Being “Different”

If I’m perfectly honest, for most of my life, I’ve struggled with being different. It’s not easy. Social stigma, fear of being rejected, not able to do certain things, racking my brain to see how things are going to work out in the future it all comes part of the territory.

When I was at a camp, a now – friend of mine told me to see my difference (specifically vision impairment), as a “gift” rather than a burden. I realised I could extend that; not just thinking of my CP and vision impairment as gifts, but also my asexuality. I’m not talking about religious, holier than thou stuff. But I realise now that my differences, including my asexuality, can be used for good.

Anyone who has ever read or glimpsed at this blog know how vocal I am about LGBT+ issues, not in a way to intimidate others with differing views, but I do try to be educational to the wider community of what it’s like to be a GSM (gender, sexuality minority). To a degree, I can relate to the self – hatred that many LGBT+ people constantly face, even though I’m aware of when my empathy ends. I’ve been open recently about my own struggles with accepting who I am (or at least that part of me). It hasn’t been easy, but now, I’m starting to see that I can use those experiences to educate others and raise awareness somewhat to sexual/ gender minorities in general. For the most part, I do use links (whether they work is another matter), and media stories, but I ‘d be lying if I said I didn’t feel any empathy for LGBT+ in general. The recent ‘Gayby Baby’ documentary controversy has hit me harder than what I thought. And I’m very passionate about support and proper education that includes and supports the LGBT+ students, including asexuals.

I get that there would be asexuals who don’t share my experiences or views. I get it. So don’t think I’m not trying to talk for all asexuals. I’m not. I can’t. All I can say is how I feel and why. ┬áIf I wasn’t ‘me’, I may not be able to do that.

Is Sexuality Private?

From time to time, people say ‘sex is private’. True. However, issues surrounding sexuality are (or seems to be) increasingly not private. Just think about it; why is gay marriage often such a heated topic? Why are sexual and gender minorities over – represented in ill – mental health, self – harm and suicide statistics? Why does the mention of LGBT+ issues cause such a storm to the point of hatred? Surely if it was just a ‘private’ issue, it wouldn’t haves such an affect, would it?

When talking about the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras, critics argue ‘they shouldn’t shove it in our faces’. However, the Mardi Gras started in the late ’70’s as a protest against discrimination and police brutality against gay men in particular. This ‘private issue’ saw people being electrocuted to theoretically rid the ‘patient’ os same – sex attraction. It made young LGB people in particular, go through unprofessional, sometimes downright unethical ‘counselling’ that in turn, proved to harm the patients psychologically.

This ‘private issue’ saw asexual teens and young people feel alienated and broken. It sees asexual people being asked deeply personal questions, only to have their answers backfire back on them. Asexual people are also subject to institutional discrimination in some parts of the world.

If it was such a ‘private issue’, something that people don’t need to know about, will all this still go on? Maybe it’d be great if it could just be ‘private’. But the past ANC in some cases, ongoing discrimination against LGBT+?people is a public matter.