I am cisgender, straight, white British, a Christian and most of the time not disabled. Looking at this list I am societies perfect ‘normal person’. Well, for starters lets get rid of this rubbish. I am a very liberal person in terms of any form of human rights and I find this very difficult because I have so many privileges. The only thing in this list that goes against me ever is being a Christian, mainly because people assume that I will want to ‘shove it down their throats’, I don’t, so that doesn’t particularly bother me.
Being cisgender is possibly the biggest on the list. For those of you who don’t know what cisgender means, it means to identify with the sex I was assigned at birth. Therefore, my gender identity is female, as is my sex. This gives me a whole list of privileges I would never have noticed had I not been exposed to the issues faced by trans* people. My friend is transgender and my word I have life so flaming easy.
1) I can waltz into a bar with no one questioning the fact my ID gender doesn’t match up with what they see because I haven’t had any legal changes.
2) I can go to into the toilets without worrying that someone will think I’m in the wrong place.
3) I don’t get misgendered.
4) I can breathe without near suffocation because I don’t need to bind my chest.
5) I don’t get asked about my genitals regularly.
These are just a few points, I could go on and on forever. But my word these are such ordinary things for me which I take for granted every day. I would keel over if someone asked me what my genitals were and if I’d had surgery on them. That should never be okay to ask.
Next privilege. I am straight. I have never had to come out, I was thinking about this the other day and how socially bizarre it would be to sit down people and be like “just to let you know, I’m straight, that’s right I like boys”. I have NEVER announced my sexuality to the people I know in a way you are expected to if you are gay/lesbian/bisexual and I find this really odd. Being straight brings with it some privileges:
1) People don’t assume I like every boy I see. No I don’t fancy you just because I’ve come into contact with you, calm your ego down.
2) I have never been asked how I have sex. Why do people think it is okay to ask that?!
3) I have never heard my sexuality used as an insult. Contrary to popular belief inanimate objects cannot have homosexual feelings for each other.
4) I have never been called brave for having feelings for another human being.
5) People did not ask me aged 14 how I am going to have children.
Most of the time I am not disabled, I am slightly disabled at the moment. I am hobbling around on crutches and have been for almost a month now. Heck I’ve taken my mobility and access for granted, the list of privileges is astronomical:
1) I had never had to change where I was going because where I wanted to go had stairs.
2) I never had to rely on people on the bus not being too ignorant to give me their seat when I’m falling all over the place struggling to stay upright.
3) I never had to worry about my grocery shopping, having to put eggs in my backpack because they would swing and smash off my crutches.
I think it’s often easy for me to forget just how privileged I have been in my nineteen years of life and when I sit down to properly think about it I genuinely feel sad that we live in a society when these are actually privileges. If anything they are rights which everyone deserves, goodness me no one wants to talk to people they have just met about their genitals!