Homonormativity

Homonormativity refers to the assimilation of homosexual people into a heteronormative system, so that homosexuality is accepted but heteronormativity and its corresponding gender and sexual norms are not challenged.

We’ve previously looked at the idea of ‘heteronormativity’. Heteronormativity includes the idea that heterosexuality is normal and superior, but it also includes the idea that certain kinds of relationships, familial structures and sexual behaviour is more acceptable than others. For example, heteronormativity conveys the idea that sex is best within a marriage, that sex work is wrong, that BDSM is unacceptable and that ‘promiscuity’ is immoral.

So homonormativity is not about homosexuality becoming any more normal than heterosexuality. It’s about homosexuality becoming acceptable within that structures. Thus, certain kinds of non-heterosexual people and relationships are policed and oppressed.

An example of homonormativity is the fact that same-gender marriage has been highly prioritized in the mainstream gay rights movement. As mentioned in the article below, this ” promotes the idea that all people want to emulate straight monogamous couples. When we focus only on this issue, we exclude polyamorous and other non-normative relationship structures as acceptable, as well as, of course, those who don’t want to get married.”

Another example of homonormativity is that many non-homosexual identities are made invisible in their own communities, as well as the fact that trans and intersex people are sometimes oppressed in supposedly LGBTIQAP+ communities. In a great number of heteronormative spaces, sexism, racism, ableism and classism are all rife.

Homonormativity seeks to make homosexuality normal *to heterosexual people*, rather than work to support and uplift all marginalized people.

The problem with homonormativity is that it is the integration of homosexual people into a system – a system that shouldn’t exist in the first place. We shouldn’t be assimilating to the system; rather, we should be disrupting the system.

More info: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/homonormativity-101/ 

Image by Michelle Avenant

Image by Michelle Avenant


Homonormativity seeks to make homosexuality normal *to heterosexual people*, rather than work to support and uplift all marginalized people.

The problem with homonormativity is that it is the integration of homosexual people into a system – a system that shouldn’t exist in the first place. We shouldn’t be assimilating to the system; rather, we should be disrupting the system.

More info: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/01/homonormativity-101/

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