Editorial: Straight out of the closet

My boyfriend and I like to joke that he assumes everyone is straight and I assume everyone is gay.

It’s a joke, of course, but it also shows a lot about our respective cultures and spheres related to our sexual orientations because there is some truth in it.

It’s undeniable that we live in a hetero-centric culture. Typically, we assume everyone is straight until we learn otherwise.

To an extent, I can understand that way of thinking. Orientation is something that is invisible and to be straight seems to be more common than it is to be on the queer spectrum.

However, in a society that is growing more and more tolerant and is becoming more accepting of gay people, it still surprises me a little that this is an assumption.

Those of us in the community probably see it more because it affects our daily lives and how people view us. And that’s what brings me back to my point about my boyfriend.

He and I have been together for a while now. Some of our good friends have never known us apart.

A lot of that means that I have to repeatedly come out of the closet because, with heterosexual culture, it’s assumed that because I’m in a relationship with a man, I’m straight.

That’s fine and dandy and an easy deduction to make. But it’s not who I am as a person, either. I am not defined by the gender of my partner, no matter how long we’ve been together.

I’ve come to a time in my life where I want to be proud of everything that I am. But that line isn’t so black and white for me. It’s blurred and mixed to a point where I have to explain myself.

Being in a relationship with a man doesn’t make me straight in the same way as him being in a relationship with me doesn’t suddenly make him queer. It just doesn’t make any sense.

My passing privilege is something that I didn’t really anticipate heading into the relationship.

In high school, my girlfriend and I were the only openly “out” same-sex couple at our Catholic school. We were subject to rumours, teasing and general teen gossip.

Then, I was out. However, due to the reaction, I was ashamed and I didn’t put everything I wanted to into the relationship.

In a lot of ways, especially with social media culture normalizing same-sex relationships in high school aged people, I wish that I had gone into high school just a few years later.

No matter what I wish or what I thought of myself, everyone knew that I wasn’t straight and that just seemed to be a commonly accepted fact, even if I felt ashamed of it or put down at the time.

It seems like the roles are reversed now I’m consistently having to come out and I want to be proud of my orientation, now that I know that it’s more than okay, but it’s hard when it’s invisible and I always have to explain it.

I’ve come to a time in my life where I want to be proud of everything that I am. But that line isn’t so black and white for me. It’s blurred and mixed to a point where I have to explain myself.

We’re developing, but we’re also still in need of progress. I shouldn’t have to justify why I love anyone that I do, no matter the gender.

6 Comments

  1. I’m a cis-gendered, bisexual woman in a long-term relationship with a cis-gendered, heterosexual man. People do assume I’m straight because I’m in a heterosexual relationship, and having to come out over and over again can be frustrating, but I try to think of it as a learning opportunity for them — maybe next time, they’ll be less presumptuous.

  2. You are dating the opposite sex and you are mad at the fact that people assume you are straight? This is probably the most pointless drivel that The Cord has published yet…

  3. You’re offended that people assume you’re straight because you’re dating a man? That’s almost as weird as vegans being offended by people eating meat. You should make a 64th gender and call it “Ignoramus”

  4. Thanks for bringing attention to this subject. Your article really hits close to home. As a cis-white male, I’m constantly mislabeled be people who assume I’m gay, simply because I’ve had relations with other men. One guy on guy experience doesn’t make you gay. And trust me I would know, I’ve had dozens of them.

    Let’s try not to bash others for not knowing better. Always educate, not eduHATE.

  5. congrats, what do want a cookie?

  6. Michelle Bowden says:

    How can you possibly sit back and bash this assumption by society? ” to be straight seems to be more common than it is to be on the queer spectrum.”– ya! NO WAY! GREAT OBSERVATION! Do you want to know why? Roughly 96% of the population is heterosexual! Most life on earth is heterosexual! This is not journalism. This is you pretending to be a writer by complaining and ranting on about something that is so clearly irrelevant. The comment above describes this article– drivel– this article is the definition. Society becoming more tolerant towards people that identify as queer has little to do with assuming a heterosexual relationship when the two people involved are a man and a woman. Stop blaming society. Some self-reflection is needed.

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