Sextion: “That is sooo heteronormative…”


Most of us are aware of the plethora of “Brown buzzwords” that circulate on campus. They’re words that are perhaps used more frequently here than at our friends’ schools: hegemony, discourse, unpacking, spectrum, and social construct, to name just a few. Not only do they set us apart from other schools, but they make a wicked set of Halloween costumes, as we saw from this year’s costume contest.

One of the many words in the quintessential Brown vernacular is heteronormativity. Heteronormativity is the belief system that assumes heterosexuality to be the norm and rejects or ignores individuals or relationships that do not fall into the strict man-woman paradigm. It also, according to Karen Lovaas and Mercilee Jenkins in their comprehensive book Sexualities and Communication in Everyday Life: A Reader, assumes “that there are two sexes and therefore two genders” and therefore “requires that all discussions of gendered identity and opportunity be framed strictly in terms of this dichotomy” (98). We inclusive Brown students openly reject this notion.

But how inclusive are we as a whole? How much does each of us truly know about the LGBTQ community? Probably not as much as we think, considering that the acronym is much longer than that! The acronym, as I know it now, is LGBTQQIAAP2S. So click on the image of the Sporcle quiz below to test your knowledge of the entire acronym, and then read below for a description of each of the components!

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