A Primer on Heterosexism

Heterosexism - a term that applies to negative attitudes, bias, and discrimination in favor of opposite-sex sexuality and relationships. It can include the presumption that everyone is heterosexual or that opposite-sex attractions and relationships are the norm and therefore superior.
as defined by Wikipedia


I see it all the time and most of the time it happens by accident, simply without thinking of ones' readers.  I completely understand but...keep in mind that gay marriage is likely to pass in DC and NY soon and your clientele may be changing.  If you want to reach the gay wedding market, you will need to change as well.

Some recent examples:
  • Twitter tweet from a respected magazine:  Are you and your hubby swapping gifts on the big day? What are you giving him?  This tweet assumes that the reader is female and marrying a man - which is often the case with heterosexist remarks.
  • Another from a blast email from a very nice vendor I know (forwarded to me by a client who noticed and was put off):  "We applaud her innovation and would like to help other brides do this if they want to surprise their (brand new!) husbands.
  • And a final example for the day taken from a photographer's website (which could have been any number of a thousand photographers): "We will capture every moment from your first kiss to your first dance as husband and wife."

I'll be speaking on heterosexism and other gay wedding themes at The Special Event in New Orleans in January.

Have you seen any noteworthy examples of heterosexism?  Or do you have materials that can be updated?


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