Re 2: What is Heterosexism?

From: Barbara Pace (
Date: Wed Sep 29 1999 - 17:33:07 EDT

I agree, but would broaden the definition to include the social,
cultural, legal codes that marginalize gay males and lesbians. Heterosexism,
like androcentrism or racism, might be an unconscious discrimination. That is
many "straight" people simply do not recognize that they have certain
priviledges that gay males and lesbians do not have, in the same way that many
whites do not recognize white privilege, or the rich do not recognize the
enormous privileges of wealth. To many, gay males and lesbians are simply
invisible, marginalized. Almost all schools have a heterosexist curriculum in
that course content almost never recognizes that some of the most influential
figures in art, literature, and history and so on were gay or lesbian. The only
representation of gays/lesbians that most schools will allow are representations
that are degrading and pathetic.

Consider, for example, the outrage unleased when the rainbow curriculum was
introduced in New York schools or the fact that a teacher in South Carolina can
be fired for portraying the gay / lesbian "lifestyle" in a positive light--No

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