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What if being Queer was the New “Normal”?

Updated: Jun 22, 2023



Welcome to a provocative look into the future that questions established conventions and envision a world where homonormativity is the dominant paradigm. Imagine a time about 100 years in the future. Instead of imagining flying cars, artificial intelligence taking over, or life on some other planet, imagine a world that is homonormative.


A change has taken place in this made-up society, where the majority of people identify as queer. To marry someone of the same sex, start a family, and have children through medical technology is more than just normal; it is a norm. In place of the tales of Cinderella and the Prince, parents now tell the tales of Cinderella and Snow White finding love and happiness together and being empowered to embrace diverse expressions of love.


The political and religious institutions redefine social expectations by emphasizing how homonormativity is considered to be “natural” and “normal”. Laws have been established by the government to legalize same-sex marriages, granting full marriage rights and recognition to same-sex couples. Same-sex couples enjoy various legal protections and benefits. It includes financial benefits where married couples have access to tax benefits, joint filing of taxes, and eligibility for certain government benefits or social security programs. Marriage can grant access to spousal healthcare benefits, including medical insurance coverage and the ability to make medical decisions for a partner. Same-sex couples benefit from parental rights and adoption processes, allowing them to become legal parents to their children.


This society views heterosexuality as an alternative lifestyle and anyone who identifies as a heterosexual is looked down upon. A constant side eye is given by people when they see two individuals of the opposite sex holding hands on the subway or taking a walk in the park. Doctors and scientists are immersed in finding a cure for ‘heterosexuality’. Local gurus and babas claim to provide 100% effective results in making a heterosexual person back to normal by helping them get attracted to people of their sex. This is a society where traditional gender roles become obsolete.


Imagine you are a middle-aged man/woman living in this society, who finds themselves being attracted to people of the opposite sex. You have tried several attempts at getting rid of these feelings but you just know in your heart that these feelings are not something you can banish. You know that living in a homonormative society, you are a minority. As you become more aware of your identity, you wish to reach out to people like you but you’re confused. “Are there others like me or am I the only one who feels this way?”, “do I have a problem within me, is it normal for me to feel like this?” are some of the questions running through your mind. Living in a world where heterosexuality is viewed as unconventional, it is only natural that you struggle to find answers and meaning. You question the notion of “normal” and the expectations placed upon you by society.


Take a moment.


Let this scenario sink in.


What comes up for you?


Did you get a chance to put yourself in the shoes of members of the LGBT community, and confront your own biases, prejudices, and assumptions about love, relationships, and gender?


If you are someone who identifies as a heterosexual, how does it feel to envision living in a world where you were the minority for change? Where you were the one who was confused and closeted with limited or no means to reach out to similar people, let alone find a community.


In the imagined scenario, same-sex relationships are viewed as the norm in a culture that celebrates homonormativity. Even laws are supported by society to safeguard married couples' privileges and legal rights. However, in reality, LGBTQ+ people still experience difficulties and discrimination in our world. Today, more Indians than ever before may accept homosexuality and queer identities, but within the confines of family, home, and school, acceptance of their sexuality and freedom to openly express their gender choices continue to be challenges for LGBTQ people. Moreover, in our present society, despite the decriminalization of homosexuality in India, there are ongoing struggles for equal rights and legal recognition for same-sex marriages, depriving members of the community of access to fundamental rights and protections.


No matter how intriguing the imagined situation might be, the fact that LGBTQ+ people still struggle to find acceptance and have to compromise how they show their sexual orientation and gender identity speaks for itself. While the imagined homonormative society challenges us to question societal norms and biases, it's important to acknowledge that the reality of LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance is much more complex and diverse.


The provocative reversal of societal norms serves as a means to foster empathy and understanding. By envisioning a society where heterosexuality is viewed as unconventional and marginalized, we can reflect upon the experiences of the LGBTQ+ community and the challenges they face in our own reality. It encourages us to question the concept of "normal" and the expectations society places on individuals based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.


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