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Beth Ditto says people ‘forget she’s queer’ now that she’s dating a trans man: ‘Straight privilege is real’

Emma Powys Maurice June 10, 2021
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Beth Ditto

Beth Ditto is currently in a relationship with the bassist Teddy Kwo (Slaven Vlasic/Getty)

Beth Ditto says she regularly experiences straight privilege when she’s out with her partner, the transgender musician Teddy Kwo.

The fashion icon and Gossip frontperson was previously married to her longtime partner Kristin Otaga before she began dating Kwo, her band’s bass player, in 2018.

Speaking on the latest episode of the Homo Sapiens podcast, the star commented on how differently she’s perceived by strangers now that people “forget” she’s queer.

“I did learn a lot, because being with him in public, you forget that you’re queer, it’s your normal,” she told hosts Alan Cumming and Chris Sweeney.

“Not always, you don’t always forget – but, boy, you forget what it’s like to be straight and for people to treat you like a straight person. You’re like, ‘Oh wow, this is like instant ease.'”

She added that it’s not always easy as there are “different situations” dating an openly trans person; Kwo himself has previously touched on this when explaining the anxiety he faces travelling while trans.

“I don’t like to talk about his experience because it’s not my place,” Ditto continued, “but I will say that, wow, straight privilege is real. It’s wild.”

Straight privilege is expressed in a myriad of ways, all the way from civil rights and freedoms to simple social acceptance and recognition of relationships.

For example, Beth Ditto recalled a trip to Florence when the flight staff presumed she and Kwo were newlyweds and spontaneously rolled out the red carpet – something she had never experienced when travelling with her ex-wife.

“It was this beautiful trip, so romantic and eye-opening and great and we were frolicking, and [on the plane home] they were just like, ‘You two seem to be celebrating something,’ like giving us a look.

“And I was like, ‘Yeah… yes?’ I don’t remember exactly, but they said ‘We’re going to bring you a whole bottle of champagne.’ They brought us an entire bottle of booze!

“I was like, I tell you right now, that never would’ve happened if I was with my ex-wife.”

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