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What the ‘A’ in LGBTQA+ Means

by Allison Costa 2 years ago in lgbtq
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Asexuals in the LGBTQA+ Community

Asexuality is an often confused, or misunderstood sexual orientation. In much the same way as atheism exists as a counter to religious ideology - how can one exist outside of the religious sphere? How can they choose not to believe? Asexuality exists within this same realm of not. Not experiencing sexual attraction. Often not engaging in sexual acts through out their entire life. Not understanding the draw, nor the appeal, of such actions.

Perhaps even more confusing to outsiders or the uninformed, however, is the fact that asexuals can and do engage in sexual acts. The difference between wanting to do something, and being able to, seem to be lost on the vast majority of the population, whether online or otherwise.

But as complicated as such ideas may seem to many outsiders, an asexual’s place in the LGBTQA+ community can be seen as even more complicated and confusing - both to asexuals themselves, but also those within the LGBTQA+ community itself.

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There has been quite a bit of confusion in past years, as to what exactly the 'A' in the LGBTQA+ community stands for.

Well, the asexual community is here to set the record straight.

As Denise Frohman stated, "...Dear straight allies, more please!" Allies are wonderful. They are integral to our continued support in the world at large. They are also important to our fight for equality, however slow that process might seem at times.

But that ‘A’ in LGBTQA+ was never meant to represent allies. It was - and always will be - meanted to represent the asexual members of our community, commonly referred to as ‘Aces’.

However, these same ‘aces’ often face discrimination and invalidation at the hands of the LGBTQA+ community.

In a study conducted by Brock University researchers Gordon Hodson and Cara McInnis. The study found that people of all sexual stripes are more likely to discriminate against asexuals, compared to other sexual minorities.

“Most disturbingly, asexuals are viewed as less human, especially lacking in terms of human nature,” according to the authors of the study. “This confirms that sexual desire is considered a key component of human nature and those lacking it are viewed as relatively deficient, less human and disliked.”=

This view has often led to such tragedies as ‘corrective rape’ - a form of forced ‘therapy’ with the mind set that a woman or man is only asexual because they have no experienced the joy of sex, and need only be ‘shown the light’ to become a fully sexual individual.

To become ‘fixed”, in less colorful language.

If sex is a human need, what does that mean for those of us who do not experience sexual attraction? How can we expect to be treated by a community who preaches tolerance and understanding of sexuak orientations different from the mainstream?

The answer is, many Asexuals have given up on the LGBTQA+ community entirely. Pride parades are no safe space, as discrimination and exclusion happen there with no filter, no polite excuses. Simply demands that those flying asexual colors leave a space where they do not belong.

This exclusion, however, has helped to give rise to a movement within the asexual community, however. A movement of reclaiming the ‘invisibility’ that this exclusionism from the LGBTQA+ community has forced upon us.

If the asexual community is to be invisible, then that invisibility shall become a source of strength. It shall become a sort of identity all on it’s own.

Through out asexual communities on the internet, asexuals have taken to referring to themselves as such creatures as ‘unicorns’ - mythical creatures that do not truly exist.

For if the world at large is going to claim that they do not exist, is going to invalidate them at every turn . . . well, let’s roll with.

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Allison Costa

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