Wikipedia: Cisgender

Info: Heterosexism


Definition of Straight


"I don't mind straight people, as long as they don't act straight in public."

-Dennis Rodman


The word "straight" has been adopted as a slang term used to refer to a "heterosexual person" or to "heterosexual orientation." In this context, a "straight" person is a heterosexual person or someone having a sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex or someone who is attracted to persons of the opposite sex.  Otherwise, the word "straight" has many definitions and meanings.


According to the Urban dictionary, the term "straight" can be used to describe a person who does not participate in "dangerous" activity such as drugs, alcohol, sex or criminal activity.  A good girl.  A good guy.


Traditionally the word "straight" referenced the quality of an object possessing no bends, curves, or twists.  Today the word "straight" refers to myriad categories including heterosexuality, commonality of opinion, earnest communication, and level of comprehension.



There are multiple traditional meanings for the word, "straight:"
--Without a bend or curve, evenly formed or set, not crooked
--Frank, honest, upright, correct
--In proper order
--Without interruption or break, continuous, in an unbroken series

--Without reservations or exceptions
--Unmixed, undiluted, unmodified (i.e. alcoholic drinks)
--Showing no emotion or humor, serious rather than comic, natural rather than eccentric

--Behaving in a conventional manner, holding orthodox views, conventional, standard, normal


There are multiple slang meanings for the word, "straight:"
--Term used in agreement, approval
--Term used to denote the validity of a statement or claim
--Term used to describe a manner of frank communication (i.e. straight talk)
--Term used to determine level of understanding, agreement, or otherwise mutual understanding and agreement

--Term used to qualify one's sexual orientation



Washington Post: Three Guys Want Permit for Straight Pride Parade

NY Times: Amid Boston LGBTQ Pride Week, Straight Pride Parade Draws Attention

Huffington Post: Backlash for Straight Pride Parade in Boston



According to the Urban Dictionary, a heterosexual is a person who is attracted to persons of the opposite gender or a person who loves people of the opposite sex. Heterosexuality is the most common sexual orientation in the world, but by no means "normal". It is simply more common than some variations of human sexuality. Only tiny minorities are exclusively heterosexual or exclusively homosexual (somewhere between 2 to 5% each).  Most are somewhere in between those two extremes. Heterosexuals are people that are romantically and sexually attracted to the opposite gender. So females are attracted to males and males are attracted to females.

According to Wikipedia, heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender. As a sexual orientation, heterosexuality is an enduring pattern of emotional, romantic, and/or sexual attractions to persons of the opposite sex.  It also refers to a person's sense of identity based on those attractions, related behaviors, and membership in a community of others who share those attractions.  Along with bisexuality and homosexuality, heterosexuality is one of the three main categories of sexual orientation within the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. The term heterosexual or heterosexuality is usually applied to humans, but heterosexual behavior is observed in all mammals and in other animals.


What it means to be straight? Straight certainly means “exclusively attracted to the opposite sex.” Thus, a “straight” woman is attracted only to men and never to women.  And a "straight" man is attracted only to women and never to men.  Heterosexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior between persons of the opposite sex or gender.  Someone who is heterosexual is commonly referred to as straight.

Slang terms for heterosexuals include "straight," "vanilla," and "breeders."


Heterosexual Pride

Privilege Checklist


Straight Terminology


Heterosexual -  Clinical term used to describe a person characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire and affection toward persons of the opposite sex.  A person who engages in sexual intercourse with individuals of the opposite sex.


Het/Hetero - Slang terms, shorthand for heterosexual.


Straight  -  Slang term referring to a person who is a heterosexual person, someone having a sexual orientation to persons of the opposite sex, someone who is attracted to persons of the opposite sex.


Cisgender  -    Term referring to a person who is not transgender.  It refers to a person whose gender identity and biological sex assigned at birth are in alignment.


Cis-Het  -  Slang term referring to a person who is both cisgender and heterosexual. A person is cis/het if he or she is cisgender (identifying with his or her assigned-at-birth gender) as well as heterosexual (attracted exclusively to people of the opposite sex).  


Gender Normative/Gender Straight –  Term used to describe someone whose gender presentation, whether by nature or by choice, aligns with society’s gender-based expectations.

Bromance/Bromantic - Term used to describe two heterosexual men displaying affection for each other.


Ally  -  Term used to refer to a person who is typically straight or cis-identified who demonstrates support and respect for members of the LGBTQ community.  Allies are affirming of and friendly to the LGBTQ community without being a member of the community.  


Vanilla  -  Slang term used by the BDSM community to refer to non-kinky people and the unadventurous and dull type of sexual activity they engage in. Traditionally, "vanilla" is defined as something having no special or extra features, something that is ordinary or standard, unexciting, or conventional.  Vanilla sex refers to sex that involves no twists or kinkiness, and no S&M. No toys, fetish, or edgeplay.  Basically, plain regular sex.


Breeder  -  Slang term (often derogatory) used by the homosexual community to refer to heterosexual couples, who have a significantly higher risk of contributing to the population increase than homosexuals do. 





According to the Urban Dictionary, "breeder' is a slang term used by some childfree people for those who have a child and might have many more after that, refuses to discipline their children, thinks the sun rises and sets for their children, looks down upon people who do not have children, and are in general very selfish and greedy when it comes to their whims and those of their children, especially if they can use their parenthood status or their children as an excuse to get their way.


Breeder can be a derogatory term used by inner city dwellers (of any sexual orientation) to define inhabitants of the suburbs who subscribe to and are enslaved by their desire to procreate.  Employed as a derogatory term, used by homosexuals to describe heterosexuals, it refers to one who breeds with members of the opposite sex. It is drawn from the fact that while homosexual sex does not lead to reproduction, heterosexual sex can.  Use of the term carries an implicit mocking by connotation of animal husbandry. A female breeder is commonly called a moo, and a male breeder a duh.




Straight Talk

"What is straight? A line can be straight, or a street, but the human heart, oh, no, it's curved like a road through mountains."

-Tennessee Williams / Streetcar Named Desire


"I think heterosexuality is a perversion of nature."

-Margaret Mead


"There is objective proof that homosexuality is more interesting than heterosexuality. It's that we know a considerable  number of heterosexuals who would wish to become homosexuals.  Whereas we know very few homosexuals who would really like to become heterosexuals."

-Michael Foucault


"Heterosexuality is not normal. It's just common."

-Dorothy Parker


"In itself, homosexuality is as limiting as heterosexuality.  The ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man, either one, any human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation."

-Simone de Beauvoir  



Etymology and History of Heterosexual

"Hetero" comes from the Greek word héteros, meaning "other party" or "another", used in science as a prefix meaning "different". The term "heterosexual" was first published in 1892 in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis". The noun came into use from the early 1920s, but did not enter common use until the 1960s. The colloquial shortening "hetero" is attested from 1933. The abstract noun "heterosexuality" is first recorded in 1900. The word "heterosexual" was first listed in Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary as a medical term for "morbid sexual passion for one of the opposite sex."  However, in 1934 in their Second Edition Unabridged it is defined as a "manifestation of sexual passion for one of the opposite sex or normal sexuality." The adjective "heterosexual" is used for intimate relationships or sexual relations between male and female.


The current use of the term heterosexual has its roots in the broader 19th century tradition of personality taxonomy. It continues to influence the development of the modern concept of sexual orientation, and can be used to describe individuals' sexual orientation, sexual history, or self-identification. Some reject the term "heterosexual" as the word only refers to one's sexual behavior and does not refer to non-sexual romantic feelings. The term "heterosexual" is suggested to have come into use as a neologism after, and opposite to the word "homosexual" by Karl Maria Kertbeny in 1868. In LGBTQ slang, the term "breeder" has been used as a denigrating phrase to deride heterosexuals.

The word can be informally shortened to "hetero".  The term "straight" originated as a mid-20th century gay slang term for heterosexuals, ultimately coming from the phrase "to go straight" (as in "straight and narrow"), or to stop engaging in homosexual sex. One of the first uses of the word in this way was in 1941 by author G. W. Henry. Henry's book concerned conversations with homosexual males and used this term in connection with the reference to ex-gays. It currently simply is a colloquial term for "heterosexual" having, like many words, changed in primary meaning over time. Some object to usage of the term "straight" because it implies that non-heteros are crooked.



An Illustration of Privilege

Reflection: Heterosexual Privilege

Privilege Walk: What is Privilege

How Privileged Are You?

Privilege Checklist


Comments About Heterosexuality


"People do not represent two discrete populations, heterosexual and homosexual. The world is not to be divided into sheeps and goats. Not all things are black nor all things white."

-Alfred Kinsey

"The dynamic of how women and men are meant to interact, for those of us who are looking for a heterosexual relationship, is very broken, and it leads to a lot of really dysfunctional relationships, abusive and otherwise."

-Whitney Wolfe Herd

"If there is a substantial difference between a gay couple and a childless heterosexual couple, I'm unable to see it."

-Daniel Keys Moran

"There is no conscious choice of heterosexual identity any more than there is a homosexual one. The last person in the world who wants to be homosexual, for the most part, are homosexuals."

-Michael Eric Dyson

"It seems to me the most important issue in the LGBTQ community is the right to be queer, the right to be free of the heterosexual assumption."

-Jasmine Guy


"I'm as heterosexual as any person need be. I'm open about my relationships (or lack thereof ) in my own life, because I want to make the case that gay isn't contagious. It's not something that you can catch or learn or choose."

-Hal Sparks

"People say, When did you decide you were gay? and you think, When did you decide you were heterosexual? It's not a decision. It's something you gradually begin to realize about yourself."

-Sandi Toksvig

"The widely held belief that the heterosexual nuclear family is best for children has long been used as a smoke screen for homophobia and as a talking point to quash marriage-equality efforts."

-Jessica Valenti

"I'm really not an avowed heterosexual. I'm no more proud of it than of being white or tall."

-George Weinberg

"The state and the church seldom approve of anything I do. I don't need their approval. I don't aspire to the heterosexual nuclear family model."

-Jasmine Guy


Wikipedia: Cisgender

Info: Cisgender

Cisnormativity is Rampant

Wikipedia: Heterosexuality

Info: Transgender

What If Straight People Had to Come Out

Hetero/Cis Normativity in Our Society

Info: Gender Non-Conforming



Conventional Sex


Conventional sex, or vanilla sex, is sexual behavior that is within the range of normality for a culture or subculture, and typically involves sex which does not include elements of BDSM, kink, or fetish activities. It is plain, everyday, and average. When looking at conventional (or standard) sex with disdain, it may be described as boring, routine, unadventurous or dull.


Typically, we think of the missionary position as the most conventional or basic sexual position.  For a straight couple, is no more than the male-superior position; that is, the man on top, the woman on the bottom. Otherwise, more generally defined, it is two people lying down, face to face, one person on top of the other person.  It is pretty much unique to humans, and therefore differentiates us from animals. It puts partners face-to-face during sex. With this position, you can remain under the covers and still enjoy intercourse.


Wikipedia: Cisgender

Info: Heterosexism

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