This Professor Made A Powerful Statement About Heteronormativity By Flipping The Script

"When did you decide you were a heterosexual?"

Last week, a professor teaching a human sexuality class this semester gave a questionnaire to her heterosexual students in an effort for them to better understand the types of statements that are often presented to members of the LGBTQ community. A junior in the class, Elise, posted the list of questions on her Twitter in order to show her friends, but the post quickly went viral. 


The professor's list of questions reads:

Questions for Heterosexuals in the Class What do you think caused your heterosexuality? When did you decide you were a heterosexual? Is it possible that your heterosexuality is just a phrase that you may grow out of? Why do you insist on flaunting your heterosexuality? Why can't you just be what you are and keep quiet about it? Why do you heterosexuals feel compelled to seduce others into your lifestyle? Have you considered therapy to change your heterosexual tendencies?

Elise told Buzzfeed that many of the students in the class were amused by the questions, some of which the professor, whose identity and institution Elise has chosen to keep anonymous, asked students to try to answer. 

"The slide is supposed to be funny, but she made us really think about why it was so funny," she told Buzzfeed. "A lot of people in the class had probably never been asked these questions before, so I think she was trying to show them what it would be like, but in a humorous way."

A heterosexual questionnaire like the one Elise's professor gave her class was originally developed by Martin Rochlin in the 1970s to illustrate the difficulties of living in a heteronormative society for someone whose sexuality does not match the default assumption. According to the nonprofit Advocates for Youth, the questions are meant to represent the nearly impossible-to-answer questions that many LGBTQ individuals face during the coming out process and to put heterosexuals in the shoes of someone in the LGBTQ community — even if it's just for a few questions.

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Cover image via Marc Bruxelle / Shutterstock.


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