adoption of welfare “reform” policies that are not evidence-based.
107 LGBTQ individuals have
been objectified through stereotypes and to the point of death.
108 Understanding objectification
is necessary to avoid participation in objectification.
109 Understanding objectification is
necessary to enable LGBTQ children and youth to lay claim to self-governance and self-ownership.
Presumption refers to the notion that members of the dominant society move through that
society with little thought to difference.
110 The larger society is presumptively white, male,
straight, affluent, and not disabled. 111 When you construct the dominant society, it is about you,
and you need no special reminder that it was constructed for you.
112 Furthermore, assertions of
“white power,” “straight pride,” or “men’s rights,” as the author has observed them, do not exist
in a vacuum and in their own right: rather, they are counteraggressions against “black power,”
“gay pride,” or “women’s rights.” If, in fact, #alllivesmatter, why was it not necessary to proclaim
that fact until after the assertion that #blacklivesmatter? Dominant culture only asserts itself
when its underlying tenets are challenged: until that happens, it perceives that there is no need.
This concept also operates to explain why persons who are marginalized will often
participate in the oppression of others.
113 If I am a person of color who is a male, I am able to
access male privilege. If I am a lesbian without disability, I am able to participate, intentionally
or unintentionally, in the otherization of persons with disability.
114 One task for persons who
work with and for LBGTQ youth is “to acknowledge the advantages they enjoy as members of
the dominant culture, and take ownership of the role they play in sustaining” oppression.
Another task is to understand how one variety of oppression promotes and sustains other, related
forms of oppression.
116 A final related task is to demonstrate to LGBTQ youth that they are
107 Id. See also LYNNELL HANCOCK, HANDS TO WORK: THE STORIES OF THREE FAMILIES RACING THE WELFARE
CLOCK 276 (2002) (“Unfortunately, most every policymaker’s assumptions on the root causes of poverty have
proved misguided in one fashion or another.”).
108 Kris Franklin, Homophobia and the “Mathew Shepard Effect” in Lawrence v. Texas, 48 N.Y.L. SCH. L. REV.
657, 690 (2004). See generally Kristin Kelly & Jeff Gruenewald, Accomplishing Masculinity through Anti-Lesbian,
Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Homicide: A Comparative Case Study Approach, 18 MEN & MASCULINITIES 3
(2015) (discussing the role that demonstrating masculinity plays in anti-LGBTQ homicide).
109 MacKinnon, supra note 32, at 542.
110 See, e.g., Hirschfeld, supra note 2, at 636 (“[M]ost of us have not been taught to recognize embedded forms of
111 Angela Harris describes presumption in the context of feminist legal scholarship:
And in feminist legal theory, as in the dominant culture, it is mostly white, straight, and
socioeconomically privileged people who claim to speak for all of us. Not surprisingly, the story
they tell about “women,” despite its claim to universality, seems to black women to be peculiar to
women who are white, straight, and socioeconomically privileged-a phenomenon Adrienne Rich
terms “white solipsism.”
Harris, supra note 11, at 588 (citations omitted).
113 See, e.g., Kimberle Crenshaw, Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of
Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, 1989 U. CHI. LEGAL F. 139, 140 (discussing
dominance within an oppressed group by “otherwise-privileged members of the group”).
114 Appleby, supra note 84, at 76–77.
115 Hirschfeld, supra note 2, at 636.
116 Id.; Hutchinson, supra note 50, at 7 (stating “anti-racist scholars … often perpetuate heterosexism and marginalize
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people of color in their work”).