USA Today College featured “Opinion: My fight against homonormativity” by Jayson Flores ’14 on Jan. 28. The article is an honest look at the pressure in the LGBT community to mimic heteronormative standards and features insights from educators, including Dr. Graciela Slesaransky-Poe, Associate Professor of Education.
For a long time, the members of the LGBT community were outsiders in mainstream society. Now there are some that have a chance to become insiders, but in order to get inside they have to conform to very specific norms, leaving the feminine and “unnatural” gays behind them. It becomes a choice of taking a bittersweet entrance into mainstream society by conforming or staying on the outside. To people who have always been insiders — whether it is little Suzy down the road who has always liked boys, likes wearing dresses and is petite and skinny, or troublemaker John who has always liked girls, likes tees and jeans and is muscular — it is difficult to see the trends of homonormativity as negative, because heteronormativity has always rewarded those whose biology, sexuality and gender identity line up.