Posted in Verbose Redactions

An open letter to the LGBTQA community from an asexual

You see me with my husband, you charge me as hetero. You saw me with my partner, you assumed I was gay. You saw me with both of them you say I was bisexual and for a while, I would have agreed except I wasn’t sexual. But I was romantic, right? So I was bisexual because that is all that can exist.

That was until my partner told me that I should look into something and wrote down the word “Asexual”.

“Wait you mean that sex doesn’t have to be part of relationships?”

“So I’m not broken because I never felt that way about people?”

“God’s I could have saved myself so much crap”

“You can have relationships with people even though you don’t love them like that!”

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Yeah, my late partner was a gift sent from the gods. See I grew up in a conservative non-political religion and household. I only knew as much as my experiences told me and when it came to LGBT it was Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (nothing that wasn’t still binary). There wasn’t even a questioning.

See I grew up in a conservative non-political religion and household. I only knew as much as my experiences told me and when it came to LGBT it was Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (nothing that wasn’t still binary). There wasn’t even a questioning.

Of course, if I had of ever gotten the ability to go to one the support clubs, I may have known. Also, yeah “internet age kid”, but that didn’t mean I got to search whatever I wanted. The internet was for homework. So it wasn’t until I was 21 that I even knew what my attraction really was or that they were normal and a year later to get comfortable with it. All because I didn’t know that people actually had identified this.

So to be clear my sexual attraction is none because on the Asexual spectrum I am just plain ace.

And on the Romantic spectrum, I am just plain aro or Aromantic. It becomes very evident when you try to relationship with me or get to know me and see just how my partners and friends are really hard to differentiate because I engage in really similar ways to them.

But to my ever loving horror, I went from one label that fought to be acknowledged and still gets a lot of flack to one that people now tell me I am just a hetero trying to be queer.
Oh, the laughs I have because for all the other types of attractions that exist that people don’t, realize they experience, that shape their orientation and decision on who to engage sexually or even non-sexually with( X, X), guys aren’t high on my scale at all. But I can talk about all that right now. We will do that later. I won’t forget.

I personally don’t care about labels aside from the fact that they make it so much easier for me to present information about myself to people. I have like 20 labels off the top of my head that describe me and most of you wouldn’t complain because they are “normal”.

But let’s take a moment to talk about this really great, but at the same time erasive video.


No, seriously this is a beautiful thing. A lot of diversity and I love the concept. I mean the diversity could have been better in lots of ways including body types, but my focus right now is that asexuals exist and yet again we weren’t even included. No Demis, No Grays. No anything.

Though major props for intersex visibility and other non-binary visibility because that warmed me so much.

Asexual erasure does matter.  I’m not saying that Allies don’t matter, but we do matter too.
I posed to Equinox, though I don’t expect them to answer for everyone,  “What do you need us to do to show you what happens to us because there is info out there. Erasing half our identity to say we are gay or straight does not protect us or help us from the abuses unique to being asexual.”

And that is the problem. People don’t understand what we go through. Part of that is because it is not as large scale because people have just figured out more about us in the last 50 years and truthfully our visibility has only really been about for 20 years. I don’t blame people for being confused, but we aren’t being silent. We are saying “We are here!” and in some ways being punished for it.

I have literally been told we don’t belong in the LGBTQ+ community because of we are gay or straight which is a strange binary to assign us. Plus, I was never heterosexual so I just get confused at how being ace means I’m undercover hetero.

Consent culture has not been our protection.

So I’m am going to give you a mini list of things asexuals have to deal with, that many LGBTQ people have faced:

Content warnings of course.

  • Corrective rape and other types of sexual violence.
  • Having our sexuality dissected.
  • Being told we are just mentally ill or having a sexual disorder and trying to fix us. Which people can be mentally ill and have their libidos affected, but it doesn’t affect our attraction just the desire for sex. The desire for sex isn’t what sexual orientations are based on. Also again see corrective rape.
  • Erasure and silencing.
  • Therapy to again try to fix us.
  • And let’s face it, we are after treated as pariah simply because we don’t have much interest in sex in general and suddenly that means we are anti-everyone else, especially if we happen to be sex-repulsed as well. A personal experience of mine as follows: I have had people call me sub-human ( or more evolved) just because I like a high sexual nature or understanding of the importance many places of the act and that specific way of connecting.
  • Also surprisingly there are discriminatory behaviors in a religious setting because of the lack of sex, which also ties into misogyny and dangerous views of ownership in a relationship.

I will never argue that we experience oppression in the same way Gay and lesbian individuals do, but neither do many other groups under the MOGAI umbrella. We do face discrimination and telling us that we don’t fit just because you don’t get it leaves many asexuals from minorities to youth at risk.

I am so thankful to those who have made strides to address our existence and I look forward to the work that is still to be done.

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Pride Buttons From Dallas Pride 2015 – We met up with an Ace meetup in Dallas.

 

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Author:

Shalyse Wright-Bethea is the Founder of Design and Scheme. She has been working as Professional Organizer and Event consultant. Shalyse is an activist and she’s passionate and that reflects in everything that she does. Want to chat, have questions or want to hear my thoughts on a topic? Send me a shout: designandscheme@gmail.com. B.A in Interdisciplinary Studies ( Focus disciplines: Business, Humanities, Marketing) Event planner. Organizer. Loving my crunchy, veggie life.

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