Sunday, 26 December 2010

The gay agenda- it's not just for straight people any more!

From the sinister and teal-clad minds of the Evil Fellowship of Aromantics (ie, Sciatrix and I) comes a new and terrifying game. Tiers of Queer, a game of privilege and plummeting, where the stakes are your lives. Wanna play?

This is based, by the way, on the beautiful last line on this post about asexuality, which was clearly not written by non-libedoists, bitter that we'd stolen their word:

Generally speaking, in terms of sex drive and desire, the homosexual and the asexual could not be further apart

(read the rest of the article. It's short, but... informative)
This quote suddenly made staggeringly clear to me the hidden inference behind this. People like simple lines. Asexuals and other 2nd dimensional creatures, can mess up a linear world view. There's us and them. And, for the more refined, there's moderate us, between two thems. It's how a lot of people view sexuality, and the tiers look something like this:

2.Asexual (dragged down slightly because the word has been stolen by gay sympathisers. You know who you are!)
3.Decent folk.
4.Deviants (BDSMers, mostly. The definition is left usefully flexible)
5.The Homosexual (male. If you're a lesbian, or homoromantic woman, congratulations. You've broken the game)
6.The Transsexual (not quite sure what these people are, but they must clearly be like the homosexual, but more extreme)

This is why asexual and homosexual are more opposite than, say, asexual and straight. Because being gay isn't defined by what it is, attraction to men, but by the level of sexual deviancy that the quality posesses.

Sexual Deviancy is a single-score game. Maybe you fit into more than one category? Tough. Pick the biggest number that applies to you, and that's your score.

And this is where it got to me. I'm 5 on that list. I am a homosexual. I'm not sure if I've directly typed that on this blog, before, but I've said several times that I used to think I was demihomosexual and realised I was more than demi. I don't use gay, because I'm really not. I find it difficult not to identify in some way as asexual, even if there's no technical asexual left about me. Because I'm an asexual blogger, because I'm aromantic, because to invalidate asexuality is to invalidate whatever the heck I am.

I've been trying to introduce myself not as asexual, and it's killing me. Outings are suddenly fifty times more painful than even asexual outings (which aren't fun). I end up with people having no idea what I am, when what I want is to spread visibility. I want to be proud that I'm asexual. Without being asexual.
And if that happens, if I go back to the word asexual, without the doubt every time I introduce it, without the 'so what' of "Um... I used to identify as asexual?", then guess what? I'm a homosexual, pretending to be asexual. I'm a repressed gay, dispite the fact that I think I'm doing pretty well at not being repressed. Dispite the fact that the biggest force ever repressing me was the fact that I knew I could be used as evidence that asexuality is invalid if I ever admitted who I was.

So now I want to say; yes. I am homosexual, and I will identify as asexual. I'm the betrayer in your midst. The wolf in sheep's clothing. What're you going to do about it?

Enough bitter not-quite-sure-which-bits-are-sarcasm for tonight? You're probably right.


  1. Hmm, I do pretty much the same, but the other way around. I frequently identify as gay, even though I'm not all the way gay. The way I identify depends on what contexts I expect to see people. Unless I expect to see them in a variety of contexts I keep it simple.

    My solution, like yours, also has problems. For one thing, it makes me feel like I'm contributing to asexual invisibility. On the plus side, I break lots of gay stereotypes!

    One way you might describe yourself is as someone who has been greatly influenced by asexual discourse. You're someone who realizes that the diversity discussed in the asexual community has implications for a much larger group of people. Some of it you even find personally relevant.

  2. Siggy- yeah, I get why it'd be easier for you to identify as gay and then bring out the demi stuff later, if ever. I think it's easier for heteroromantic people to just say 'I'm asexual' and be assumed to be heteroromantic, but there's something weird in some people's heads that means gay and asexual just don't seem as relatable.

    On a related note, you mention gay stereotypes. It always annoys me that asexuals don't seem to get to count when it comes to breaking stereotypes. People assume that asexual men don't count as men when they make statements about male sexuality, doubly so for gay asexuals. I want to know why we're (/you're?) not a valid part of the spectrum.

    I like the 'influenced by asexual discourse' thing. That's good. Especially since it encourages the sort of conversation I've been longing for recently, where sexual people actually look at asexual discourse, rather than treating us (/you?) as an interesting sideshow.

    Like you, I suppose I'm torn between really wanting to increase visibility, and avoiding the complications that come with identifying as asexual when that's not always the best descriptor.

  3. Yes, I get dismissed all the time. On AVEN too, I often feel like people view me as the exception because I openly identify as gray-A. People are just stuck thinking that everyone is a stereotype or an exception to that stereotype.

    The intersection of gay and asexual is... well there's a lot to say. Overall, I actually like it a lot. Unrelatability might be an advantage, since people are less likely to assume they know everything about you. There are homophobes, but I'm lucky to not meet too many. The queer community has its faults but I feel more comfortable identifying as asexual there than anywhere else. I can't imagine what I would do if I were heteroromantic.