When I come out as straight, people often ask how I know. I guess I’ve always known I am a heterosexual man.
As long as I can remember, I’ve known deep down in my gut that I’m attracted to women; I just can’t help it.
The first signs of my heterosexual orientation arose early, in preschool most likely.
It probably became pretty obvious that I was straight when I began playing flirtatiously with girls on the playground at recess. You know, the usual, throwing sand and butting in line for the monkey bars.
As I got older my feelings toward the opposite sex intensified, and I had my first girlfriend in elementary school.
I continued to be attracted to and date women through junior high, high school and college, and I have come to terms with the fact that I am a straight man.
But even though I have faced my sexuality and am confident in my straightness, others don’t seem so convinced.
“Don’t you think being straight is a phase, you know, something that you’ll grow out of eventually? Maybe it’s just a sexual thing?” They ask.
For me, the attraction to someone of the female sex is emotional, intellectual, and spiritual; my attraction to a woman transcends physical and sexual attraction.
A woman can complement my personality in a way that is fulfilling in a variety of intangible ways.
So . no, I don’t think my heterosexuality is a phase or just a sexual thing.
I am openly proud of my heterosexuality and comfortable discussing my sexual orientation with those around me, but sometimes I get some interesting questions and criticisms of my lifestyle.
Some people just seem to love taking shots at my being straight.
My critics tell me that heterosexuals, more specifically heterosexual males, commit approximately 90 to 95 percent of domestic abuse and sexual crime; “how could you want to subject yourself to a community of people who are domestically and sexually violent?” they ask.
They tell me that heterosexuals make up the vast majority of pedophiles.
“Do you really want your kids being taught by heterosexual teachers?” they cry. “Your child alone with a straight teacher on a field trip or in a classroom?”
If I bridge the topic of my partner and I possibly having kids one day, the hornets’ nest erupts.
“With the divorce rate at over 50 percent among heterosexuals, do you really think it’s healthy to raise a child in an environment of dysfunctional relationships? Won’t that experience irreparably warp that child?”
They say my children will grow up around pedophiles, domestic abuse, sexual violence, divorce and instability; that it’s no environment to raise a child in.
What’s more, how do I know that my kids won’t turn out heterosexual too? Won’t my heterosexuality rub off on them, along with the rape, bruises and split custody?
They accuse me of trying to seduce them into heterosexuality, of flaunting my heterosexuality with public displays of affection with my partner, of sexual promiscuity, of choosing a lifestyle of iniquity.
To my critics, I can only reply “being straight is who I am. I am proud of my sexual orientation, and I hope you can respect that.”
Martin Rochlin’s Heterosexual Questionnaire contributed to this column.
Drew Haugen is a senior International Studies major. His column appears every Monday in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.