Law professor writes article on straight supremacy

Victoria Ronderos//Contributing Writer

Last week, law professor Jose Gabilondo’s essay, “Los Fueros de la Heterosexualidad en Su Ocaso” (The Twilight of Straight Supremacy), was published in “La Discriminación de Género en el Derecho y Sus Expresiones en la Legislación y en la Práctica Jurídica,” or the Gender Discrimination in Law and Its Expression in Legislation and Legal Institutions, by the Association of Cuban Jurists in Havana.

Gabilondo’s essay describes the fear the heterosexual identity has over the current gay rights movement. His article also happens to be published on the same week of the Supreme Court’s hearings of California’s Proposition 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act, two landmark same-sex marriage cases. Proposition 8, which has been on the California ballot since 2008, proposes the ban of same-sex marriage in California. DOMA, which has been around since 1996, has been giving unequal federal rights to same-sex married couples.

“That was a complete coincidence,” said Gabilondo. “The essay was for a book that was published in Cuba.”

“But it was a very timely coincidence. Although to tell you the truth, there’s so much going on now, in terms of gay issues generally in this country, that I think it seems that not a week goes by that you don’t see a headline involving it,” said Gabilondo.

Born in Cuba and raised in Boston, Gabilondo, with the help of a tutor, decided to write his essay entirely in Spanish.

“I’ve always made serving the Spanish language media a priority, because what I saw, was that, even here at FIU, the Spanish media was discounted, and people wouldn’t take it as seriously as the English language media. That drove me crazy, because I thought that was unfair,” said Gabilondo.  “I wrote it largely for a political reason, because what I was saying is that, it’s as important to write a serious legal work in Spanish as in English. Even though, a lot of the faculty here, don’t [take] that work seriously, and have said so openly, I do think it’s a central part of who we are, as a law school and an institution, and it’s certainly a central part of my identity.”

Gabilondo, who is gay himself, has been studying the heterosexual and homosexual culture and gay rights movement for about 20 years now. He has published a plethora of articles regarding the heterosexual identity in various law journals.

“Activism, on behalf of the gay community, has always been a very [big] part of my life,” said Gabilondo.

Gabilondo said it has been harder for the heterosexual male to adapt to the gay rights movement than it has been for the heterosexual female.

“The problem has never been homosexuality or homosexuals. Instead, the problem has always been the heterosexual condition. What I mean by the heterosexual condition, is I mean that, at least in the recent past, when heterosexuals have understood who they were, their self-concept was based on excluding homosexuality, and considering it an inferior form of being,” said Gabilondo.

Gabilondo will speak at the University at the 10th Annual Florida Collegiate Pride Coalition Conference. The FCPC is a three-day conference where gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and ally college students can come together and network, share experiences, and educate themselves on issues of the current gay rights movement. Gabilondo will speak on Friday, April 5.