Asexuality is not a choice, but acephobia is …
I don’t have a therapist. I’m all for talking to a non-bias professional if you need it, but I have yet to find a non-bias professional I feel I can trust. I’ve talked to counselors in the past and that hasn’t been a good experience for me. What was a good experience for me was talking and venting about my feelings and hearing them out loud. Once I removed the extra person from the room the experience became even better. So, now I talk to myself and write in a journal if I need to deal with something. One the one hand, this makes me very, very weird, but I think in the larger context I’m perfectly normal.
Calling for Submissions for The Carnival of Aces for April 2016! What is a blogging carnival? See the master post here! Last month’s topic of “Gender Norms and Asexuality” was hosted by valprehension and you can see the round up of submissions here!
For this month’s prompt I’ve decided on the topic “Be yourself (but stretch)”. What I want to know is how on a day-to-day basis you affirm and express your asexual identity while navigating though established social norms that are, unfortunately, unavoidable. The term “be yourself, but stretch” comes from authentic leadership techniques, where to be an effective supervisor you need to be authentic (be yourself), but also stretch to match the expected norms that come with leading others.
Growing up in the 90s I feel like a major moral of every kid’s show was “Be yourself”. The many episodes would start off with one of…
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Stephanie Farnsworth takes a look at how we write about asexual and aromantic identities.
Aromantic and asexual identities have been slandered, erased and deliberately ridiculed throughout the centuries. Living with a lack of romantic attraction is often believed to be impossible, while a lack of sexual attraction or desire for sex is often mocked in disablist and ableist terms. No more clearly is this demonstrated than when it comes to depictions of these identities in literature and the media. Any reference to them is sparse within the history of storytelling, but when they are mentioned they are so often coupled with the idea of being evil or dangerously subversive in some way.
The most notable example in recent literature (and subsequent films) was undoubtedly the character of Lord Voldemort. He was presented as completely villainous purely because he didn’t have the capacity to love. Voldemort is not only disinterested in…
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So This Video has been floating around tumblr and despite several bored faces and yawns in the audience, I thought it brought up some really good points.
In the video David Jay of AVEN (Asexuality Visibility & Education Network) brought up the point that at their core all relationships are same. And he wasn’t just talking about romantic-sexual relationships. When you have a meaningful connection with someone, even if they’re just a friend, a family member, or even a coworker, you have a relationship with them. But unlike romantic-sexual relationships, these platonic relationships are viewed as sort of inferior while romantic-sexual relationships are “celebrated, prioritized, and talked about”.
At the end the audience was encouraged to think about a world where these relationships were celebrated, prioritized, and talked about. I started thinking about it and I imagined what it would be like if everyone who had asked me “Do you have a boyfriend/girlfriend?” instead had asked “Will you be my friend?” or “Who is your best friend?” or “What is your most treasured relationship?”.
How great would it be if I said my most important relationships are with my immediate family and that was celebrated and talked about the same way as a romantic relationship would have been? How many meaningful friendships are we missing out on because popculture says the only relationship worth pursuing with a perfect stranger is a romantic one? What if Hollywood told a falling-in-bestfriends story the same way it told romantic comedies? That was my take-away from the video.
The words are there. The Oxford English dictionary added Agender, Bi-gender, Cisgender, Cissexism, FTM, Gender Dysphoria, Gender Identity, Gender-fluid, Genderqueer, Misgender, MTF, Mx, Nonbinary,Transman, Transperson, Transphobia, and Transwoman to their online dictionary.
But my friends and I don’t talk about it. I came out to two of my friends who I’ve known, loved (platonically of course) and appreciated for seven years. Seven years is supposed to be a magic number. People say if you’re friends for seven years, you’ll be friends forever.
So, why does my friend say that when people use “they/them” as a singular pronoun it makes him uncomfortable and doesn’t “sound right” to him? Why when he’s trying to write a story with an aromantic character and they come off as heartless do I have to correct him and say we’re not like that? Why do my friends and family have to tell me my gender and sexuality isn’t real. I may not feel romance, but I can feel loyalty that would make Samwise Gamgee come off as flaky. Because of that I’m at an impasse.
I can’t change my friends’ minds by just talking to them. If I try to correct them they get defensive and will try that much harder to prove me wrong. The platitude “those who mind don’t matter and those who matter won’t mind” is adorable and I guiltily confess to pining it to my pinterest board three times, but I can’t just dump all my friends and start over. I feel bound by loyalty, bound by the duty of friendship to understand them as human beings and love them despite their faults. I will be a true friend even when they aren’t.
So, we just don’t talk about it. I don’t wave my pride flags in their faces and demand they love me. Instead I talk about how comfortable my unisex clothes make me feel. I talk about how purple and green are my favorite colors. I talk about what a pain in the ass makeup is and that no matter how many pinterest tutorials I find it never makes any sense. I talk about how I don’t like going to loud dance clubs, but will get up and do a group dance at the Folk Life festival. I talk about how I love writing more than anything. I talk about my favorite characters. I talk about what books I’m reading (with asexual and trans characters, of course, but I leave that part out). I talk about my coworkers who are so confused because I’m so weird. I talk about everything me, but “it”.
I let “it” speak for itself.