Heterosexism is discrimination and prejudice based on sexuality, specifically favoring heterosexuality over other sexualities. Heterosexism highlights the tendency of societies or individuals to devalue and exclude individuals based on their sexuality, perpetuating negative stereotypes and assumptions. This can have profound effects on LGBQA+ individuals, leading to feelings of shame, self-doubt, and a lack of acceptance. Heterosexism denies the valuable contributions and experiences of LGBQA+ individuals, creating barriers to equity and social inclusion.
Notice that we are only using some of the letters from the moniker LGBTQIA+. This is because the letters include identifiers for both gender and sexuality. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Queer, and Asexual are the terms aligning with sexuality while Transgender and Intersex align with gender identity. Queer aligns with both gender and sexuality – signifying a fluid orientation (for either gender or sexuality). It is important to differentiate between the letters of the moniker to signify that gender and sexuality are not the same identity nor are they predictive of one another.
Youmanity is an organization that focuses on celebrating diversity and promoting equality and inclusion. Founded with the aim of breaking down barriers and fostering understanding between individuals, Youmanity utilizes various mediums to spread its message, including its popular YouTube channel.
In this video, they delve into the complex and often misunderstood concepts of gender and sexuality. Through a combination of informative narration, engaging visuals, and personal stories, the video aims to educate viewers and challenge preconceived notions.
“Understanding yourself can take time, and it is perfectly all right to change your mind & to express yourself the way it feels right for you.” –Youmanity
Let us ask you this:
- What are your typical initial/first thoughts when you meet someone who identifies as LGBTQ+? Do these first thoughts align with what you believe to be true about all people of different sexual orientations?
- What is your current experience with Heterosexism? Have you, or someone you know, ever had a lived experience with Heterosexism? If yes, what impact did it have on you?
- Reflecting on the video, how does the message impact you? Your environment/organization?
Today, it is crucial to acknowledge and celebrate the diverse experiences and contributions of individuals who identify as LGBTQ+. We must actively challenge heterosexist attitudes and practices in our society, promoting equality and inclusivity for all sexual orientations. By embracing diversity and recognizing the value of every individual, we can foster a more just and accepting world. This involves breaking down prejudice, advocating for LGBTQ+ rights and protections, and creating spaces that affirm and support all sexual orientations.
This is a reminder that every moment is an opportunity to continue learning and reflecting and that there is always room for growth in ourselves and in our communities.