TRIGGER WARNING: This post mentions sexual and other violence as well as discrimination and bullying. Proceed with caution if this is triggering for you.
I first saw this image on Facebook today and it got me thinking about Aphobia and how it could be defined. When I saw this image and read the text within it, frankly, I think most of the content was bordering on politically correct. I think we should be aware of and steer away from pettiness and unnecessary victim mentality and the demonising of others. So, what is Aphobia and how should it be defined?
Sexual and gender minorities, including asexuals, do face persecution and discrimination worldwide. I have read that asexual people can find themselves more vulnerable to being sexually assaulted in the foeprm of ‘corrective’ rape. Sexual orientation (or perceived sexual orientation), is still a major subject of bullying in schools. Teenagers are often kicked out of home when they disclose their sexuality to their families, leaving them more vulnerable to physical and sexual violence.
For asexual people specifically, one of the biggest obstacles that asexual people face (from what I have read), is not being believed. Some have also been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation (usually homophobic – being “accused” of being gay). The last one can and does hurt. I have also heard of asexual people being discriminated against in housing based on their sexual orientation.
In my opinion, the paragraph above lists some examples of what should be listed as Aphobia. I think we should cut people at least a little bit of slack for not understanding what asexuality is and ask sometimes, bizarre questions. If we get asked an inappropriate question, then we should just (gently) say we won’t answer the question. Dare I say it, in reality, most people probably don’t mean to be malicious in those circumstances.
If we genuinely want to bring visibility and acceptance to sexual people, we can’t constantly have a victim mentality or make a habit of condemning people unfairly. Not everyone is going to be against us because of who we are. For the moment, like I’ve said before, I think we have to be open to questions since asexuality is not well – known yet (we’re getting there, I think).
Another thing – we need to stop creating factions amongst ourselves. I have seen some pretty heated debates on social media and certain people not made to feel welcome in groups and certain people have been unfairly shut up. This can’t happen. Sure, we will have disagreements, even heated ones, but we need unity. We need to be able to discuss topics with respect and let people find out who they are without ridicule and ostracism. Let’s stand together and aim to educate, not ridicule or demonise others.