Straight until proven otherwise

blindlove's picture

My freind brought this up in conversation the other day. Everyone assumes that everyone is straight until people prove otherwise, or come out. In the perfect world would straight people have to come out to, or would nobody assume anything and we could just be whatever felt natural? Other minorities dont have to come out. If your of a minority ethnicity people can just see that you are different. You cant hide it. Im jewish and i never "came out" as jewish, nobody ever assumed that i was christian they always asked, "hey, what's you'r religion?" Why cant people just as casually ask "hey what's you'r sexual orientation?" instead of assuming that im straight?


jules's picture

Rich and Poor

Adrienne Rich gave this phenomenom a name: compulsory heterosexuality.


Why can't people just as casually ask about sexual orientation?

I think you should really think about that question; if you find the answers on your own, they'll mean more than if I just gave you mine.

And once you find them, you'll know what I mean.

Historian of The Movement To Free Ommpa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

linds's picture

and lesbian existence

yay for Adrienne Rich. That's a very readable essay, I'd recommend it, and I was going to mention it until jules got there first...


Wants a job in The Movement To Free Oompa Loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalistic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

RoaG's picture

essay? i'm interested... can

essay? i'm interested... can you give some more info here?

linds's picture

sure can.

The work we're discussing is an article by Adrienne Rich, and it's called "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence." It was originally published in the journal Signs in 1980, and has been reprinted in a couple of her later books. There's a Norton critical edition of her work -- Adrienne Rich's Poetry and Prose -- that reprints it along with her best poems and essays.

She's a lesbian/feminist name to know. :-) She's coming to Barnard in April to read some of her poetry (which I'd also recommend). I look forward to it eagerly!!


JB's picture


welcome to hetero-sexism.

Vice President and Drug Tsar of The Movement To Free Ommpa loompa Land From The Tyrannical Rule Of The Evil Capitalsitic Despot Willy Wonka And Associates

jeff's picture


Seems like a lot of unnecessary work for 90 percent of the country to have to come out. Not to mention, they do all come out if you ask. Every straight guy I've been into, when I point blank asked whether they had a boyfriend or girlfriend always ensured they answered correctly. Like if they were single, they tend to say, I'm single now, no girlfriend, etc.

It's only the gays/bis that don't answer the question, so if they hedge, they're queer. I mean, what was that incomprehensible Ricky Martin answer when Barbra Walters asked him? What straight guy would do through the trouble?