angry and asexual

anonymous asked:

Hi Alice, odd question but: Do you believe asexuals belong in the LGBT community? I have a friend who identifies this way, but as a trans girl, I'm struggling to understand how she has to go through the same things as an LGBT person by being asexual. And struggle aside, I don't even see how asexuality is THAT different from heterosexuality, just with more... hesitation!? Maybe this sounds rude, but I know you've written about asexual people etc, and I wondered what you thought. No shade intended

Hi there. I’m glad you reached out to me about this because you must have really upset your friend by saying stuff like this to them.

It’s easy to see why not only cishet people, but also LGBT+ people, think that asexuality is fake. The world is awash with sex and sexual attraction. It’s everywhere. And everyone is supposed to want it and feel it. It’s so extremely normalised that the idea that someone could be literally UNABLE to feel sexual attraction is, to many people, absolutely bizarre and a joke.

Even if you acknowledge that asexuality is real, it’s also easy to see why you would be so quick to reject and get angry at asexual people who call themselves LGBT+. Because asexual people are not like you, are they. Unless they are trans, asexuals don’t have gender troubles, and unless they experience same-gender romantic attraction, asexuals don’t experience same-gender attraction! Lesbian, bi, gay etc people can all be joined together in their experience of same gender attraction, and all trans folks, binary and non binary, can be joined together in their experience of feeing a disconnect from their assigned birth gender.

The result? No one wants asexuals near them. People can’t relate. No one else feels the way asexuals do and people don’t think they should be part of the group. They’re not the same as you.

But oh god, they are not allowed in the cishet club either.

The first thing you need to try and unlearn is that asexuality is in any way similar to heterosexuality. It’s not. It’s so, so fucking not. It’s painful how different it feels to be asexual compared to being heterosexual. Telling an ace person that asexuality isn’t ‘THAT different from heterosexuality’ is about as accurate as saying being gay isn’t ‘THAT different from heterosexuality’. Being asexual means you do not experience sexual attraction, ever. EVER. And while that might seem easy to you, it’s an extremely painful and terrifying thing to learn about yourself, in a world where everyone is expected to have an array of sexual experiences, fall in love, get married, and anyone who doesn’t do that is strange and a freak.

Learning you are asexual can be terrifying. When you realise you’ve never had a crush, when all your friends have had ten each, you are terrified. When you pass the age where people have started dating and having sex and you still feel nothing - NOTHING - you are terrified. When you think about ever falling in love and the idea disgusts you, or you think about falling in love and you crave it, god you CRAVE it, but you know you can’t ever feel that, you are terrified. When you realise you will never be able to enjoy a normal romantic/sexual relationship, the ones full of passion like you see in the movies, and people will reject you because you can’t fancy them in that way, and there’s a higher chance for you than anyone else that you will simply die alone, without love, without children - you are terrified.

You think being ace is the same as heterosexuality? You think it’s an easy thing to learn about yourself? Explain the terror, then. I’m all ears.

The fact you see asexuality as 'hesitation’ is really horrifying to me. Asexuals aren’t attracted to the opposite gender but 'hesitant’ to act on it. Asexuals DO NOT feel attraction. To anyone. It’s not a choice. It’s not a way of life. It’s not the same as celibacy out of choice, or being a 'prude’, or waiting till marriage. It is ingrained in you, just like being gay is, just like being trans is. It is a part of you that no matter how hard you try to will it away, no matter how hard you try to persuade yourself otherwise, you cannot help it. You DO NOT feel attracted to ANYONE.

And in saying all this, I fully acknowledge that asexuals do not experience the extent of oppression that other LGBT+ folks do. There are no laws regarding asexuality. Lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and other LGBT+ folks no doubt experience a higher level and intensity of systematic oppression to asexuals, more frequently go through hard experiences due to their orientation or gender. But since when did being LGBT+ become a competition for 'who’s the most oppressed’? Is that what LGBT+ is? You’re only allowed in the club if you’re 'oppressed enough’? If you’re 'gay enough’? If you’re 'trans enough’?

If you need persuading that asexuals do experience their own form of oppression, though, consider the number of asexuals who are coerced into sex in order to 'fix’ them. Consider the emotional pain that I have already discussed, of feeling that there is something fundamentally wrong and gross about you because you feel attracted to no one. Consider the number of asexuals who are hounded or emotionally abused by their families for failing to find partners. Consider the number of asexuals who force themselves to have sexual experiences, because it is the norm, because they don’t even know what asexuality is, because THEY think that they are just 'hesitant’, despite finding sex disgusting and feeling no desire to do it. Do you really think asexuals are just running around, free and happy and content in who they are? They aren’t. I’m not.

So go ahead. Cast aside asexuals if you want. Call them attention-seeking, call them special snowflakes. Ignore the pain they feel. Make them go through it alone, in pain, terrified of what they are. Why on earth would the LGBT+ community be a place to support people like that!?

Messages like the one you have just sent me gives me further reason to never talk about that part of myself. To just sit and cry about it at home day after day because I do not like myself. Because I feel that nobody will accept me or understand who I am. I could list the number of things people have said to me to discredit and laugh at this part of myself, but it’s people like you who make me embarrassed to talk about it, too scared to own a label and talk about it freely and openly.

I thought, going into this, that the LGBT+ community was one of total respect, understanding, and empathy. I learnt pretty quickly that it is not.

I send love to your asexual friend. I really, really do.

Disclaimer: I am very aware of the nuances of asexuality, of the differences between romantic/aesthetic/sexual attraction, but sadly it seems that many people can’t even grasp the basic concept of asexuality, so I don’t quite think they’re ready for that yet.

*SLAMS FISTS ON THE TABLE* MORE ASEXUAL AND AROMANTIC REPRESENTATION

*KICKS DOWN A DOOR* NO MORE COMPARING ASEXUALS AND/OR AROMANTICS TO FUCKING ROBOTS AND PLANTS

*PUNCHES A HOLE IN THE WALL* ARO/ACE PEOPLE ARE HUMAN BEINGS WITH FEELINGS AND DESERVE TO BE TREATED WITH SOME GODDAMN RESPECT

*CLIMBS ON TOP OF THE ROOF AND BEATS CHEST* ARO/ACE PEOPLE FUCKING EXIST

I have a question for the world

How come my best friend is allowed to know, truly from the bottom of his heart that he’s gay, but I’m not allowed to know that I’m asexual??? How come, whenever I mention me being asexual anywhere near my mother or anyone close to her age, people say “Oh, you’re only eighteen, you haven’t even had a relationship yet, just you wait!” So??? My best friend had never been in a relationship at all when he knew he was gay. How come he’s allowed to define his sexuality, but I’m not? How come he is allowed to know, but I’m not? How come I have to make promises to discuss my sexuality six years down the track because ‘Anything could change, and you’ll meet the right guy’. How come that same neighbour had the fucking AUDACITY to say to me “And you know what, in six years, I’ll win” like my sexuality is some fucking contest of knowledge or some shit???

My sexuality is MY sexuality. Not my neighbours, not my mothers, MINE.  I know me better then anyone else, and I spent my years in puberty thinking something was wrong with me because I didn’t get attracted to people like everyone else my age was doing. I didn’t care for it or want it, it made me uncomfortable. I had classmates trying to convince me to kiss someone I barely knew in hopes to ‘fix’ me. I felt broken. I felt wrong. And finally, when I was seventeen, I found this word that described how I felt, and I was excited. I was ecstatic! If there was a word for it, I can’t be broken because someone had to feel what I was feeling to make that word. I wasn’t some unknown entity. I existed on the spectrum. I wasn’t a failed human being.

Asexuality doesn’t mean I don’t want a relationship. That I won’t fall in love. It doesn’t mean that I won’t ever have sex (though I’m sex repulsed, so there’s a high chance I won’t) and have children. It means I don’t feel sexual attraction. That’s it. That’s all it is. It is that simple. I don’t get crushes on people because i think they look good. My crushes happen because there is some aspect of their personality that appealed to me. Because they are good, not good looking.

Age doesn’t matter. Experience doesn’t matter. My feelings matter. YOUR feelings matter. We aren’t broken, stop treating us like we are.

So here's the sitch.

Can straight people fucking realise for two whole seconds that shipping a gay ship does not mean that you are an ally.

You can fucking fuck right off if you sexualise all gay relationships because that is not all a gay relationship is.

You are not an ally if all you do is squeal at gay relationships, or drawings of gay relationships, or fanfictions of gay relationships.

You are not an ally if you don’t support LGBT+ people in real life.

You are not an ally if you ship a gay ship, but are uncomfortable being around or interacting with lesbian/gay/transgender/etc people.

Please never say that gay people are making fun of straight people because straight people have probably never had to deal with being shouted at for holding hands with their partner.

Sincerely,
A Very Angry And Tired Bi-Romantic Asexual.

You know what? Fuck it. I’m sick of sitting passively by, listening to people ask “how do you know if you’ve never tried?” and tell me that no-one cares while you sit there with a shit-eating grin and say “this is a great debate we should do this more often”. A debate? My sexuality is a debate?! Fuck you. Telling me that I bring up great points when I’m giving you facts and you ask stupid fucking questions that I hear all the time is not a debate. It’s a chore.

And how DARE you? How dare you say to me that I need to be fixed, that I can be cured if only I could “find the right somebody”. “How do you know if you’ve never tried?” you ask me as though I haven’t tried. You assume I haven’t?

I destroyed great friendships because I tried to convince myself I had a crush on them. I tore myself apart in so many ways because I tried to tell myself that there was someone out there just for me. My life has been a living hell because I TRIED. Every goddamn fucking day, I’ve tried. And then you ask why I’m angry??

Fuck you. Of course I’m angry!! I’ve been sold this idea of love and romance and sex being the be all and end all of the universe every goddamn day of my life. Every single fucking thing I’ve watched, read, listened to - about him or about her. About how True Love saves the day. How they only live happily ever after when they’re married and riding off into the sunset staring longingly into each other’s eyes. And then I’m forced to endure sex scenes and romances that are so out of place that it jars me out of the narrative so utterly and completely while everyone else applauds and nods and agrees “Yes, they are so in love”. Then they point at a background character who hasn’t even got a goDDAMN FUCKING NAME and tell me “Look! There’s your representation! Be happy!!!” all the while writing fanfiction about that character passionately fucking another character because #OTP #loveislove

FUCK. YOU. Of course I’m going to be absolutely fucking livid! You give me representation and then take it away all in the same breath! I watch as characters who are asexual are cured of their medical condition and suddenly they are not asexual anymore! I watch as characters that have never expressed any interest in romance - who have been around 60, 70, over 100 fucking years!!! - are paired off in heterosexual relationships (as though there aren’t enough of them around). Characters who are made canonically asexual and then a couple of years later, a new writer doesn’t agree with that and rewrites the entire canon so the audience can relate to them more (as though they weren’t a fan favourite already). Characters who are made the butt of jokes, characters who are placed in the same bracket as incest, characters who we are very clearly meant to hate.

And if the canon doesn’t fuck them over, the fandom sure fucking does.

Pages and pages and pages of fanart and fanfiction all dedicated to shipping my representation with other characters, while I’m shoved aside and told “it doesn’t matter. It’s not a big deal, there’s no need to yell”.

No need to yell? And yet you’ll start entire so-called ‘fandom wars’ over Shiro/Keith and Keith/Lance? You’ll yell and get angry and start a riot when gay characters are made straight and I’m not allowed to do the same for asexual characters? How DARE you.

How very fucking dare you?

I am made to endure and put up with all this shit and then - on top of all of that - then you have the audacity to tell us we are not welcome in your safe spaces, that we don’t exist, that we’re seeking attention (because bringing attention to a sexuality is such a bad thing, right?). I have to sit and listen to you as you describe us as aliens - as emotionless, unfeeling robots. You tell us we are as far removed from human as you can get. I have been told that I’m not right, I’m broken, I’ll never be understood and nor should I be. I spent years telling myself those very same things before I even came across the word asexual, piling on depression and anxiety and loneliness. I don’t need someone who doesn’t even take the time to try to understand to tell me that I must have a medical condition or that I was sexually abused as a child or that I just need to “give it a chance”. I don’t need people telling me that “it sucks” that I’m aroace, that I’m “not normal”, or asking me what I’ll do when I’m old and have no-one to look after me. I don’t need it. I don’t.

I’m already told all this in a hundred thousand different ways every day when I walk outside and see a billboard featuring another ‘sex sells’ advert. Every day, when I watch TV and see yet another out of place romance. Every day, when I walk into a shop and a love song is playing over the speakers.

Fuck you.

“How do you know if you’ve never tried?” How do YOU know?

I’ve had people ask me “isn’t it lonely?” They ask me how I’ll ever feel fulfilled if I never experience love and when I point at my friends, they laugh and say “no, I mean romantically” as if the way I love isn’t valid. Why is romance so much more fulfilling than platonic? “It just is,” they’ll reply as though that explains everything. It doesn’t.

They tell me how love is so amazing and great and then in the next sentence moan about their significant other or cry about how heartbroken, how depressed they are because their boyfriend/girlfriend broke up with them. “I’ll never love anyone ever again, I guess that makes me asexual” they say as they chat up their next partner and I grit my teeth and smile and nod because I’ll never understand so how can I judge?

So fuck you. I’m not going to just sit here and let you tell me that my representation doesn’t matter. Not when it took me 17 years to finally find asexuality. Not when it took others far longer. And definitely not when some go their whole life feeling broken or force themselves to do things they don’t want to just to try to fit in. We exist whether you understand us or not and we need our representation too.

Guys I just went to a pride rally in Brisbane and a trump supporter told my mate that we all have mental illnesses and then pushed her so I went over and yelled at him and pushed him and he tried to flick my hat off SO I PUNCHED HIM IN THE FACE AND IM SO CONTENT RIGHT NOW

Sigh...yep
  • Ace person: i'm asexual and i like girls
  • Ace person: i'm asexual and i like boys
  • Ace person: i'm asexual and i like everyone!
  • Bisexual boy: i like men and woman...currently i have a girlfriend
  • Bisexual girl: i love men and woman...currently i have a boyfriend
  • Certain people in the LGBT community: UMMMMMMM NO THAT IS NOT OKAY! YOU ARE BRINGING IN OUR OPPRESSORS! LIKE YOU GUYS CAN'T REALLY BE CLASSIFIED AS LGBT BECAUSE YOU ARE IN HETERONORMITAVE RELATIONSHIPS!! AND ACE PEOPLE AREN'T EVEN IN THE LGBT BECAUSE THEY ARE ABLE TO HAVE NORMAL RELATIONSHIPS *more angry yelling*
  • Asexuals to bisexual people: so wanna come over and play dream phone? I personally like steve but if you get him its chill...also what do you want on your pizza?

So, let me get this straight. (haha “straight” lol I love the idioms in this language).

We have asexuals who decide to come out either to their friends, colleagues or just some people in general and they get a response along the lines of: “but have you TRIED having sex/ making out/ being with someone??” and if they answer with “no”, their identity suddenly somehow, beyond my ability of comprehending, loses it’s credibility in the eyes of these people, because they don’t realize, that you don’t need to push yourself to try to feel sexual (or/and romantic) attraction if you’ve already figured out that you don’t in some other way than, let’s say, “experimenting”. But, their identity suddenly isn’t valid in the eyes of the people they came out to, just because of the lack of “sexual” (or/and romantic) experience, which has absolutely no connection to feeling or not feeling this kind of attraction in the first place.

On the other hand we have asexuals like me, who were maybe just slow to realize that we don’t feel something like sexual or/and romantic attraction like others do, or realized that we don’t, but at the time didn’t know there was such a thing as the orientation asexual , and have indeed tried some things we may or not regret/feel repulsed by now. So, one of us comes out and of course, the question posed to us almost immediately is: “but have you TRIED having sex/making out/being with someone??” and in this case the answer is “yes”, and maybe even an elaboration along the lines of “yes, but I didn’t like it” or “yes, but it felt wrong”. And, you know, since people tend to brush aside those asexuals who have figured their orientation out without these experiences, that this time, someone who identifies as asexual and has at least some experience, would finally be valid in their eyes. BUT NO. The next reply we get is: “haha you can’t think you’re asexual just because you didn’t like going out and making out with a guy, he probably just wasn’t good at it!”, and in my case, even if I don’t like going into details about these things, because I am stubborn, I tell them, that if it’s this stupid assumption that makes them think that I’m imagining things, they are still in the wrong, because it wasn’t just one guy, but the feelings and experiences were always the same. And I get dismissed by the same fucking answer: “two or three times sometimes just aren’t enough to know”. 

So here are my questions. Some asexuals get brushed aside because of bullshit like “the lack of experience and therefore verification”. Other asexuals, who have experience, get brushed off because of some other excuse people make up. Is this some kind of paradox?? Is there no way of getting a favourable and understanding answer? Is the lack of sexual/romantic attraction a-spec people  feel really that difficult to comprehend or are people just insensitive?

you know i really really hate that trope where you have a character that is clearly asexual but instead of explicitly saying that they are ace the creators keep their sexuality in the dark and use it as this big ~intrigue~ for the viewers keeping everyone guessing, omg are they gay? are they “secretly” straight? do they have trauma? are they sick? do they secretly have some kind of fucked up sexual desires and fantasies that i’m not going to list here but you know what i mean? what’s their deal??? and there’s always SOMETHING okay because after all that guessing them being ace would just be BORING so it can’t be it, there’s always something there, some kind of dark secret people will be desperate to reveal and so it always involves all the characters around the asexual one pestering them about their sexuality and often asking inappropriate questions and making all of these dumbass assumptions and just generally making the ace character uncomfortable and those people are never called out on their bullshit because they are, in fact, the asexual character’s FRIENDS so obviously they are entitled to knowing their entire sexual/romantic history and honestly that’s not just a trope that exists in fiction, it’s how people treat aces in real life too so just stop that already

so you like riverdale? cool great awesome! must be nice not to have one of your identities totally erased for entertainment wow so much straightwashing (the only thing why i keep watching is archiekins and the pussycats) and yeah i get it it’s not the comics it’s cw’s tv show but hey imagine if someone actually cared about aros and aces amiright and i’m not trying to stop you from shipping bughead ship it go ahead but you know keep contributing to asexual erasure thank you very much and yes i’m fucking educated asexual people can have relationships i know that but i am asexual and you now reminded me that by your standarts i’m not important i’m not valid i don’t deserve representation you can call me hater but only because you aren’t able to realise when something is wrong but i’m happy for you that you have the representation you deserve and can enjoy watching this forced hetero relationship in this amazing tv show

I’m so fucking angry about ace representation and non-representation that I can’t not be rude about it tonight, and there’s specific examples that get me real mad atm that I need to share :

Sense 8 : so okay, for a show that is really awesome and inclusive, a scene got me real upset. Sex positivity isn’t only about beeing free to have sex whenever and however you want as long as there’s consent with all parties, it’s also about the freedom to not want it. So when Kala goes to Sun and Sun gives her a nice declaration about how sex is something sacred to be worshiped, I’m like this is bullshit, okay ? If you don’t want it, you don’t fucking want it dammit. It’s a real awesome sentiment behind the words for most people, but thank you for leaving out the rest of us.

Riverdale : so okay, I got into Riverdale recently and I was so freaking happy when I heard that my fav character was canonly ace in the comics !
And then ! I saw the loads of fanfics (I didn’t do the math but damn that’s got to be more than 50 %) with non-ace Jug. And that’s…it makes me angry but okay, you’re free to do what you want, even if it’s heartbreaking when you’re already an identity that’s erased from basically everything.
But what really got me angry is seeing that people said he couldn’t be canonically ace in the show. Why ? Because he kissed Betty…
Get your fact straight before writing this kind of bullshit because it’s hurtful, people ; asexuality doesn’t mean lack of romantic relationship/attraction, that’s being aromantic ! And I bet all ace, aro and acearo people are as tired as me at being mixed up all the damn fucking time !
Plus, I don’t know as much about aromantism that I know about asexuality (unfortunately), but if having sex doesn’t take away your ace identity, I think kissing someone doesn’t take away your aro identity (someone aro could correct me if I’m wrong ?).

Last thing in this rant, I read a soulmate AU fanfic with an asexual character once, I’m not saying which fandom because I’m betting there’s more than one like this one anyway. You know what got to me ? The fact that ace people in this couldn’t have a goddamn soulmate !
I don’t personally believe in soulmates so the idea that those ones could choose their own partner (as long as they were ace too, of course, seeing as the other ones /already had soulmates/), but on behalf of all the ace/aro people that do : that is utter bullshit !
You can have a soulmate without wanting to fuck them ! You can have a soulmate without wanting a romantic relationship with them !
If I believed in this idea, I would be ready to say I’ve found mine, and you know what ? It’s my best friend !
So get fucking lost, all of you, with your ideas that kissing means you’re not ace. That sex is the ultimate kind of love. That you can’t be in a relationship without sex. That you can’t have a soulmate without sex.
We’re a spectrum for god’s sake ! And we’re not incapable of love in a non-platonic way. Thanks you so much for ingraining in us the idea that no one will want us because of what we feel or don’t feel.


Edit: if anyone else wants to say that Kala isn’t ace, here is my answer on the fact it wasn’t what I was saying in this post -> x

You know I hate it so much that “exclusionists” will over and over and over claim none of them hate us!! No one involved in this mess does!! It’s not about invalidating or despising aces and aros!! If we think otherwise we’re tragically misinformed or lying and/or whining about nothing as “ace tumblr” does

So we give examples, but if we don’t immediately put the proof in the same posts (and sometimes even then)? Never happened, not a problem. Ppl nastily try to mock us and shut us up.

So we have to sit down and collect proof, pour a lot of time and energy into this and then have all this shit in one place where we get reminded that there’s considerable anti-ace/aro crowd here who literally does not view us as fucking human beings.

And then when I do this I worry about that list of proof bringing other ppl down. But I still appreciate seeing it in my notes and seeing it being circulated so much because ppl r literally trying to make everyone believe that shit is not happening and to paint us as “ace tumblr being ace tumblr” ignore us we’re cringey and just think we’re oppressed . No need to stop ppl from harming us

And then when we speak out against this crap and collect said proof ppl will even have the gall to go “lol this is just happening on tumblr, it’s not oppression” like no offense but shut your mouth it’s vile and if you wanna bring oppression into this how about we talk about all the -isms ppl who hate aces and aros like to throw around if they can hurt aces and aros with them

Like “ace discourse” is nothing but a toxic mess and anyone claiming that if I have a blog largely dealing with the aforementioned crap I should want to “debate” with the ppl pulling it can go the hell away