Hey, when did you learn that you were heterosexual?
No seriously, when did you figure out you were heterosexual?
Was it during middle school when you had your first crush on a cisgendered white male who was the quarterback on the school football team? Did you dream of kissing him, playing footsies and holding his hand? Did something click into your brain that you, in fact may be, a heterosexual?
Or was it something that you always knew? Did you always know something seemed different about you? That you liked people of the opposite sex? Did you fear coming out to your conservative, christian dad who thought of your as “daddy’s little girl?” Did you lie in bed thinking about how exactly you were going to put it into to words to your christian family that you liked people of the opposite sex?
“Hey Dad, I’ve been doing some deep thinking lately. I don’t know how you are going to take this, hopefully very well but, I like…boys.”
Did your christian dad wince at the fact you were thirteen and already like boys? Did he tell you that you should “think about your answer more” instead of deciding on it right now because you were in fact too young to completely know your sexuality? Or, did he kick you out of the house because your flamboyant sexuality would “ostracize” the family?
Were you bullied in school for liking the opposite sex? Did you have to keep your first relationship a secret out of fear if it got out to the rest of the school, the entire town would know, and your preacher would tell you that what you’re doing is a sin and you must pray to God, convert yourself or you’d go to hell? The teachers would treat you differently and constantly made gestures that they obviously didn’t approve of your behavior? Would they out you to your conservative, christian parents and make them take care of it? Would those conservative, christian parents send you to straight conversion therapy camp?
To the straight people reading this, you may think it’s silly that I’m posing these questions towards you, but I’m trying to prove a point here. It’s really awkward as well as judgmental when someone comes out to your, or you’re interviewing someone who’s queer and your first question is:
“When did you first realize you were gay/lesbian/pan/bi etc…?”
When you’re out in the world preaching equality for all, you’re not treating us as equals by distinguishing that we’re not seen as equals to you. That question poses bias that we must’ve either thought we were straight until a lightbulb clicked into our heads, we weren’t always gay or that we somehow realized we were gay at some point. While, that may be true, it’s not really your place to make those questions, especially since when you say “you’re straight”, no one asks those questions towards you.
Check your privilege.