You don’t think about it for the simple reason you’ve never had to. The world (from TV shows to commercials to movies) are made for you, the heterosexual. Watch some tv commercials and see how many are made to appeal to the straight heterosexual (or even the straight family). A simple cereal commercial of a family eating cereal reflects YOUR reality, not mine. And when they try to make a cereal commercial featuring parents of the same sex - people protest!
People are often assumed “heterosexual” without any indication otherwise. For us LBGT folks, the day becomes fraught with a million decisions - will my friend not want to hang out once she finds out I’ve been dating a female? will my female coworkers think im hitting on them if I’m just being nice? will my male co-workers look at me differently once they find out I’m a lesbian? (I can hear you saying right now - but why would you tell them? Well, when you’re going around the room discussing what you did over the weekend, do I tell them my gf and I celebrated our 8th anniversary? Or do i just say “my friend” and let them think I’m single).
When i first came to tumblr, i was surprised so many were talking about sexuality, too. But I came to realize that for many, tumblr is one of the few places they actually feel comfortable talking about their sexuality. Just the other day, i had an Ask from a guy who was afraid to come out to his brother. Have you ever had to worry that a family member would hate you because of your sexuality?
I was in the closet for 7 years (even thought I’m a grown woman) because I was afraid to “disappoint” my parents who probably were expecting me to date another man since I’d been with my ex hub for 12 years. I actually probably wouldn’t have come out when i did had it not been for tumblr. I had learned enough on here and was angry enough as i sat surrounded by coworkers making fun of gay people that I wasn’t going to take it any more. Sure i could have sat quietly and not said anything, but how would you like it if your coworkers were saying awful things about something you identified as? You feel like you are living a lie when you are in the closet. But being out comes with a whole new set of worries:
You’ve probably never worried about holding your significant others hand in public for fear of getting attacked (i have). You’ve probably never had to tell a complete stranger your sexual preference or lie when they ask the simple question - are you dating (this happens to me a lot because I appear to be single)? You’ve never had to reveal your sexual preference to a doctor when they’re wondering about if you need birth control as an unmarried woman - they probably assumed you were heterosexual.
So if it seems it’s on people’s minds constantly, it’s because it kind of is! They often say gay people don’t come out just once, you come out every day and it’s true….because people assume you are straight so you end up either lying or coming out to strangers like the grocery clerk who say things or ask questions because they assume you are straight.
I’m not one of those people who “hate” heterosexual people. I was married to a man for a long time and I’ve identified as straight, bi, and lesbian at various times in my life so I try to be understanding. Hell, even i have so much to learn as a gay woman. But there are a lot of people out there who DO make assumptions based on sexuality and as soon as they find out you aren’t straight, they think differently of you.
Maybe try to put yourself in our shoes for a day and see what it’s like and then you’ll have a better understanding.
I’ll also refer you to lapelosa’s blog because she has a lot of good discussions on sexuality, gender, etc.