What Is Privilege?
When I was in high school, I took a cheerleader, Sue Russell, to the prom. I didn’t have a bad time, and I enjoyed being part of that heteronormative experience in a general sense, but I would much rather have gone to the prom with one of the football players, Mark or Mike. I knew I was gay long before I was in high school, but going to the prom with a boy wasn’t an option. It’s still not an option for many gay kids. And I remember listening to straight people rave about prom night, and how it’s one of the most important nights of your life. All I could think was I sure as hell hope it gets better than THIS. And it did get better, a lot better. But it never got easier.
I don’t think I ever get too PC on this web site, and I try to remain as objective as possible all the time with news stories. But I see so many people who don’t seem to understand the concept of ‘privilege’ I thought I’d try to at least link to a few facts that I find helpful. I also know it’s going to fall on deaf ears with some people.
The confusion seems to be when people coming from places of straight white privilege take offense to the concept of privilege, at the most basic level. They think that because they’ve had hard lives and they’ve had to struggle they aren’t coming from places privilege. But the concept doesn’t work that way. They’re not totally wrong. Most people struggle in life. But it goes much deeper with respect to marginalized groups of people.
This is basic. It’s from wiki.
In anthropology, privilege is a special right, advantage, or immunity granted or available only to a particular person or group. In sociology, privilege is the perceived rights or advantages that are assumed to be available only to a particular person or group of people.
This definition is by no means the end of the discussion. So here’s another link I found helpful.
You’re attending a show, perhaps a movie or concert, and either having your view totally blocked by the tall person in front of you or realizing that you’re blocking the view for the short person behind you.
I think this link is excellent: Recognizing Heterosexual Privilege. Here are two spot on examples:
Showing affection in public safely and comfortably, without fear of harassment or violence
Not facing rejection from one’s family and friends because of one’s sexual orientation or gender identity
There have been tons of articles and opinion pieces written on privilege, and you can read them all with a simple search. Some are a little more extreme than others, but I think if you just try to grasp the basic concept it helps. Because the truth is that if you’re not born into straight white privilege in our society, and you are part of a marginalized group of people, your life is going to be a lot more difficult. Because that tall person blocking your view isn’t going to get up and go sit in the back.
Straight Rami Malek On Brian Singer Allegations, Again
There’s another interview out where straight male actor, Rami Malek, who proudly plays gayface in the movie, Bohemian Rhapsody, comments about the Brian Singer sex assault allegations.
Pivoting to his own experience with the director, the star said he found it difficult to talk about because he didn’t want to take away from the focus on Mercury and Queen, but said he doesn’t “want anyone to not feel like they can share their story.”
You can read the rest here, if you’re interested.
Tweets About Growing Up Gay
Here’s a piece with screen shots of tweets that talks about what it was like to grow up gay. Of course the experience is a little different for all of us, but I also think we can relate to all of them, at least on some level. The bottom line is we knew we weren’t coming from a place of privilege and we did our best to survive in a heteronormative world.
Here’s an example of one:
As a gay man, I consider the following as assault: bro hugs, fist bumps, and that weird clap/handshake/hold bullshit.
I believe he’s using the word ‘assault’ in a sarcastic way.
More About the Jussie Smollett Attack
I like Jussie Smollett and I think he has a story to tell. And I’m not the only one. Here’s a compelling piece written by someone who’s been an ex-pat for quite some time, and who’s now wondering about their return to the US.
I don’t want to go home. It’s not that I’m afraid of returning. It’s this: Do I really want to go back to a place where I’m not wanted?
I can say, first hand, that whenever I travel cross country with Tony by car, we never completely relax. Never. When you’re gay, you never put your guard down. It’s a way of life that straight people will never understand.
Here’s the link. It’s really a very good read, and I think it’s well balanced, too.