I need you to understand that straight people don’t exist.
That’s a glib abbreviation, mind you. Of course ‘straight people’ exist. They exist like all kinds of social constructs and communicated ideas humans have do. Our morality systems are modes of communication, and so are our nations and ideologies and shared cultural histories. Starting from bang the rocks together and moving upwards, humanity looks at the world in a really complicated latticework of things that we are definitely confident exist, and we treat as if they do exist, because we can interface with them because they exist. Money does not exist, except we all believe it exists and acknowledge that belief, and so, we can use money. In a way, money is one of our great communal tricks, with a significant portion of seven billion people just deciding to go along with it because it works enough.
Thing is, ‘straight people’ are just as much a social construct as anything else. Because the ideas of ‘male’ as a discrete unit of genders, ‘female’ as an equal and opposite discrete unit of genders, and the sexual and romantic combination of relationships between those two being ‘straightness’ are all made up.
Now, you might argue that they’re pretty useful – and for a lot of people they are! If we got rid of those categories tomorrow, we’d probably still want a pretty big bucket for a lot of the ‘men’ to occupy and the same with ‘women.’ But even then these are just English words I’m writing on a blog – there are other cultures with entirely different relationships to gender, and the reason we see these traits as inherent is part of an aggressive and widespread effort to ensure that we see them that way.
The world you live in is an overlay of complicated communication with other humans, sometimes implicit and sometimes not. Taboos and cultural norms are all a matter of the messages baked into the world around you, and one of those things is there is a ‘straightness’ that exists, and it is overwhelmingly the norm. It’s something we can’t even dig into meaningfully, because all the tools we use to talk about it are encrusted with these same ideas. To talk about straightness is to acknowledge straightness exists, and that means all the ideas about different ways of viewing sexuality down underneath the system that we’ve got laid on top of it are themselves going to have to approach the world in these weird, wonky, circular ways.
And once you start questioning these foundational elements of the way we view the world, you get things turning weird real fast. Genders don’t inherently exist. Sexuality is an observed human activity we communicate about – it may be a byproduct of your unique chemistry and may have trends, but that doesn’t mean it’s intrinsic and immutable.
This was once asked to me as ‘are humans inherently queer.’ The answer is ‘not really, but kinda.’
Humans don’t have an inherent character to them, a singular identity that is born out of who and what they are. We have the sum of our choices and experiences and the ways we communicate.
Also some of us are cranky little raptor gremlins and they will inevitably scree at the tweet promoting this.