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Homonormative is an adjective describing anything which legitimizes and privileges homosexuality within the wider society.
While legitimizing homosexuality is important, most people agree that homonormative attitudes and behaviors do more harm to the wider LGBTQIA community than good.
Homonormative is the opposite of heteronormative which legitimizes and privileges heterosexual people.
Homonormative attitudes tend to elevate homosexual individuals above other members of the LGBTQIA community. They suggest that while forming intimate relationships with members of the opposite gender are normal, forming intimate relationships with both genders, as bisexual people do, or no genders, as asexual people do, is abnormal.
Homonormative organizations can push homosexual causes over all others in the queer community, effectively erasing the concerns and needs of other members of the LGBTQIA community. There can be a tendency for people with a homonormative worldview to champion issues that concern the homosexual community, such as marriage equality, yet view other LGBTQIA issues like access to hormone therapy during incarceration and transgender bathrooms as unimportant.
We see homonormative attitudes in modern pop culture with the additional of homosexual characters in films and television programs, including Modern Family, Glee, and My Best Friend’s Wedding. However, it’s much rarer to see other members of the LGBTQIA community represented.
While there has been some degree of acceptance of homosexuality, there is still a long way to go. Pop culture representation tends to be restricted to cisgender, gender-normative, middle-class, caucasian individuals. Homosexual relationships in pop culture also tend to mimic heteronormative relationships, with most homosexual couples married or aiming to be, raising children, etc. Critics argue that when the acceptance of homosexual people and relationships seems so restricted, there isn’t true acceptance at all.
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