THE heterosexual matrix

Creative Director: Elizabeth Karabaza // Photographed & written by: Shannon Stewart // Models: Evan Sproat & Graeme Metz

Humans, being cultural animals, are led to believe we are who we are through an understanding developed by cultural institutions like that of the family, and consequently the instillation of hetero normative mentality. Gender and sexuality are deeply embedded in culture as both natural, and universal, programming the majority of society to continuously abide by this ideology. This societal framework must be deconstructed (as it creates hierarchies) and re-imagined (in order to create a space of freedom and equity). Human condition needs to be a subject of emphasized critique. In order to penetrate gendered social artifice, application of a queer discourse of critical thinking and op-positional consciousness surrounding the establishment of the normative must be practiced vigilantly in our daily acts.

The patriarchy establishes sexual normative standards (hetero-normality) which continue to be enforced through monogamous heterosexuality. As argued by many feminisms, compulsory heterosexuality perpetuates gendered divisions and sexual difference; “boys don’t cry” is a simple example of this upheld social expectation. Dichotomous engendering sex establishes and predetermines futures without choice, and is deliberately reinforced through the organization of labor to propagation of media representations. We must take it upon ourselves to de-naturalize and de-familiarize our conventionally fixed notions of the gender/sex binary system, and heterosexuality as the only sexual practice, subverting the current homogenization and systematization of peoples. Through autonomy, agency and individualism we can achieve total equality, essential to growth both personal and global.