5 Things Cis Hetero People Don't Have to Think About
Certainly, things have got better for LGBTQ+ people. But our allies remain important to us and sometimes it’s good to remind our cishet (cisgendered heterosexual) friends why we still need their support.
Here are just five things that heterosexual and cisgendered people can take for granted.
1) Holding hands in public
Only in January of this year, a gay couple were attacked in London for holding hands. Two thirds of LGBTQ+ people feel frightened to hold hands with their partner in public because of what people might say or do. It’s a sad fact that, unlike hetero people, most LGBTQ+ people are probably looking over their shoulder when they show affection in public.
2) Not having to come out
Most parents take it for granted that their children are heterosexual and/or cisgendered.
Coming out as LGBTQ+ can be a great release, but it can also be very traumatic. 24% of young homeless people identify as LGBT and 77% said that coming out was the main factor in their homelessness.
Oh and contrary to popular understanding, coming out isn’t just a one time act. To some extent, LGBTQ+ folks have to come out on the daily. Whether it's to the taxi driver casually asking about your girlfriend (when you actually have a husband) or to the hotel receptionist who offers you and your husband a twin room. How many LGBTQ+ folk still pointedly use the gender-neutral term “partner” even to work colleagues for fear of their reaction?
3) There will be a toilet or changing room suitable for your gender
Cisgendered people can expect that they will have access to a public toilet or changing room that is suitable for their gender.
Meanwhile, there are too many people changing in the toilet cubicles of gyms because they are non-binary or being told they can’t try on an item of clothing from the womenswear section of a clothes shop because the assistant doesn’t think they are female enough. This is the humiliating reality for people who don’t meet the gender norm.
4) That your place of worship will marry you
Imagine that you’ve been attending a place of worship for years but they refuse to marry you simply because of the gender of the person you love.
There are 182 places of worship in the UK that will marry a same-sex couple and 40,000 places of worship that allow heterosexual couples to marry. Marriage is meant to be a joyous thing, but for same-sex couples it can be a stark reminder that God apparently did not make everyone equal.
5) That your sexuality is universally legal
A queer person would have to hide their sexuality to visit countries like Uganda, Russia, Jamaica, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Kenya or Singapore, to name but a few. There are 73 countries in the world where it illegal to be gay and many more where, while not illegal, LGBTQ+ people still face arbitrary persecution.
It would seem that the world is the heterosexual person’s oyster.
Here at Liverpool Queer Collective we want to empower the LGBTQ+ community to live their best out and proud queer lives. Sometimes in order to do that, the journey starts with finding a safe space where you can truly come as you are.
We’d love you to join us at our next event.