asexyqueer asked: Hi. I have submitted a motion for asexual inclusion within the NUS LGBT Campaign; and the conference is this weekend. There will be an Asexual Caucus and I could do with help handing out leaflets/talking about the campaign at conference if anyone will be there. Could you publicise this for me? People can send me an ask for more details.
I’ll be posting about the article later, but first I wanted to check that it wouldn’t BORE anyone to tears. I’ve been waiting for a book to come out, and I wanted to see what else the man has written to see if I would even like it or not. This is one of his research articles.
I’m really hoping the book is good, and that if it is, we should buy it to support further positive research into the area. He has a grant to study sexuality from the Canadian Government, but a lot of it has to do with birth order and homosexuality.
Asexuality has been the subject of recent academic (A. F. Bogaert, 2004) and public (e.g., New Scientist; CNN) discourse. This has raised questions about the conceptualization and definition of asexuality. Here the author reviews some of these issues, discusses asexuality from a sexual orientation point of view (i.e., as a lack of sexual attraction), and reviews the similarities and differences between this definition and related phenomena (e.g., hypoactive sexual desire disorder). Finally, the author concludes that the term asexuality should not necessarily be used to describe a pathological or health-compromised state.
When I heard that the topic of the blog carnival hosted at Writing From Factor Xwould be about coming out, I was a little dismayed. I’ve likened National Coming Out Day to Valentine’s Day before, and I think with good reason. I’ve become so tired of hearing people harping on the importance of coming out, especially qualified, as it so often is in the asexual community, with some kind of statement like, “Of course, coming out for asexuals is easy, all we really have to deal with is people saying annoying things.” So, I don’t much like to talk about it.
That is demonstrably untrue, by the way. And if the only responses you’ve received when you came out were just a little bit annoying? You’re a lucky one. Not everyone has it so easy, and it’s a privilege to be surprised that they don’t.
Really though, I think that many of the responses that people categorize as “annoying” are actually instances of emotionally abusive statements that go unrecognized for what they are due to a “sticks and stones” tough attitude that many people have. Since abuse is often thought of as only physical, it’s often hard to recognize it when it happens, especially when society agrees with the sentiment. One single instance is relatively easy to brush off, but the cumulative effect of the majority of people claiming that “there must be something wrong with you” is not.
The other day, Rachel Maddow said this:
I’ve long held three basic beliefs about the ethics of coming out:
- Gay people — generally speaking — have a responsibility to our own community and to future generations of gay people to come out, if and when we feel that we can.
- We should all get to decide for ourselves the “if and when we feel that we can” part of that.
- Closeted people should reasonably expect to be outed by other gay people if (and only if) they prey on the gay community in public, but are secretly gay themselves.
I also believe that coming out makes for a happier life, but that’s not a matter of ethics, that’s just corny advice.
Now, I’d agree on numbers two and three, but that’s it. Frankly, I think it’s very naive to assume that coming out would make everyone’s lives happier. Some people (and I wouldn’t say it’s impossible that any asexuals are among them, even if I’ve never heard of such a case to date) actually lose their lives after coming out, and I think it’s good to keep that in mind. I found Lena Chen’s response to Maddow’s statement particularly on-point. Much as I usually admire and appreciate the work that Maddow does, in this case I think she’s got too much privilege to see this clearly. I find it inconsistent to claim that queer people (of any stripe, including asexuals) “should all get to decide for ourselves” if/when to come out, while also claiming that we have aresponsibility to do so. Saying it’s a responsibility heaps a whole lot of pressure on people to come out, thus making number two ineffectual. If it’s really meant to be our own decision, shouldn’t it be as un-coerced as possible?
In practice, though, I do see a lot of coerced unclosetings happening throughout the queer community. Sometimes this is accomplished through persistent nagging and guilt-tripping. Sometimes people just tell others without their permission. Sometimes it’s a case of a significant other going, “I won’t let you tell your family I’m your friend.” That last case is the only time that I think this kind of behavior is marginally acceptable, because it does affect the significant other’s life too, but even then, it has to be handled delicately.
And you know what? I don’t see all that much of a difference between people saying that queer people have a responsibility to their community to come out, and people saying that married people have a responsibility to their spouses to have sex. Education of the privileged about the lives of the marginalized, like sex, should be a freely given gift. Turning it into a duty makes that gift meaningless.
The asexual community, being invisible and obscure, does need people who are willing to educate others, spread awareness of our existence. But you know what? There are enough people who freely volunteer to do that. We don’t needto make it a responsibility. So let’s try to avoid that mindset.
So I came out to my dad about being asexual at dinner tonight. He said he already herd from aunt who saw my facebook post (I really hated when my family talks behind my back).
He asked me some questions and I told that it wasn’t a choice, and that I would be like this for the rest of my life.
Over all it went very well, and he accepted me for who I am.
Now it’s time for the hard part. My mother.
Now it’s not like my mother isn’t accepting or dislikes people of different sexuality. She just doesn’t want any part in it, and wants it out of her life.
I’m afraid my mom won’t take me serious when I tell her, and that she’ll just pass it off as something I made up.
I ask my dad about if I should tell her or not, he thinks it would best it I didn’t unless the subject ever came up.
I kinda feel like this is something I should tell her, since it’s part of my lifestyle.
That’s why I want to ask you guys if you think this is something I should talk to my mom about or if I should just let it be. I would really love you input.
Today in one of my classes, asexuality became the topic of discussion. Of course, it was because of the recent House episode, but the conversation went a direction I didn’t think it would.
After the existence of asexuality was questioned, I answered with a simple definition…and no one objected. No one said it was stupid or not human. No one denied its existence. No one said any of the typical ignorant responses.
It made me happy :D
Let’s always love each other, and never be in love with each other.
—David Levithan, Every You, Every Me (via asexyquotes)