There exists a double standard in the treatment of heterosexual relationships and LGBTQ+ relationships. There’s a certain over-sexualisation and obsession with sex from outsiders when it comes to queer relationships that just are not as present with hetero-cis relationships.
Talking about sex is good, and incredibly useful to members of the community who might have only grown up with heterosexual and cisgender sex education and representation. However, when this talk of sex starts to excessively worm its way into other aspects of conversation and viewership where hetero-cis relationships don’t get a second look, it might be worth questioning why that is.
2,000 years ago, the Holy Bible did a whoopsie and condemned sodomy, and now we can’t teach children about same-sex relationships without some Karen protesting about the innocence of the growing generation. The association of queer relationships used to be solely defined by who was putting what in whom, as crude as that is, and that definition, for some people, has lingered.
Likewise, contemporary gay marriage wasn’t legalised anywhere in the world until 2001. Whether or not you think marriage is an archaic way to define a relationship, for many, the union legitimises a relationship, and without that legitimisation before, queer relationships weren’t considered on par with straight relationships as something ‘normal’ or ‘genuine’, instead defined by their parameters for sexual intercourse.
Any LGBTQ+ person will undeniably have to face implicit societal homophobia. Despite this, same-sex female relationships tend to have more freedom than same-sex male relationships. And, well, if we’re going to point fingers at who to blame, the patriarchy is probably a good place to start.
If women are still being perceived as commodified sexual vehicles by the alpha males of the world (and, if you venture into any cesspool of comments on articles about feminism, these alpha males are out in droves), then two women together is an absolute field day. As long as they can watch and derive pleasure from these interactions, the alpha males have no issue with letting female relationships slide by – after all, it’s no secret that most lesbian porn is created for straight men. However, when these alpha males view gay or bisexual men as a threat to them, this lustfulness vanishes and is replaced instead by disgust and fear.
From September 2020, it is compulsory to teach primary school children about LGBTQ+ relationships in Relationship and Sex Education. Naturally, this was met with plenty of backlash from self-entitled parents who claimed it was against their “religious and philosophical morals”.
However, these protestors seem hellbent on pushing the ‘inappropriate’ aspect, worried that their children will be sullied by the sin that is same-sex couples depicted in loving relationships. This education consists of both relationships and sex (it’s in the name); no one bats an eye at the inappropriateness of teaching children about sex between a man and a woman. If they’re worried about the sex part, well, I don’t know how to tell them that straight people have sex, too.
It’s a lot of little things that build up over time. When I was 15, the top film in Netflix’s LGBTQ+ genre section was ‘Blue Is the Warmest Color’, which is essentially 3 hours of lesbian soft porn. Every day I see underage straight girls on social media discussing who tops and who bottoms in their (always male) ship of the month. It’s this nit-picking obsession to know what goes on behind closed doors that I’ve seen way more in LGBTQ+ relationships than straight relationships.
There’s not a get-fix-quick solution to these embedded societal biases. At this point, it’s just useful to be aware of them. Sexuality is not, and has never been, binary. Whether you enjoy sex, aren’t fussed about it, are attracted to every gender, or are only attracted to one, it’s none of other people’s business.