They are time bombs scheduled to explode at the exact moment one of the latent, stereotypical gender roles preprogrammed into our subconscious emerges.
When they do, we are usually completely unprepared and lack the tools to handle them.
In 2009, Sean Slavin published an article in the journal Sexualities that explained "heternormative" this way:
Such practices as open relationships, casual sex with regular partners (fuck buddies), and alternative family structures distinct from sex, exist widely among gay men and various combinations often do provide a mix of sex, romance and relationship. The insistence that these things should exist in one relationship is heteronormative...
He adds that one of the primary problems heternormative constructs create is that:
gay men struggle to make meaning in their relationships using a heteronormative discourse. This suggests that gay men must continue the struggle to have their relationships recognized by the law and wider society, but they must seek recognition for the relationships they have, not the ones that are ideal or acceptable (e.g. gay marriage).
Gay men are increasingly embracing monogamy, marriage, and parenthood. Those are the relationships many of us have and that even more of us want.
Don't think that being in an open relationship makes you safe. Constantly throwing gay men who want marriage and monogamy under the bus by cavalierly labeling our relationships and aspirations for love as heteronormative is counterproductive.
It demonstrates a failure to acknowledge how deeply heternormative constructs and the underlying gender roles are engrained and that they pose an ongoing threat to all gay relationships.
For example, Adrian and I had to learn how to let go of the traditional roles men are expected to play in relationships. The first few years we were together, we were constantly competing with each other and had no idea why.
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