I’ve been thinking a lot about the whole queer fight today and then it started showing up on my dash and I’m practically ripping my hair out at how pigheaded some people are being on the asexuality tag.
I think there’s a lot of people who think asexuals want to be included in queer spaces because it’s Cool and Interesting and Different and that is really not the case?
For me, it’s really hard to personally divorce being asexual from being queer. I never would have learned about asexuality were it not for the queer community? If I hadn’t become involved in things and spoken to people about things that I will refer to as “queer junk” from this point onwards. Does this mean asexuality (on its own, regardless of romantic orientation) is valid as a queer identity? Maybe, maybe not. I don’t know. I’m not really going to argue about that, but the fact of the matter is that for myself - and many other people I’ve spoken to - it was presented as something that is intrinsically queer. And to absorb this as part of your identity… Well, at the risk of sounding a bit “but what about the men?” about this, it’s upsetting and it’s confusing as hell.
Most asexuals just want a safe space, and as victims of a heteronormative society, LGB people feel like natural allies. And, to be honest, there really isn’t enough of us who are out and aware to form our own spaces. Who the fuck knows, even if all the aces in the world came out, there still may not be enough of us to form our own spaces. I’m incredibly lucky to know even four people outside of the internet who identify as ace, most people I talk to don’t even know of a single other asexual within travelling distance. So then you turn to people who it seems like a given that they would embrace you, and they say, “no. You’re not oppressed enough.”
And they may well be right! On the basis of our sexual orientation, we don’t face problems on the same scale that LGBT+ people do. (Though I do feel it bears mentioning that asexuality has only really started garnering awareness over the last few years in a time where sexual diversity is finally starting to become recognised and welcomed. We don’t have hundreds of years of hatred behind us, which is not to say that we should suddenly be welcomed because people are very right in saying that ‘queer’ is a word that has been used hatefully against LGBT people for a long time and it is entirely up to them to decide how to reclaim such a word, but more that being told “you’re not oppressed enough,” is a bit like having your grandparents going, “you kids don’t know how easy you’ve got it!” because their experiences of hardship are entirely different to your own problems. It feels very much like being told that we don’t have very real problems to deal with because people aren’t aware enough of us to really try to hurt us. I don’t mean to say that that is what people are saying, but that is very much how it feels.)
WOW that was a long bit of parenthetical rambling, I forgot what I originally wanted to say in that paragraph. I’m going to scoot along to something that I hoped to tie in nicely but I forgot how I planned to do that because I get distracted by my own thoughts a lot.
The issue of dividing us by our romantic orientation.
Please stop doing this. Fuck sake, it is really not a nice thing to be doing.
I see people making the argument that -sexual doen’t actually refer to sex as in the desire to have it so much as the sex of the person you’re attracted to. Which is correct, technically speaking. So I guess it follows logically that whatever your romantic orientation, that is a good enough way to define people. Because attraction is attraction, w/e, right?
Yeah, no. This is part of the “sexual privilege” thing people may have seen thrown about so often. Obvs this isn’t just an ace problem - there are mixed orientation sexuals out there - but we have to separate romance from sexuality because we live in a society that conflates these as one and the same when they are very much not.
Hetero asexuals are not the same as heterosexuals. It really is that fucking simple. Enough people have beaten this poor horse’s corpse, trying to explain that being asexual plays a much larger role in many lives than their romantic orientations that I really cannot be arsed with it because the only people who seem to care already know. Fact of the matter is, either asexuals are queer or not. You can’t divide us by our romantic orientations because that’s trying to define us by a system that doesn’t apply. That’s erasing our identity and telling us, “oh that thing that people tell you you’re broken for? That you can still be pathologized for even though it’s two-thousand and fucking eleven? That lil thing about you that people threaten oh so nicelyto fix for you? That doesn’t matter. Who do you see yourself in a relationship with in five years? What gender are they?”
So, yeah. The fact of the matter is that we may not be oppressed for our sexual orientation, and we certainly aren’t on the same level that LGBT+ people typically are. But we still have problems and we still want help and support and there isn’t enough of us to form our own networks outside of the internet. Maybe if there was more awareness then more asexuals would come out of the cracks and we could form groups and societies and build proper safe spaces. But the point I am trying to get across is that it’s not like a bunch of asexual people saw all the Fun And Games queer people were having and went, “fuck it, let’s crash that party,” and it would be nice if people would stop treating it that way.