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I am really, really, really uncomfortable with asexuality being considered "queer." I do understand that asexuals are a minority, and a misunderstood one. I even agree that they can face violence for their identities, such as corrective rape intended to "make" them sexual or to "make" them confess to "really" being sexual.

I do not believe that this makes them queer. I am very uncomfortable with that; it seems appropriative to me. (Yes, I get that some people identify as asexual and homoromantic or biromantic. I'm still a bit uncomfortable with this, but I can understand how that's queer. If you're living with, sleeping beside, marrying someone of the same gender, you're at similar risk of facing homophobia, even if you're never touching one another's genitalia.)

But if we're not limiting ourselves to considering homo- and biromantic people who actually put themselves publicly forward, in some sense, as gay or bi:

Asexuals reading this, I understand that you want to be respected and understood and not be demeaned. I get why the queer community is attractive to you -- we've been fighting for our sexualities to be understood and recognized. And we're winning, slowly but surely. I totally get why that would make you want to link yourselves to us.

But part of anti-gay prejudice is about bigoted people's reaction to people defying gender norms and bigoted people's perceptions of non-gender-normative attraction and behavior. While I don't doubt that asexuals can also challenge gender norms (particularly men, as men are generally perceived to be highly sexual and deeply driven by lust), I do not believe that anti-asexual bigotry is the same sort of beast.

People are not trying to vote away your rights. You don't always have to fear bashing, somewhere in the back of your mind. People are not going around saying that you've defied God and trying to force you to have sexual relationships. People are not setting up bogus therapies to rehabilitate you and force you to have sexual responses. The suicide rate of asexual teens is not constantly mentioned on the news. (Maybe it's also high, but I've never seen reference to it anywhere -- even such places as AVEN, where people would know about it even if it hasn't made it into mainstream knowledge yet.)

Your experience isn't ours. Please stop tacking yourselves onto mentions of queer people. It's insulting and unsettling and makes it seem like you can't form your own movement for yourselves and have to barnacle onto ours.

Unless you're gay (by which I mean homoromantic, biromantic, etc.), please just stop.

Comments

( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
dellessa
Nov. 10th, 2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
I find tacking that on...just...sorta odd. I don't know honestly people's fanatic need to label everything. It makes me want to pull my hair out. >_<
lightningxsnow
Nov. 10th, 2012 07:51 pm (UTC)
Fucking thank you for writing this. Said it way better than I ever could.
fierceawakening
Nov. 10th, 2012 08:41 pm (UTC)
Personally, see any prejudice asexual people face as (if there is anything truly analogous, which there isn't really) similar to prejudice kinksters face. It does exist, and it CAN suck rocks. But it's not systemic in the same way.

People might hate me for being a dom, but in order to do that they'd have to KNOW I'm a dom. It's nice if I can go around telling everyone, should I want to, but... it's not necessary that people know. It's not like being out as bisexual, where if I'm not out, people will assume basic wrong things about me, about my life, about my history, and about my love. It's details that most people don't need about me.

People don't really need to know that someone isn't having sex (or that if someone is having sex, s/he's doing it only for hir partner's pleasure.) There's nothing that hinges on knowing this or not, just like there's nothing that hinges on people knowing I'm sexually dominant.

If people find out and treat either of us badly, that stinks. But not talking about whether you have or want sex or not is not like being in the closet.
neonstilettos
Nov. 10th, 2012 08:13 pm (UTC)
Agree 110%. Sorry, but a straight woman who doesn't want to have sex with her boyfriend does not face the same marginalization as a homosexual or bisexual or transgender person. It's almost like straight people just want some sort of "oppressed-sounding" label or something so they can feel special? Idk. Like "omg I'm not straight I'm ~ace~ how dare u assume". Yeah, hush.
fierceawakening
Nov. 10th, 2012 08:45 pm (UTC)
a straight woman who doesn't want to have sex with her boyfriend

Or even "a woman who has sex with her boyfriend because her boyfriend is sexual and she is not." That's just... when I read things like that I just wonder "why would I need that level of detail about your life?" (And also worry about the person -- while I don't think having sex for someone else's benefit is always bad, if this is a big thing in the relationship, I'm... really not sure that person is with the right person.)
themadterran
Nov. 10th, 2012 09:07 pm (UTC)
Honestly, I'm still trying to find out when Queer became acceptable terminology. As a white, straight male, its still a slur for a group of people who are unlike myself.

Of course, unless you're someone I care about, I can't give two shits who is fucking who.
mpinsky
Nov. 10th, 2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I couldn't care less if asexuality falls under the queer label or not (I, personally, use this label because I'm not comfortable using anything more specific). What I DON'T like is the community's inherent and vocal tendency to cry foul or act particularly entitled to anyone who is NOT asexual or who DARES circumvent THEIR norm idea of asexuality. It's not very welcoming or inclusive (though not everyone is like this, fortunately, but the vast majority is). In the end, I don't think it's anyone's business who is fucking (or not fucking) who. We're all people, aren't we?
kawakiisakazuki
Nov. 11th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Next thing we know singles will be queer too?
Because hey, Singlism!
roykay
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:03 pm (UTC)
I see queer and a variant on gender-queer, i.e defined as outside the gender binary. As such, asexual is sort of out of the classification, since there is am implicit sexuality being played outside the gender binary. I mean why define yourself as sexual at all, when you are resolutely not so?

There MAY be something to it for those who are Autosexual, i.e. who masturbate but do not really want to do much with other people's sexuality. They may even like and peruse porn from the safe sterile distance of the screen. So they may respond to "gender-queer" porn genre.

But for the purely asexual, queer just doesn't enter into it. It's sort of like an atheist calling themself pantheist.
fierceawakening
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:22 pm (UTC)
But for the purely asexual, queer just doesn't enter into it. It's sort of like an atheist calling themself pantheist.

That's how I feel about it too. I've had people tell me queer means "outside the norm" and -- I don't know. I'm sure some people use it that way. But I'm uncomfortable with that, when homophobia isn't JUST "outsidethenormophobia." I don't doubt that asexuals, kinky folks, poly people, and other people who are outside the norm are belittled, shamed, perhaps even oppressed (I'm torn on that because there are several things the word could mean). But I don't think it's the same stuff that people face for being queer where queer is limited to meaning people with same-gender attraction.

It's different. I wish people would let it be different.
roykay
Nov. 12th, 2012 07:50 pm (UTC)
I agree.

Now if (my pet peeve) we could only get people to stop using "slut" to mean "sub" or "slut for one" when they mean "nympho for one".
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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