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What’s wrong with being straight? Heterosexuality is now deemed déclassé

'When I encounter a functioning straight couple nowadays, I want to cheer.' Credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty

'When I encounter a functioning straight couple nowadays, I want to cheer.' Credit: Anne-Christine Poujoulat/AFP/Getty


May 17, 2022   5 mins

As a gay man — I know that awful phrase is usually followed by irrelevant twaddle, but please bear with me. As a gay man, I have always found heterosexuality quite fascinating. I have made something of an unconscious study of it. I remember going to house parties, as a teenager, where my heterosexual peers would divide across the room, boys one side and girls the other, and then gradually pair off to fumble in corners to the mating call of Spandau Ballet. I felt like David Attenborough lurking in the undergrowth or a birdwatcher in his hide, excitedly whispering “And now the spawning begins!” and jotting down copious notes in a tattered exercise book.

Back then, heterosexuality looked as easy as falling off a log. They say that onlookers see most of the game, and I found the push and pull of it all, the simple animal processes overlaid by human sophistications, endlessly interesting. I still do.

Today, though, heterosexuals are an endangered species. A recent survey uncovered that 21% of young adults (born between 1997 and 2003) in America identify as “LGBTQ+”. It also reported the frankly incredible stat that the number of self-identifying non-heterosexuals in the American population as a whole has doubled since 2012, from 3.5% to 7.1%.

It is, of course, vanishingly unlikely that a fifth of a population has turned spontaneously away from heterosexuality overnight. The rise of the insubstantial concepts of TQ+, which have little to do with sexual orientation but have been bolted on to LGB for some reason, obviously accounts for some of this. “Queer” is a particularly slippery category; it now seems to include anything from straight chaps wearing eyeliner to straight girls dyeing their hair shocking pink. Thus, it has elevated attendees of a Rocky Horror night or a Depeche Mode concert to the status of a persecuted minority.

But still, the survey finds that 57% of the respondees (of all ages) claiming to be non-hetero say they are bisexual. So, either this was always the case, but people concealed their sexuality due to social stigma. Or — and this is the far more likely scenario, in my opinion — heterosexuals are becoming socially embarrassed by their heterosexuality and trying not to be déclassé.

The reason I believe this is the more likely scenario is that heterosexuality, among the great and the good, now seems more fraught than being bisexual did a decade ago. The grim academic neologism “heteronormativity”, thanks to Tumblr and Twitter, is everywhere. The last few days are representative: Trisha Greenhalgh, a Professor of Primary Care and a member of independent SAGE, exhorting her followers to avoid “preaching heteronormativity”; an Indonesian magazine telling its readers that heteronormativity was the creation of Dutch colonialism; and Dr Nick Gah of Harvard stating that history isn’t called “herstory” because — well, you’ve guessed it. (This will come as a surprise to anybody who knows the Greek word histor meaning witness).

The powerful organs of the LGBTQ+ movement have spent the last decade saying, “let’s end stigma, break taboos, and stop judging”. What this actually means is “let’s move stigma, place taboos around other things, and carry on judging people but for different reasons”.

Who would want to be “normative”, when you can catch a little of the glamour previously hoarded by the gays? A “normative” identity is increasingly seen as ethically dubious in the West; to be socially acceptable, to gain cachet and status, people have to identify as some kind of minority. Race is increasingly rigidly policed and culturally segregated, with white people cast as original sinners because of what they look like. But fear not! Anybody can identify into some spicy high-status oppression at the drop of a rainbow-striped Stetson by claiming to be non-heterosexual, no questions asked.

At the further end of the culture, prominent heterosexuals such as Laurie Penny, Jameela Jamil and Demi Lovato now all claim to be “queer”. Heterosexuality now carries such low status, in their bananas world, that they’ve felt the need to disavow it.

There are further incentives for people to identify as non-hetero in Hollywood, the arbiter of our culture. Take the bizarre new “representation” quota for eligibility at the Oscars — where at least 30% of characters in a film must come from “underrepresented minority groups” or a main storyline must revolve around such groups or it won’t even be considered for an award. It would strike dead most of human culture accrued over millennia, but actors and writers must now obey this peculiar edict or lose their careers.

It’s all deeply patronising, and borderline homophobic. There is a kind of fetishisation of non-hetero relationships going on here, an element of voyeurism not much different from straight girls who kiss each other at parties to get the boys’ attention. It is also artistically crass. It means that unalloyed heterosexuality can never be depicted, and has a trickle-down effect of making it culturally unacceptable.

It’s no coincidence that all this is happening where #MeToo came to a head — making heterosexuality seem not only embarrassing but frankly dangerous. But Hollywood is also representative of a wider social movement.

Beneficial changes in material conditions in the West have led, paradoxically, to increased angst and the sexes being increasingly wary of each other. So #MeToo plus the atomisation of social life, plus the grim commodification of reproduction and romantic love, plus the problematisation of male sexual desire for women and its expression have made heterosexuals of both sexes neurotic, jumpy and hyper-vigilant. It could be another factor in the so-called Sex Recession among Gen Z; the number of high school students in America having sex has dropped from 54 to 40% since 1991.

Every society has regulations and social standards around heterosexuality, often wildly variant. Ours have changed with dizzying rapidity. One might feel almost nostalgic for something as asinine as “Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus”. At least that didn’t come laden with drear politics and sweaty-palmed suspicion.

Let me be clear, I’m not blaming heterosexuals for their current predicament; I am blaming the culture that’s increasingly scattering obstacles in their path. When I encounter a functioning straight couple nowadays, I want to cheer.

Because at a very basic level, heterosexuality is of major importance, as the great motor of humanity. Without it, nobody would exist. It is a responsibility and (I’ve observed) a great joy, to rear and to effectively socialise children. The devaluation of parenthood — and of stable heterosexual coupling — across the West has had serious social consequences, exacerbated by bad economic decisions taken by Western governments. It has become increasingly financially difficult to raise kids — the ONS reported in 2020 that the English fertility rate had reached its lowest recorded level — which should be the easiest thing in the world.

It is deeply foolish to ignore or wish away the material reality, and the importance, of heterosexuality, and wrong to judge different kinds of straight relationships entered into by choice. There is nothing wrong with traditional straight couples and nothing wrong with progressive straight couples. They don’t matter more than the rest of us, but they matter in a different and significant way. And they are, let us not forget, the majority.

Shame about innocuous things is dangerous. As a gay man (sorry) who came of age in the Eighties, I know that only too well. It should not be so boring or gauche to be heterosexual that people are desperate to deny it. So let us have more heteronormativity and end the stigma. Take it from a homosexual, you’re just fine as you are.


Gareth Roberts is a screenwriter and novelist, best known for his work on Doctor Who.

OldRoberts953

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Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
2 years ago

(As an)other increasingly annoyed and bewildered, middle aged, gay male, I endorse Mr Roberts’s piece.

The poor old straights, I feel for them, I really do, and the way things are going with the TQWERTY movement’, old fashioned, common or garden gays and lesbians are apparently right below them at # 2 & 3 on the oppressors hit parade. So, in the spirit of solidarity, I’m seriously considering starting a ‘gay allies for hetero rights’ movement on the bases that my enemy’s enemy is my friend and, more seriously, that the vast majority of straight people I’ve met have treated me with fairness and decency, even back in the 90s when I, in a cloud of pink smoke and glitter, came out. I will even rework an old cliche by stating that some of my closest parents were straight.

#heterorightsarehumanrights #mostpeoplearestraightgetoverit
#speciessurvivalnow

Last edited 2 years ago by Derek Bryce
Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

Ha! At last, 60 years old and I’m a rebel – proud to be straight!

Can I have a parade please? I promise it’ll be really boring – we’ll wear mundane clothing (accidentally clashing colours not deliberate colour blocking), undyed hair (for those who have it), and we’ll just chat amiably to anyone. We’ll also do whatever someone in a uniform with apparent authority (ticket collector, street cleaner, policeman) tells us to do.

It’ll be quite the spectacle! You should take your kids and grandkids to see it and point out how people used to behave.

Last edited 2 years ago by Ian Stewart
Peter Johnson
Peter Johnson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Stewart

Boring middle of the road straight conservatives are the counter culture now – how exciting.

Lennon Ó Náraigh
Lennon Ó Náraigh
2 years ago

There are just too many problems with heterosexuality. It is heartening that young adults understand this, with 21% identifying as LGBTQ+. We need to get this to 100%, perhaps even higher, stopping at 100% could be seen as homophobic. Indeed, we need to abolish heterosexuality as soon as possible. Future generations will thank us for it (with apologies to Titania McGrath).

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago

What is not stated though that it’s not heterosexuals who are facing a problem.

It’s white male heterosexuals, the one group on Earth that is most tolerant, least bigoted, and died by the millions to end slavery and fascism. Who are blamed for every ill on earth, and whose numbers are reducing both in absolute terms and percentage, even in Western countries

Once you get rid of them, or reduce their population share at least, those gays (and feminists, and anti racists) screaming, demanding “rights” and throwing a hissy fit about the tiniest slight are going to find the rest of the world is a bit… different.

Last edited 2 years ago by Samir Iker
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Samir Iker

I think you mean that some of our ethnic minorities are certainly not feeling any angst about marrying and having – several – children. The ‘wokies’ certainly wouldn’t dare to criticise them. Yes, good point.

Although, actually, the great majority of ordinary people take little notice or interest in the absurdities of identity politics – boys will continue to date – and sometimes marry – girls and have children, whatever metropolitan fashion dictates. The bigger threat to the population in practical terms is the limited supply and extremely high costs of housing, so that young couples put off having children further and further into the future.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Harry Child
Harry Child
2 years ago

There won’t be any future generations under your scheme as there will be too many genetic dead ends.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Harry Child

He was being ironic…

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

You’d hope that on a site like this you wouldn’t have to point that out!

Harry Child
Harry Child
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Of course he was and so was I after all Elton John + are raising a family.

Graham Willis
Graham Willis
2 years ago

Its certainly should not stop at 100%. Mathematics, after all, is a colonial endeavour.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago

Great!

Russell Hamilton
Russell Hamilton
2 years ago

Very entertaining. For heterosexual males one issue is “the problematisation of male sexual desire for women” which started with ‘all sex is rape’ which became ‘toxic masculinity’ and has ended up in legislation as things like ‘affirmative consent’.

Young males receive plenty of pointers that they need to be very careful about expressing themselves in just about any way at all because as we all know, it isn’t your intent, it’s how the other person feels. You could become a criminal very easily. So, better to be sexually non-committed, vague, ill-defined – anything to create distance from the male stereotype (now only celebrated in the sports subculture).

Last edited 2 years ago by Russell Hamilton
Martin Bollis
Martin Bollis
2 years ago

And now not even that. Top news story today and yesterday is … a footballer coming out!

According to some talking head from gay times, that I’ve just been listening to, football “is different today than it was yesterday.”

Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

You make a good point. Do gay people want to settle into the equality we’ve won or continue to position ourselves as perpetual victims? I guess the answer is situational – football (I’m not a fan so don’t know for sure) is maybe a homophobic throwback from yesteryear, in which case this was perhaps a brave act … does seem odd when footballers have been very publicly taking a knee for the past few years, though. Seems unlikely they would be simultaneously a temple to CRT and a bunch of gay-haters. 
Honestly, if his team mates and fans shrug and say so what, that’s the result I would want.

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
2 years ago
Reply to  Derek Bryce

Taking the knee still elicits boos, so we’re not there yet. And attending football has a large component of wanting to belong, so going along with the crowd is a strong influencer. Nobody asks a football fan for a nuanced discussion about their personal philosophy.

Samir Iker
Samir Iker
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

Thank God we are not there yet, and football crowds at least have the brains to see “taking the knee” as the political, racist, virtue signalling rubbish it is.

The problem with football crowds is not that they are racist or anti gay. In fact, they are perfectly fine with one third of footballers coming from the 3% black population in England…and most of them (contrary to what you have been told) couldn’t care less if Harry Kane turned out gay.

The problem is that large football crowds have a collective, cruel sense of humour and offer a hiding place for the odd, rare obnoxious individual.

And “progressives” lack a sense of humour, or any sense of perspective.
Any country with three black penalty takers has no issue with racism. But there will be a couple of dozen bad tweets, and those tweets will be taken as evidence as football is “racist”

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

It’s right to boo moronic sportspeople who “take the knee” to the Marxist racist hate group Black Lives Matter.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Daws

‘Taking the knee’ OUGHT to elicit boos, as it is a politicised and unwanted attempt to impose an extreme ideology on people simply wanting to watch a football match. We had an effective indigenous anti-racism campaign ‘Kick It Out’ which I have no issues with. The post George Floyd killing BLM quasi-religion (anti-capitalist, let’s burn the cities down etc etc – and perhaps NOT by the way an absolute disaster for the prospects of black people in the United States) is something else entirely.

Last edited 2 years ago by Andrew Fisher
Ian Thorpe
Ian Thorpe
2 years ago
Reply to  Martin Bollis

Football has been different for several decades. Any physical contact is likely to be penalised, silly haircuts that would once have cause a player to be laughed off the pitch are no de rigeur and the young players seem more concerned with developing their social media image than developing their game skills.
Players I grew up watching such as Tommy Smith (Liverpool) Norman Hunter (Leeds) Ron Harris (Chelsea) Nobby Stiles (Man U) and Peter Storey (Arsenal) to name but a few ‘hard men’ would not even be allowed in the stadium, let alone be in the team.
It used to be entertaining in their era too.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago

More than a few years ago, in Redditch, there was a man who was arrested a couple of times and prosecuted by the fascist authorities for attempting to have sex with the pavement.
In the interests of inclusivity should the acronym not be LGBQTP+

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago

Well said! the race ( humanity) is being exterminated by stealth…….somebody once said, “Forgive them, they know not what they do”

Drach Man
Drach Man
2 years ago

We are so decadent, even the prospect of disappearing doesn’t bother us, even as we celebrate reproductive non productivity. We are lost.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Drach Man

Cheer up, it will never happen. We get a hugely distorted impression of society by constantly giving too much attention to a tiny minority of political and ideological obsessives.

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

..but don’t the tiny minority have an out of proportion amount of clout?

David J
David J
2 years ago

Traditional heterosexual relations outnumber all the others if I judge from my peers and Middle-England social milieu. My two daughters have both married young men, I have just set up home with the mother of two boys.
Angst seems to belong primarily to those who cannot live with themselves, and who output so many of their perceived woes to social media.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago
Reply to  David J

Yes, agreed however, train wrecks can be riveting!

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
2 years ago

Um, “me too.” I mean, I applaud Gareth Roberts for saying what needs to be said. That’s partly because his point of view amounts to a combination of common sense and common decency. But more than politeness and sentiment are involved. Without straight culture, no society can endure.
Like Roberts, I’m gay. But the world doesn’t revolve around either me or other gay people. In a way, though, it does revolve around straight people. We need them. More specifically, we need straight people with healthy straight identities. And the only way to have a healthy identity, personally or collectively, is being able to make at least one contribution to the larger society that is (a) distinctive; (b) necessary; and (c) publicly valued.
This is a problem, now, for straight people–but especially for straight men (and, to some extent, all men). For me, being gay means a whole lot more than being attracted to male bodies. It means caring for and loving male people, most of whom, by far, are straight.

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Thank you for a voice of reason. One query you might be able to help with: we often hear about “the gay community”, but never about the “straight community”. Do either of these “communities” exist as monolithic groups operating in some unitary way? I suspect not, but it would be good to hear your view..

Derek Bryce
Derek Bryce
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

I know you didn’t ask me but I think the answer is ‘no’ for both gays and straights. One thing I know for sure is that there’s no such thing as the LGBTQWERTY+ ‘community’. What commonality I might have as a gay bloke with the imagineers, attention seekers and cos-players after the ‘B’ in that monstrous construction is anyone’s guess.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

‘Community’ is one of those terms, bike ‘the environment’ and ‘sustainability’ which is used so promiscuously it has ceased to have any real meaning.
As a young gay man in the 1980s, there was something of a beleaguered – and sometimes exciting – feeling that we WERE a community. However with all civic rights now the same as for straight people, I’d say it makes as little sense to talk about a ‘gay community’ as a straight one, encompassing everyone in those categories. We are people, as straight people are, and as diverse in opinion etc.

Paul Nathanson
Paul Nathanson
1 year ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

Sorry that I’ve taken so long to reply. There are politically active gay organizations, but those are not “communities” in any historical or anthropological sense (cross-generational groups tied together by kinship, religion, class, region, language and so on). They’re more like interest groups. I’m aware of no politically active “straight communities,” although almost all communities (except, say, for monastic ones) establish kinship systems that rely on heterosexuality. The word “community” is grossly overused these days, stretched to mean almost any group: the immigrant community, the criminal community, the stamp-and-coin community, the foot community (for fetishists) and so forth. In short, it has become a euphemism that advocates and politicians use to enhance group respectability.

Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Nathanson

Well put, but I hope you don’t only extend your human love to the male half of the population!

Peter Lucey
Peter Lucey
2 years ago

Thanks for this. And I loved the first paragraph – brought a smile to my face!

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago

It is OK to be straight, just like it is to be white, religious or right wing.

Andrea 0
Andrea 0
2 years ago

I am surprised nobody has commented yet.
Very good read, thanks.

Kal Bevan
Kal Bevan
2 years ago

Well written and entertaining article which also makes a serious point. I heartily agree with the sentiments.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
2 years ago

This is spot on. A gay acquaintance has told me many times he is ‘queer’…. wait for it: because gay people live in couples like heterosexual people.

Andrea 0
Andrea 0
2 years ago

Gay is the new hetero-adjacent.

R Wright
R Wright
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrea 0

Gays and lesbians are frequently attacked by activists for having a ‘genital fetish’.

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  R Wright

TBF all a man needs to be a lesbian these days is a dress, its you old school types that make it all about genitals!

Richard Craven
Richard Craven
2 years ago
Reply to  Lindsay S

Your surname is horrifically gendered and has made me feel unsafe. Please arrange forthwith to change it by deed poll to Lindsay Snoperoffpring.

Snomonkey
Snomonkey
2 years ago
Reply to  Richard Craven

I might just have to! It’s surely a trans wet dream! I’m a natural born woman with the male spelling of a gender neutral name (disappointed parents) and my surname is a castrated frosty (snowman without the W).

Michael Askew
Michael Askew
2 years ago

Dating colleagues we meet at work is effectively banned because invitations are now treated as sexual harassment. Where are people to find life partners if the workplace is off limits? Do the same strictures apply to homosexuals, or is it just the heterosexuals who are banned from workplace romance?
Anyone know?

Philip Stott
Philip Stott
2 years ago
Reply to  Michael Askew

T’internet as far as I can gather.
Anyone under the age of 30 thinks that people who met and married after meeting in a bar, club or workplace are weird.

Lord Rochester
Lord Rochester
2 years ago

“If there is hope, it lies in the proles.”

In all seriousness, it really is just the chattering classes and their children saying this stuff. Everybody else is as heterosexual at the same percentages as forever.

Cathy Carron
Cathy Carron
2 years ago

Interesting essay. So many insecure and wobbly people as of late. However, what’s interesting to observe is that there is a strata in the upper classes, the folks with Ivy League degrees, good jobs and admittedly secure futures, where heterosexuality is thriving. Check out the over-the-top weddings, in gorgeous settings, with beautiful, happy, thin (!!!) and athletic people. It’s almost a throwback to the 50’s and 60’s. It’s lovely to observe such beautiful and happy folk getting on with life – falling in love, getting married, having babies, etc.
And there’s heterosexuality, happiness and family ‘happening’ amongst the ordinary folk as well. Everyday I observe this in my community in the countryside. People just getting on with life – kids, family, etc.
Clearly there will always be the maladjusted, questioning, insecure and let’s face it freakier types. But maybe they are just a sideshow which we’re watching as if it’s a train wreck, ie hard to take your eyeballs off of – all while life is proceeding rather as usual for most people.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Cathy Carron

Don’t know Cathy, I was brought up in a small village/clachan in Argyll there used to be about thirty children who all attended our “Wee School” before going on to secondary. Now there are no children and many of the houses inhabited by late middle aged lesbians and homosexuals all extremely socially left wing and “socially conscious” I despair for what we have lost, though there were many hard times and hard cases, but our childhood was precious and magical, full of care and “hard” love.

Last edited 2 years ago by Alex Tickell
Tony Lee
Tony Lee
2 years ago

As a 67 year old straight father of five, I suppose I’ve done my bit for the ‘normals’……
Thoroughly enjoyed the article. My one observation would be that in my lifetime, the decision to afford to have children and raise a family has never been one that I assumed the state would fund or would be financially “easy”. Quite the opposite, a decision to have children has always been one involving financial sacrifice of one sort or another – less disposable income, more expensive holidays during school holidays, health, food, clothing etc etc
It might appear today that those that accept the reality are the ones least likely to complain. Whereas those with a sense of either privilege might bemoan having to engage a nanny, au pair etc and those that those with a sense of entitlement might expect the state to meet the cost, whilst assuming that they might have as many children as they choose without regard to who might meet the cost.
The ‘best’ parents (far better than I’ve ever been) seem to focus all the energies on their family and very little on bemoaning their lot; be they relatively poor, wealthy or somewhere in the middle.

B Davis
B Davis
2 years ago

Should we be surprised that the criminalization of heterosexual male desire has yielded at least a nominal increase in those identifying as non-heterosexual?
Should we be surprised that when we equate traditional masculinity with toxicity that more men resist and avoid that heterosexist classification if only to avoid the accompanying toxic labeling?
When Andrea Dworkin & her Acolytes loudly proclaim that “the normal f*** by a normal man is taken to be an act of invasion & ownership undertaken in a mode of predation,” can anyone truly be shocked that the sexual behavior which has given us all this life is now viewed, by at least some, as an act rife with fear & trembling (better to be avoided)?
The normal expression of male interest in a woman has become a venture filled with the risk not only of total social stigmatization — if that interest turns out to be unwanted — but actual criminal prosecution, conviction, and incarceration. Consider poor, 56 yr. old Major-General William Cooney who was just convicted of “kissing (his sister-in-law) on the lips and tongue, with an intent to gratify his sexual desire”. He avoided prison time but that drunken kiss in the front seat of his sister-in-law’s car will cost him $55K in fines. (must have been one heck of a kiss!).
I suspect there are not too many high school boys who are eager to tell Mom & Dad that his attempted make-out session with Betty has cost the family $55,000….or that his application to University must now be accompanied by his record of ‘sexual assault’.
When you make one path impassable…when you fill it with booby-traps and landmines, tigers and snakes… it only makes sense to move elsewhere, doesn’t it?

Lillian Fry
Lillian Fry
2 years ago

White, particularly male persons are everywhere denigrated. Easy way to escape? Declare yourself bisexual or non-binary. These claims require no further action and voila, the claimant is now a member of an oppressed group! And he can’t be challenged.
When the fever breaks, voila again, back to your old self where you can dress as a man and pursue members of the opposite sex as is your inclination..
white women do this too.

Jason Highley
Jason Highley
2 years ago

Well said.

Richard 0
Richard 0
2 years ago

Wonderful piece – refreshing, witty and spot-on. Thank you Gareth.

Matt Sylvestre
Matt Sylvestre
2 years ago

This is so brilliant and validating I could kiss you! (And as a heteronormative male I proudly mean that in a platonic sense)… really thank you

Vince B
Vince B
2 years ago

A most excellent analysis.
I am three years older than Mr. Roberts, and can remember that growing up, anything that was uncool, odd, non-conformist or discomfiting was “So gay!” To actually be gay was the “gayest” thing in the world!
I’m so glad we’ve come a long way from that.
But as my wife, a grammar school teacher here in Los Angeles tells me, in the past 6 or 8 years, kids want to be gay, or trans, or bi- or “gender fluid,” and being straight now just seems “So gay!”
Clearly, as Mr. Roberts recognizes, something else is going on, and it has everything to do with culture and politics and the excitement of being an “embattled minority” without being embattled at all.

Last edited 2 years ago by Vince B
Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago
Reply to  Vince B

Spot on, we created this situation, from the 60’s onwards we ridiculed order and lauded misrule, socially and politically. Now the monster that we created is devouring society.

michael stanwick
michael stanwick
2 years ago

… heterosexuals are becoming socially embarrassed by their heterosexuality and trying not to be déclassé. The reason I believe this is the more likely scenario is that heterosexuality, among the great and the good, now seems more fraught than being bisexual did a decade ago.
This touches on what I think is an interesting analysis by James Lindsay, of newdiscourses dot com, that interprets this outcome as the result of the marxist dynamic of q**** theory, that is called, in his analysis Sex, Gender and Sexuality Marxism. According to Lindsay the aim is to seize the means of the production of normalcy and overturn it and force an equitable situation, where the abnormal is the normal until that becomes what everybody accepts. At which point we’ll finally have sex, gender and sexual justice.
Thus the special marxist property (instead of capital) is normalcy. It creates a broad sweeping ideology that justifies why some people are normal and get full access to society and others are considered abnormal and are excluded from full access to society …. This ideology is called (cis) heteronormativity (instead of capitalism). 
Hence The grim academic neologism “heteronormativity”,…
The final pieces in the marxist dynamic are the superstructure (instead of the bourgeoisie) – the statistical and morally normal in society, and the infrastructure (instead of the proletariat) – the statistically and morally abnormal in society. The interplay between these creates harm and trauma and hence the aim of seizing of the ‘means of production’ and overturning it etc etc.

Edwin Lerner
Edwin Lerner
2 years ago

Thank you so much Gareth – from an unashamedly straight man. I like Gore Vidal’s comment that there is no such thing as heterosexual or homosexual people, only heterosexual or homosexual acts. Life would be much simpler – but probably more boring – if we all took this view/

Christopher Chantrill
Christopher Chantrill
2 years ago

Because I view the world through the lens of my reductive Three Peoples theory I understand the problem. It is that people in the educated class — People of the Creative Self — believe in a life of creativity.
But creativity is hard, very hard. So it is much easier to get creative with sex, er, gender.
Of course, a heterosexual life, from mating to raising children to staying together, is even harder. But that is another story.

Neil MacInnes
Neil MacInnes
2 years ago

So glad I live in a civilised country where being a white, heterosexual male is still considered to be perfectly acceptable.

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
2 years ago

Last night, down the pub, in Oxford, I saw lots of meat-headed guys trying to get off with lots of giggling over prepped girls. It looked just like the 80’s, complete with blokes getting lairy and gaggles of girls decamping en-mass to the toilets.

Where does this alphabet soup of sexualities actually exist in real-time. As opposed to on the socials? Brighton? Bits of London? There’s a pub in Cork city, Ireland where its loud and proud. Outside on the street. Not.

Most of the fun, vibrant, gay clubs I used to go to are now swamped by hetro wanabees. Dragging with them all their tediously conventional desparation not to be left out. Just cosplay for millennials.

I’m hetro. I was curious. I experimented, but I prefer chicks. Sorry. I loved the gay scene, it was so much fun, Is it now dead? Killed by political correctness. Someone tell me I’m wrong.

Last edited 2 years ago by Howard Clegg
Jonathan
Jonathan
2 years ago
Reply to  Howard Clegg

Your pub experience sounds like something straight out of Jane Austen.

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
2 years ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Thanks. I think that’s a compliment. Assuming that Jane Austen hasn’t been cancelled yet. I don’t think she was blind to the dead hand of the patriarchy. So that’s probably a compliment. So thanks.

James Kirk
James Kirk
2 years ago

I’m struggling with the irony here, above and below. Am I really being patronised? If so jog on. Take a step out of London fgs, especially oop north where ‘I’m a little teapot’ impressions will get you roundly mocked. As for Dr Who when will you learn you should be ashamed of yourself? Not for being gay but for thinking the vast majority give a s**t about your alphabetic ambitions and wish you’d shut up and get on with it..
Or, are the NWO really putting oestrogen in the reservoirs to slow down population growth? Seemed to work with Covid.

C Arros
C Arros
2 years ago

Above article leaves me quite confused…, what is the fuss about?
Maybe this kind of hysteria has not reached the south of Europe, yet.
Frankly speaking, I don’t find a thing to make sense of.
What I can recognize, on the side-line, is the eagerness of people to create modules in which others have to fit, as well as the eagerness to judge others who do not conform to established, resp. newly, artificially created norms.
As old as history, nothing has changed in this respect.

Scott Israel
Scott Israel
2 years ago

I too have been a long and patient observer of heterosexuals; they are endlessly fascinating.
I have a theory that if you leave aside labels, and consider only potential behavior, that male sexual orientation primarily breaks down into three categories: heterosexual, homosexual, and those that just like to have sex.
At least 70+% of men are entirely heterosexual, at the very most, only 2% of men are entirely homosexual, with the remaining functionally heterosexual but willing to be flexible under certain conditions and circumstances. The paradox here is that most of the homosexual acts that take place in the world aren’t being done by homosexuals but actually by functional heterosexuals enjoying convenience. At the risk of being crude, there are a lot more men willing to place their member in another man’s mouth than there are men who are willing to have the member of another placed in their own mouths. My apologies if I have transgressed by stating this observation.
So, it’s entirely possible that more people identify as LBGTQ+ABCHIJXYZ, etc., as they are more open about things that previous generations were more circumspect about. Though, as far as I can tell, sex is just as difficult, awkward, stressful, and embarrassing, as it ever has been. Maybe, more so.
My suspicion is that this queer pop culture phenomena is largely a fad like goldfish swallowing, facial tattoos, or putting big holes in your ear, and at some point this will fade like all the other nonsense of popular culture but, of course, people will just continue doing as they always have and new nonsense will arise to take its place. 
Thanks for this essay, it was worth reading.

Tom Scott
Tom Scott
2 years ago

I have found the discussion around this article quite sober and sensible in many ways.
The points about the often baffling unknown territory beyond LGB, which most people have recognised over time was particularly interesting.
Thanks to those who made these contributions.

Fiona Ingram
Fiona Ingram
2 years ago

Loved your article. It is (sadly) so funny! Retweeted and followed you.

Tom A
Tom A
2 years ago

This article is far too anecdotal to support its suggestion. I am not particularly swayed that more people being open about their sexual attraction is an indication of heterosexuals being an endangered species. Sexual attraction, after all, does not always indicate sexuality as a constant. Indeed, how one feels about oneself is not a constant – you might have a fumble with a guy in your teens, and then happily settle down with wife and kids. This scenario does not necessarily make someone bisexual. And so any survey – on which this piece is predicated – is obviously going to reflect a particular point in time, life and the place in which it is conducted. If we lived in a more restrictive society, where politicians claim there are no gay people, such as exists in many countries of our world, then I’m sure a similar survey would result in close to 100% identifying as heterosexual and therefore… not endangered (in fact, it’s usually, violently, the other way around). I could easily write on the same anecdotal basis about a huge rise in the numbers of perhaps younger gay men in the West who wish to be seen as straight or, failing that, bisexual in pursuit of some sort of masculinity award – to be accepted in heterosexual-dominated social groups, or to feel superior in homosexual-dominated social groups. One only has to glance at gay publications, websites, apps, pornography, enter bars/clubs, and speak with gay friends to acknowledge that reality. Where then is this notion that heterosexuality is losing its status? I suggest the writer is mistaken. Ultimately, heterosexuality is very much still the norm and remains supported by our society, laws, traditions and culture. As the writer’s early observations informed him, it is indeed as easy as falling off a log. Besides this point, who actually cares?

Marcia McGrail
Marcia McGrail
2 years ago

I find it difficult to keep a straight face having read an article bemoaning the apparent disappearance of heteronormativity. After a similar fashion of militant feminism reaping their brand of whirlwind, this particular LGBTQIZXX pigeon is coming out to roost. Wokeness + sexual revolution = cultural/societal/moral disintegration; ?evolution in action.

David McDowell
David McDowell
2 years ago

Blaming a culture created by heterosexuals for the problems of heterosexuality?

Howard Clegg
Howard Clegg
2 years ago
Reply to  David McDowell

Sorry, which problems? I have sex with women who want to have sex with me. I have relationships with women who want to have relationships with me. I don’t see any problems.

Andrew Daws
Andrew Daws
2 years ago

surely the increase in visibility is because you can’t stay hidden as a black man but you can as a gay man? So the increase is that we are being more honest and open than before? Also it’s possible for many gay men to ‘fake it’ and have sex with women to be socially acceptable, even if they are temperamentally unsuited. I always had more problem with women’s minds than their bodies, though now after several decades I would have a problem physically.

Alex Tickell
Alex Tickell
2 years ago

Re the article, Why does irony have to be SO F**KING OBVIOUS?