We live in a heteronormative society. Most people assume and/or expect others to be straight, especially in our Latino Culture. Heterosexuals, as the majority of the population, have been calling the shots for a long time, taking for granted rights that the gay community is just starting to get.
Coming from that minority mindset, there has been much talk about the struggles of gay people as individuals and as community. However, being gay (and by gay I mean everyone who’s not straight) does not necessarily mean that you must live a life of despair, necessity, and equality raids. There are advantages to dating someone your own gender that may not be obvious, but are worth pointing out for heterosexuals to give it a thought and young gay people to keep in mind that it gets better.
Let’s start with the obvious: Gay couples cannot have babies – not in the usual way at least. Although that is one of the arguments conservatives use to deny us of our rights, it represents an advantage considering all the things hetero couples have to do to not have babies. Gay couples save all the money and work invested by other couples in preventing pregnancies. By the time they start raising children or forming a family, they have given it enough thought and made sure they’re ready. There are no surprises, no unwanted or “accidental” children in gay families.
Then there are the financial implications of same sex partnership. I know you want me to say that gay couples make more money, but not really. That is a myth. In today’s economy straight and gay suffer equally. However, some studies show that the misconception of gay people as wealthy comes from differences in career choices and spending patterns. For example, lesbians tend to push their careers further because they understand they may be responsible for taking care of their partner financially, a stressor that heterosexual women don’t have. Also, gay people tend to form families later in life which accounts for a lot of “single time” money spent on personal treats like vacations, event tickets and, of course, fabulous clothing.
Another basic advantage is the gender role flexibility of same sex couples. All the rules written in books and constitutions are made for male-female unions and, accept it or not, most people subscribe to them. From simple things like who pays for dinner on a date to more complex ones like who stays home to raise children, same sex couples have more autonomy in making decisions free of the stereotypical rules of marriage.
Last but not least there are the things we let slide which may come in handy at times. For instance, gay couples use the same restroom; this also means make the same line. Sometimes they can lend each other clothes (provided they fit). Couples of the same gender can communicate better and bond over experiences that two people from opposite sex will not understand about each other.
See? It does get better.