22 Privileges Heterosexual Couples Take for Granted


There are many types of privilege. For instance, most social justice advocates talk frequently about the “invisible knapsack” of white privilege, but let’s talk about heterosexual privilege. Privileges are things we take for granted. They make up our reality, and sometimes, until someone points them out, it’s really difficult to recognize that your life experience doesn’t match that of others.

As most of you know, same-sex marriage is being challenged in the Kitchen v. Herbert (2013) case right now. It’s important for us to remember that same-sex couples are fighting for so much more than marriage on a daily basis. Here’s a list of things I take for granted as a woman in a heterosexual relationship (this list is based on numerous conversations with friends and family who don’t have the same privileges that I do, with some privileges reserved solely for married couples):

  1. Holding hands in public
  2. Taking your significant other to company parties
  3. Using preferred pronouns in casual conversations
  4. Marriage, anywhere, anytime
  5. Renting a home without fear of discrimination
  6. Kissing in public
  7. Taking family photos in public venues
  8. Not being asked where your children’s “real parents” are
  9. Parent-teacher conferences without fear that your child will incur the wrath of a bigoted teacher
  10. More options for adoption
  11. Not worrying if people will spit in your food
  12. Hospital visitation
  13. Probate rights
  14. Less stigma when seeking help from domestic violence
  15. Songs, movies, and shows that reflect my relationship on a regular basis
  16. Greeting cards that cater to my sexual orientation
  17. My family accepted my significant other without question
  18. Safety from hate crimes
  19. Freedom to express pain when a relationship ends
  20. Paid bereavement
  21. Inclusion in an obituary should my partner ever die
  22. Health benefits

 What else do we take for granted? What does your hetero privilege look like?

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