This is gonna be rambling and out of sorts but like. I want to put out my stance as a trans sga ace person and I’m sure there’s been plenty of people who have said this more eloquently than me but:
If you aren’t trans or sga you aren’t part of the LGBT community. Like, plain and simple as that.
I’m going to start by saying that when I was 14 I thought I was aroace and I came out to my mom and told her I probably wasnt ever going to want to have a relationship. She reacted bad. Like legit screaming fight and calling me a sinner bad. It was some of the most ridiculous bullshit I’d ever been exposed to. And it sucked and it hurt that she didn’t understand and even tho I’ve moved away from that identity, it still sucks to remember that moment. And this is serious shit that needs to be addressed, aroace people do have a lot of interpersonal stigma that needs to be talked about and remedied.
But see. That’s the key difference. Aroace issues are interpersonal, not societal. And the aroace community has very different goals from LGBT people as a result.
Aroace community initiatives are all about Visibility and Education. And those are noble goals, giving people access to this knowledge is great, but for LGBT people the kind of laser focus on Visibility isn’t great.
LGBT people are hypervisible. Trans women get mocked in media constantly, gay men and lesbians are stereotyped and demonized out the wazoo, everyone Knows we’re here. We don’t have a visibility issue.
We’re busy focusing on fighting the societal laws that literally restrict our freedoms. Because at the end of the day if you’re not an sga ace person, you’re not going to walk into an apartment complex with your spouse and be denied a home by a homophobic leasing agent. You’re not going to propose to the person you love and then have a baker refuse to make you a wedding cake because they believe you’re such an abomination that they think getting money from you is a sin. You’re not going to walk down the street holding your partner’s hand and have to fear for your life. You’re not going to tell your co-workers about your spouse and face social isolation, harassment, possibly being fired. You’re not going to be sent to conversion therapy specifically for your orientation and tortured until you’re too afraid to express your love anymore. You’re not going to be refused the right to donate blood.
If youre not a trans ace person, you’re not going to be stopped on your way to the bathroom and sexually harassed about your “real gender.” You’re not going to be denied work. You’re not going to be forced against your will to identify as a gender you are not.
There are no anti-ace laws. Theres no mandate to have sex or be in relationships. There are social pressures, YES, and I’m not denying that. And social pressures suck. But what you’re dealing with is fundamentally different from sga & trans experiences.
The thing about being ace is that it really is more of an interpersonal than professional disclosure. If someone irl asked me about my partners I’d have to talk about my boyfriends. I wouldn’t mention my level of sexual attraction or engagement because that’s not what was asked or what is socially appropriate to disclose. My boyfriends know I’m acespec because it’s relevant to our relationship, my boss would not.
Aromanticism is a mildly different story, because this is when you would reveal, “oh, I’m not in a relationship, I’m not really interested in them.” This could be met mostly with confusion, misunderstanding, disbelief, jokes, or “it’s a phase"s. Which all suck! They do and they’re issues that need to be addressed and dealt with, but once more they’re fundamentally different from the concerns sga people have to deal with when bringing their orientations into the professional realm.
Aro/ace people are perfectly valid, memeatic as that term has become. These are legitimate identities with definitely legitimate issues. But the facts are that the aroace community has vastly different priorities from the LGBT community and this is why they are fundamentally separate.
LGBT spaces and resources shouldn’t be expended in a direction that takes focus away from actual LGBT issues like the ones discussed above. Aroace people need to rally together and get their own resources in shape so they can create a more focused and targeted attempt to do what they want to accomplish. Because tugging at LGBT resources and insisting on including cishet aces, whose experiences are so fundamentally different from trans sga folks’, in LGBT spaces is detrimental to all of us in the long run.
And all the sitting around flinging insults at LGBT people and comparing them to bigots or their oppressors and being disgusted by LGBT people empowering themselves through displays of affection that they’re demonized for in every other circle just kinda proves the rift that exists between these communities and how much their priorities differ.
Anyways I’m done that was a lot of text