guess I have a ‘me’ privelege. 9__9

    • “Most of them don’t even think about it, from what I can tell.”

      Well yeah, that’s kind of the point of this article.

  10. Pingback: ¡EL PRIVILEGIO HETEROSEXUAL!, ¿Volverán a Invisibilizarnos? « UTILISIMOS BCN

  11. 41. I can expect to live much longer
    42. I can expect my relationship to last much longer
    43. I can expect my spouse to be more monogamous
    44. I am less likely to abuse small boys
    45. I won’t be sexually crude on a parade while laughing about it
    46. I won’t arrest someone for believing the Bible or sharing it in public
    47. I won’t encourage young people to become focussed on sex
    48. I will find it easier to believe in the God of the literal Bible

    • in response to #44, statistically, more cases of child abuse and pedophilia are conducted by heterosexuals. also, show me one person who has been arrested for believing in the bible. and the rates of monogamous relationships are pretty consistent between heterosexuals and homosexuals. feel free to e-mail me if you would like to discuss any of the preposterous claims you’ve made here.

    • Stereotypical much ass cunt?

    • 41. Gay people are not excluded from data used to determine average lifespans. The so-called research saying gays live shorter lives has been thoroughly debunked. All of it, if it WERE true, is completely out of date. It was all done decades ago, much as changed. We don’t use test scores from 1980 to explain kid’s grades today. Additionally anyone who works on lifespan data will tell you that it is DESCRIPTIVE and NOT prescriptive. It tells us how long people HAVE LIVED not necessarily how long they WILL LIVE.
      If we lived shorter lives we wouldn’t need SAGE

      In fact, there would be no one to start an org for gay seniors, and no members. There are plenty. And they’re growing.

      42. + 43. Gays are no more or less monogamous than straights, however we ARE more likely to be up front about it rather than lying to partners.

      45. You’ve evidently never seen Mardi Gras, if you think straight folks aren’t crude at parades. Girls Gone Wild would have zero footage if you were correct.

  12. Interesting way of looking at it. And I also found that it makes sense from an asexual perspective as well. I haven’t actually ‘come out’ as asexual, only my partner knows that I am, (although he wishes I wasn’t.) I have the feeling that being asexual would be even more misunderstood than being gay. Even some gay folks think that asexual is gay that hasn’t admitted it. (I have seen this opinion more than once)
    But anyhow, ignore the trolls, they will always be there, afraid and so shouting loudly in the hope that no one will guess.

  13. “I think being gay is pretty awesome – and it comes with a number of benefits, including never having to deal with bloody tampons.”
    It’s ironic that you’re encourage people to check their hetero privilege while ignoring your cis privilege. As a gay man, you’re part of the LGBT community. You know who else is? Transgender people. Including transgender men, who do in fact need tampons. Plus, even cisgendered gay men are fully capable of dating transgender gay men. Just because you don’t like women/you’re not a woman doesn’t mean you’ll never deal with a tampon.

  14. Heterosexuals are not privileged over me for not being gay. They do not benefit from my oppression. Rather, it hurts them in the myriad ways it distorts their own sexuality and range of sexual expression. The idea that it is a privilege to lose only one leg when I have lost two is ridiculous. We have both been run over by the same stretch limousine!

  15. What about the privilege of not even knowing you have privilege?

  16. This is disgusting; you’re basically apologising for being straight — what’s next, apologising for being male? Oh, wait — you ball-less twerps do that, too.

    How pathetic.

  17. Way to steal someone else’s list without crediting your source.

  18. You rock. Plus you’re sexy.

    I’ve run across your vids and blogs often so I need to say thanks.

    Thank you.

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