Talons Philosophy

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5 ways you didn’t know you were homophobic (Number 3 will surpise you) ! By David G

You all know that everyone is straight unless they say otherwise right? Well surprisingly enough, you’re wrong. In fact if you subscribe to the idea of “Compulsory Heterosexuality” you’re homophobic – here’s why.

  • Premiss 1: The idea of compulsory Herterosexuality oppressess gay people
  • Premises 2: People/things that oppress gay people are homophobic
  • Conclusion: The idea of compulsory Heterosexuality is homophobic

Now for those of you that don’t know anything about Compulsory Heterosexuality let’s start with:

What is Compulsory Heterosexuality?
Well, compulsory heterosexuality is often used within groups that advocate for the rights of people whose sexuality or gender identity differs from heterosexuality, including intersex people, transgender people, asexual people, and other members of the LGBT community. The concept of compulsory heterosexuality is related to the concept of heterosexual privilege, a system that enables heterosexual people to benefit from rights that non-heterosexual people do not have access to.

Examples of compulsory Herterosexuality are:

  • The assumption that children will marry a person of the other sex and the grooming and socialization of children for heterosexuality.
  • The belief that anyone can be heterosexual and that, even if one must pretend to be heterosexual, that this is better than being homosexual
  • The overwhelming pressure on closeted individuals to come out, because unless said otherwise, you are assumed as a heterosexual

Does compulsory heterosexuality really oppress gay people?

Assuming somebody’s sexuality as a default can cause serious issues. It can make people feel forced to “come out”  in unsafe places and unhealthy ways. Not only this, but it can also attack the self-esteem of people for not conforming to an assumption.

Is it valid?

Yes! Because the premises of this argument lead to the conclusion and because the premises is true, the conclusion is also true.

Is it sound?

Yes, because the argument is both true and valid.


2 Responses to 5 ways you didn’t know you were homophobic (Number 3 will surpise you) ! By David G

  1. katherine says:

    Hey David,

    Congrats on your gay post. It really spoke to me, a gay.
    But in all seriousness, you addressed a really serious topic here. compulsory heterosexuality and the straight culture in our world are very damaging to LGBTQ+, especially to young children or teens. I’ve always been against the pressure put on “coming out” as in, you’re not gay until you tell people. It’s annoying, because that means everyone assumes you are straight unless you say so. Why can’t we just not assume sexualities and let everyone go on with their lives?

    Thank you for the post. In all gay seriousness, it’s super important.

  2. erinn says:

    Hey David! Your post is really good! I love how you wrote about an LGBT issue that isn’t talked about often – this entire site needs to be a lot gayer. A ton of discussion can be made around intercommunity issues and more of them definitely need to be brought up. I love how you briefly mentioned the fact that some individuals feel forced to come out in unsafe environments as well. Many factors play in to that feeling and I think it’s a subject that many LGBT people have experienced firsthand.

    However, I think you’ve gotten the terms compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity mixed up. Heteronormativity is exactly what you’ve described above: that everyone is assumed straight at birth, and any deviation from this enforced heterosexuality is considered “abnormal”. What you wrote above was a wonderful and easy to understand explanation of heteronormativity.

    I think you’re misunderstood about what compulsory heterosexuality is. Compulsory heterosexuality and heteronormativity are closely linked and do share some similar factors, but they’re definitely not the same thing. Compulsory heterosexuality is the societal pressure that forces LGBT people to perform heterosexuality. The feminist theorist who coined the term, Adrienne Rich, argued that male dominance in social and political settings enforce compulsory heterosexuality. Although, not all concepts in her work on Compulsory Heterosexuality are well thought out.

    Much gay love, Erinn


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