Be an ally all the time

Rightly or wrongly, the selection of Donald Trump as the President of the United States has sparked fears in many people for the future. Fears are particular.y being felt members of the Hospanic, Latino, black, Muslim and the LGBTQ+ communities. It has sparked the on – line safety pin camapign, which originally appeared in the aftermath of the Brexit vote in the UK, admidst a spike in racially motivated violence. Now the campaign has hit America due to uncertainty about migration, the treatment of Hispanics and Latinos, police brutality toward often unarmed African Americans and racial profiling and fear of    anti – discrimination protections meant to protect the LGBTQ+ community being repealed. Already, there have been reports of people of colour and LGBTQ+ people being physically attacked (Trump supporters have also been physically harmed by alleged Clinton supporters, and that’s disgusting, too).

Not unexpectedly, this campaign has some sceptics and downright critics from conservatives and people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community. Some people of colour and members of the LGBTQ community have labelled it as little more than a way for cis, white and straight people to feel good.


I get both sides. I think any sign that shows that a person stands in solidarity with minorities is a good thing. Personally, seeing the pin campaign and other social media trends like the rainbow profile filter after SCOTUS ruling on same – sex marriage and memes expressing solidarity with the LGBTQ+ community after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub massacre in June. These things in themselves aren’t bad. In fact, I found them comforting. It said to me that members of the LGBTQ+ community do have people that care. Personally, it gave me a little assurance that I can be honest on here without the fear losing people I care about (that has been a genuine fear I’ve felt over the years). These fears are starting to subside.

However, any form of allyship – whether toward ethnic minorities or toward the LGBTQ+ community has to be a 24/7 effort. The problem with many social media justice initiatives is that they often die out as quick as they start. It also rarely reflects and examines the scope of a problem. Wearing a safety pin, or changing a profile picture filter, while is most likely coming from a good place, doesn’t substitute real action: criticising racial slurs, actively protesting against racism, working to close disparity between Caucasian and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, condemning homophobia, bi  – phobia, trans – phobia, a- phobia, pan – phobia, etc. It doesn’t replace actually BEING there for LGBTQ+ friends and family members and confronting people who compare gay people to paedophiles (yes, that does happen, especially on social media*). If you call someone out in real life, make sure that every precaution is taken to make yourself safe. Be an ally, not a martyr.

I’m not going to lie, this isn’t always easy nor do we always succeed. Who hasn’t heard a racial slur, and failed to call it out? I think we’ve all been in situations. Don’t beat yourself up about missed opportunities. Just be willing to stamp it out, and, if you can, make a conscious effort to confront it next time.

Here what it comes down to: Affican – Americans, ATSI Australians, Hispanics and Latinos can’t suddenly throw away their racial heritage. It’s with them ALL their lives. People who are LGBTQ+ can’t just shake off their feelings. Very often, the feelings start when a person is young and often carries on all their lives. They don’t get to opt out. Allies, on the other hand, do. The choice is yours. If you genuinely want to be an ally, be one ALL the time, not just when a profile filter pops up or another Twitter hashtag trend appears. Because we’re talking about feal lives, not a simple slogan.


What do you wish allies understood? What do you want them to do?

*I just want to point out that the comparing gays to paedophiles has appeared on different Pages. It has nothing to do with anyone who I’m friends with.



October Carnival of Aces: Asexual Community

This post is for the October Carnival of Aces: “Joining the Asexual Community”.

I live in a town that has no real LGBTQ or asexual community. There are LGBTQ events in a regional town where I live, but I’ve never been a part of them. To be honest, I’m not sure whether they are actually asexual inclusive. When I was studying Community Services Work about three years ago, I found out about a group called Hume Phoenix. Again, I’m not sure whether they are ace inclusive or not. Anyway, I didn’t end up completing the course and I’ve never had anything to do with the organisation. I’ve read about different meetups/ events advertised in their local paper, but have never been involved. My connection with the asexual community has been solely online. I’m signed up to Asexuality Visibility and Education Network (AVEN), but haven’t been able to keep track of my passwords. I haven’t tried getting into it for probably a couple of years now. My main connection with members of the asexual community has mainly been on Facebook.

On Facebook, there are many groups for Asexual people; some general, there’s one that’s meant for asexual people who hold certain beliefs (i.e. a “Conservative Asexual”, ‘Asexual Christians’, etc), some with age restrictions, (18+ asexuals), and ones aimed at certain romantic orientations; homoromantic asexuals, aromantic asexuals, etc. I’m in a few, but the one I’m most active in is a closed group for asexuals of all romantic orientations, nationalities, beliefs, etc. Partners and spouses of asexual people have also joined the group to gain a better understanding of their partner/ spouse. I think that’s commendable. From what I’ve seen, these people are treated quite well.

The group is meant to be inclusive. Discrimination against anyone – including cissexism, trans-phobia, anti – allosexual attitudes in general, racism, ableism, etc is condemned. Any group member who breaches these (and other) rules risk being banned from the group. Sensitivity to others experiences and using appropriate warnings (e.g. trigger warnings, content warnings, graphic), are usually expected. This rule has caused a bit of heated debate over the years as some people don’t see the point in such warnings, or think that they are used too frequently, but generally, people use them without too much drama.


What I like about the group is how broad it is. It makes it easier for new members to express their doubts.  More often than not, other members will express similar experiences. Confused about your romantic orientation? You’re not alone. Christian? You’re not alone. Think your romantic orientation is fluid? You’re not alone. Question your sexuality because you have a sex drive? You’re not alone. Yout get it. It’s a broad circle. That’s what I like about it.


I’d really recommend people who have questions about asexuality either for personal or educational reasons to send a request to the group admins to ask to join (it’s a closed group. Prospective members have to be let in to look at content and participate). Don’t be shy! We don’t bite. If you abide by the rules pinned at the top of the group wall, you should be fine. Have fun and be informed while you’re there. Even if you are asexual and have identified that way for years, there’s still things we can all learn.


What asexual groups are you involved in on – line? Feel free to drop a comment. Please remain respectful to me and other users as always. 

Asexuality and Culture

I’m working on a Cultural Competence module at the moment, and all of a sudden, I thought about culture and asexuality.

It’s no surprise, that before someone realises they’re asexual, or come out to themselves, the world can be quite a lonely place for people who don’t experience much, if any sexual attraction. I’m guessing the majority of modern pop culture (music, etc), just seems weird, many (not all), don’t like or get sex scenes in movies. In high school/ early adulthood, asexuals can feel bit isolated from friends when they start talking about sex, relationships, etc (I get that). Sex ed can just feel alienating. Counselling can be a negative experience (although I am noticing that some major LGBTQ+ friendly advocacy groups like “Wipeout Homophobia” know we exist. Yay! Also, Twitter group Bi and Existing acknowledged Asexuality Awareness Week, which I think is great.

The Internet has been a blessing to many asexual people. People have been able to find the label for starters and things start falling into place. Asexuality Visibility and Education Network ( has become a great source of information and connection since it’s launch in 2001 (not for me, I can never remember my passwords! lol). TV shows still have a bit to answer for. American drama, House was was fiercely criticised in 2012 over it’s portrayal of asexuality as a medical condition that could be fixed. To my knowledge, not much else in pop culture has dealt with asexuality (not that’s been aired in Australia, anyway). I’ve written quite a bit about media coverage, so I won’t rehash all that again, just to say some has been quite good, others, not so much.

Internet groups/ forums dedicated to asexuality gives asexual people, those with questions, or even people with asexual partners, the possibility to gain knowledge in order to better understand asexuality. A fact that i think people realise quite quickly is that, like everyone else, asexuals are a diverse bunch. One “Carnival of Aces” participant last month said that he identified more with the gay culture than what he calls “heteronormative”, despite his lack of sexual attraction. Other asexuals, especially those who are homoromantic get frustrated by the often sexualised nature of gay culture.

I’ve written before that I really don’t really get into all the symbols often tied with asexuality, probably except the flags; both the general asexuality one (white, purple and black), and the flags that represent all the romantic orientations. When I first came to identify as asexual, I was also fascinated by the black ring symbol, but not so much any more (heck, I just thought of it just then.).

Like I said before, asexuals are diverse. The world can be a lonely place, but I’m quietly confident it’ll get better. All any of us can do, is just be ourselves, stand up and speak out when we need to and hope the world will come around (which I’m quietly confident we willl… more on that at a later date).

The most important is that we first anx foremost accept ourselves. I’m very strong about that. Continual denial and self – loathing doesn’t do anyone any good, especially your piece of mind. It’s a journey that I hope we’re all on.


Why ‘Come Out’?

Before, I read a blog post (didn’t finish it admittedly), about a lesbian mother of young children and her struggle to ‘come out’ to strangers she comes in contact with. My question was ‘why’? To family or friends, if you feel secure enough. But strangers? Then, I realised, everyone does it. Let me explain.

People, especially women, often freely, talk about their family and relationships, spouses, etc. If you’re not in a traditional, heterosexual relationship/ marriage, what do you say when the conversation turns to you? I’ve been there, especially in my early 20’s. What do we say? I stayed silent, for most of the time. When I did speak, I mostly just went along with the conversation, kind of just went with the tide.

Frankly, the most awkward conversation is when I asked when I ‘like’ anyone (meaning man). I say, ‘no’, and for the most part, that’s where the conversation ends. That’s fine. But sometimes, I want more. I want to say, ‘welllllll, actually’….. and tell the person/ group the truth. Well, the basics anyway. This is why this blog is good for me, frankly. My posts appear on my Facebook wall (and Twitter feed), and, although I was reluctant at the start, I’m glad that it’s getting out there, and people I know (hopefully), are coming to know me as an asexual (I son’t really talk about romantic orientation). It’s been really positive, actually. There hasn’t been a backlash and no ‘unfriends’, so that’s good.

So, I guess everyone ‘comes out’ in everyday conversation, in a way; talking about martiage, kids, who likes who, etc. it’s just in reality, for those of us who don’t fit the ‘norm’, so to speak, it’s not good or bad (most of the time for me, anyway), it’s just another dimension I sometimes find myself thinking about. I’m sure it’s the same for others too (not all). Sounded like a dilemma for the mother I was reading about, too.


Facebook, Same – Sex Marriage and Coming Out on Social Media

I’ve been more than a bit surprised by how many of my friends have put the rainbow on their profile picture in light of the landmark US Supreme Court decision to make same – sex marriage legal nationwide. I would say that probably about half have changed their photos. Maybe bit less… don’t know. More than what I thought would, anyway. It got me thinking: Will it be easier for LGBT+ people to be open about their identities on social media? Have we come far enough for that to happen?

i won’t talk on behalf of anyone else, I can’t, but speaking for my personal experience, discussing things like your sexuality online can be freaky. When I started this blog, I was encouraged to publish my posts on my Facebook Wall. That genuinely made me a bit anxious. When I revealed who I was to a cousin in a private message, I cried in relief that she was fine with it.

Now, I know that too many LGBT people face much more anxiety and, quite frankly, much more to fear. I’ve got to say, though, that it hasn’t always been easy for me either, even though nothing really bad has happened since I started posting the blog on Facebook.

So, will this SCOTUS decision and the social media response make it easier for LGBT+ people to be honest about who they are without a backlash, either on social media or real life?


Should We Just “Pull The Trigger” When It Comes To Speech?

I’ve seen other asexual bloggers use “trigger warning” disclaimers at the start and also seen “Trigger Warning” on some Facebook posts. I’ve also written short disclaimers on this blog warning about content that may be ‘triggering’ for some people. Interestingly, there’s been debate about this on Facebook when a member posted a link of a blog post lamenting about the constant victim mentality of the LGBT. The conversation turned to the use of ‘Trigger Warnings’ on posts and whether it’s just political correctness gone mad. Here’s my take:

I believe ”Trigger Warnings” are useful when used reasonably and, yes, I truly believe they have their place, especially pay online. Mere offensive or controversial content probably doesn’t need ‘trigger warnings’. However, I do believe that ‘trigger warnings’ are necessary when talking about potentially traumatic topics, like stalking, suicide, violence, sex crimes, terrorism, etc. My reasoning of why wept hey are useful is so then if a person who does have a certain trigger when reading such content, that person is free to move on before they start reading the post fully. In my opinion, it’s a way of not alienating certain readers because they feel genuinely upset by the content because it brings an unpleasant reaction/ memory. At least with the warning at the start, the person is warned and the reader has a choice whether or not to proceed. To me, it’s being sensitive to the experiences of any potential readers.

I do get the fear of some bloggers may have about the seeming restriction of free speech and it seeming like a form of censorship. I don’t believe that they should be overused and that they should be used because the post may cause offense. However, I still say they have their place.

Another concern raised in the blog post was the fear of creating a victim mentality among minorities rather genuine fight for justice and visibility for minorities. I do get this argument, and Ike I said before, trigger warning statements can potentially overused. The blogger even argued that “not all LGBT have experienced violence”. While I get that, where does that leave people in general who have experienced violence and are still trying to deal with it? As a blogger, or even a user of Facebook, I can’t ever know the experiences of everyone who could potentially look at what I write.

My main aims as a blogger is to engage as many readers as I can. I want everyone to be able to read my posts freely and comfortably and feel free to engage with others and myself about what I’ve written. I also want to give potential readers to opt out if the content is too traumatic for them.

What do you think about ‘trigger warnings’? Do you use them, and if so why? I’d really love to know your thoughts on this.


Debates On Asexuality And Whether They Help Or Hinder The Community

From time to time, I read on Facebook questions on what makes a person asexual. Let me pose a different question: is asexuality a genuine sexual orientation? I pose this question because I can’t help but wonder if it would change discussion within the asexual community.

According to the American Psychological Association, sexual orientation is defined as: “sexual orientation refers to the sex of those to whom one is sexually and romantically attracted”   (American Psychological Association Help Centre). The article then goes through the orientations, with the exclusion of asexual and pan sexual.

So, if sexual orientation is defined as above, and we can agree that asexuality is a genuine sexual orientation (or non – sexual orientation if you want), then what’s with the arguing that can occur in asexual circles? If someone feels like they consistently lack sexual attraction, then he or she should be free to identify as asexual. Of course, this gets complicated when you consider that there is often a huge grey area when it comes to sexuality in general, and even asexuality.

A question that I find that is often asked, especially by newcomers into Asexual Facebook groups is: “Am I asexual if I…..?”. Frankly, I think if we define asexuality in such a way, then we will end up having a warped view on what asexuality actually is, unless, controversially, we end up saying that asexuality is NOT an orientation per se. I think I can say that the majority of asexual people (myself included) would strongly argue that it is an orientation, even though, like the other orientations, can become a little complicated.

I think it’s important that the asexual community comes into some sort of agreement of what asexuality actually is. Then hopefully, science and society in general will catch up.